Stop trying to be like the Cleaver’s. Just as Hollywood creates scenes that never exist today, with “Leave It to Beaver” from 1957-1963 the ideal family as depicted by the TV show never existed. The way some people speak today, they believe that families had it so much easier in a different time. The reality is that the same problems existed. Maybe people were better at masking their family flaws because of fewer communication mediums, but the problems were still there. In fact, we have evidence all the way back in Genesis of severe family dysfunction.
In Genesis there are several examples of dysfunction. Adam stood by and watched his wife be deceived. Cain killed his brother Able. Sarah gave her servant, Hagar, to Abraham as a surrogate. Then once Sarah got a child by her servant she abused Hagar as Abraham remained passive throughout the ordeal. Lot reluctantly left Sodom, then his daughters after getting him drunk, had incestuous relations with him. Isaac and Rebecca played favorites with their twin boys. Esau had no discernment and sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Jacob tricked his father into giving him Esau’s birthright with Rebecca’s help. Later Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah after seven years of labor and then after another seven years and marrying Rachael, Laban changed Jacobs wages many times. Ten of Jacob’s sons sold Joseph into slavery for twenty-two years kept the truth from their father. When we look at Genesis the conclusion can be made that dysfunction in families is common, and that God can have great plans for those who come from a dysfunctional family.
The statistics show that more often than not an abuser will come from those you know more often than they would be a complete stranger. So what happens when abuse comes from a sibling or a brother or sister in-law? We can look to Genesis and have a fairly good idea that chaos may be quick to follow. Will sides be taken like they were with Isaac and Rebecca? Will the truth be hidden from someone like it was from Jacob regarding Joseph? It is sad to say but probably so. This is why it is so important for the nuclear family to have good watchmen within it like what can be found in Ezekiel 33:1-6. With watchmen that will speak up when they see trouble and not back down perhaps their children can be spared from abuse, or if abuse has already occurred, then prevent the abuse of others at a later time.