To be a firstborn: A gift or a curse?

It comes with extra burdens as ‘deputy parent’

In Summary

• A spiritual look at a family dilemma for the eldest offspring

A large family during mealtime
A large family during mealtime

I am the firstborn in a family of six, so this topic is as dear to my heart as it can be. I was recently sharing on our Bible Study WhatsApp group about the story of Reuben, the son of Jacob, when someone pointed out something interesting: the misfortune of firstborns.

Reuben was the eldest of Jacob’s 12 children, born to Leah, the first wife. In Genesis 49, Jacob is blessing his children just before he exits the earth. In verses 3-4, while describing Reuben as the first sign of his strength, Jacob declares that his firstborn son will never excel because he slept with his father’s concubine and defiled his marriage bed.

Well, after sharing this scripture, one of us pointed out the case of other firstborns in the scriptures, such as Adam, Cain, Ishmael, Esau and Mannaseh as others who faltered in one way or another. Which begs the question: Is it a curse or gift to be a firstborn?

Certainly not a curse by virtue of Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. Thanks to His sacrifice on the cross, the anomaly that followed firstborns has been corrected and all of us firstborns have become new creations as is the case for everyone who believes and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.

As firstborns in our respective families, we can look to the perfect firstborn Jesus Christ and learn from Him on how to fulfil our responsibilities as the eldest children and ‘deputy parents.’

This story first appeared on the digital magazine Star Sasa, accessible on Sundays for Sh10 by dialling *550*3#

Edited by T Jalio

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