I imagine that Laban’s scheme to marry both Leah and Rachel off to Jacob didn’t do their relationship much good. Add a few business and wage tricks to the mix (Genesis 30-31), and I don’t think we could call the situation between Jacob and Laban a proper relationship.

By the time Jacob started negotiating his release from Laban, he knew that he could not trust Laban with anything. Whatever terms they discussed for dividing the family's sheep between them, it was not worth the breath they spent on the words. So it came as no surprise when Laban tricked Jacob once again. “‘All right,’ Laban replied. ‘It will be as you say.’ But that very day Laban went out and removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted” (Genesis 30:34, NLT).

And as it goes with relationships where trust is broken, the relationship between Jacob and Laban eventually disintegrated completely. When Laban started searching Jacob’s tents for stolen goods, it was the final straw (Genesis 31). They could not even trust each other to keep away from the other one. So they built a “witness pile” of stones to keep them accountable. “‘See this pile of stones,’ Laban continued... ‘They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these stones or this monument to harm me’” (v. 51-52).

Again Jesus teaches us about this topic in the New Testament. The parable of the shrewd manager affirms the sad truth that relationships cannot survive without trust. “‘If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?’” (Luke 16:10-11, NLT).

Have you ever been in a relationship where trust was broken? What can you do to keep your relationships real?

Let us keep our relationships intact by living in truth each day. Our relationships will not make it if we fake it. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6, NIV).

Scripture readings:

Genesis 31:4-13

Luke 16:10-12

1 Corinthians 13:4-7