Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Meaning of Jabez

This blogpost is a “did you know?” kind of blogpost, but also it’s a post dedicated to anyone who has suffered childhood abandonment, neglect or rejection. If you have suffered childhood abandonment, neglect or rejection, allow this blogpost comfort your heart, soul and spirit. Now many of you are familiar with the book The Prayer of Jabez or perhaps the song Bless Me. I won’t talk about either of them in this blogpost (thank God).

Surprisingly, Jabez is only mentioned in two verses within the entire Bible. So, why is Jabez important (apart from the fact that he asked the Lord to enlarge his territory and to bless him indeed)? I’m glad you asked. If you look at 1 Chronicles 4:9 (which we overlook and go directly to verse 10), we get a backdrop on the life of Jabez. Verse 9 says this: Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.” Now you can look at this in one of two ways. The first way is because of the pain while giving birth to him. But let’s look at the second way. We can infer from verse 9 that there was no father in the picture. And if you think about it, within the OT, it was the father that named the child. But let’s look at the name Jabez, it also reveals the mother’s life. Jabez’s name actually means misery, pain and sorrow (and I would venture that no parent would intentionally name their child misery, pain or sorrow – maybe some would).

Think about this, in Genesis 38:18, when Rachel was about to pass away, she was giving birth to her second child (her first child was Joseph). Now, her second child’s name wasn’t originally Benjamin; it was originally named Ben-oni (son of her sorrow). That was because she was about to die. But Jacob (Rachel’s husband) named him Benjamin (son of my right hand) – to show that he was glad he was here. He didn’t want Benjamin to be a burden because of his name. Notice that it says “son of my right-hand” – that means a son in a position of importance and honor. That’s very important. How parents treat children will shape their future.

OK, back to Jabez. By giving Jabez that name, that would show the mother how she felt about him and or what he means to her. It also would show her the life she was living herself. Now, I want to expand this for a minute. Because regardless of the child’s name, but there are many parents who feel burdened because of their child, the pain that’s going on in their own lives, but also the fact that no man is stepping up to the plate to be a father (now that last part is for the single mothers). Do you know that a parent’s pain will actually shape a child’s mind if it’s left unchecked. In fact, a lot of how children turn out in life is based on the environment we were raised in. In fact, I’ll use myself in this case. When there’s an environment where secrets are held within the family unit (where there’s child abuse and child neglect), a child is going to act out all of the pain that’s inside if it’s not addressed and no healing was provided. How do I know? I’m currently in the healing process (some things were revealed as I got older in life).  – I mean I didn’t go out and do drugs, drink excessively, but there are some things I did during my teen years that I’m not proud of). Let me also say this: praise God knowing that He is the ultimate Healer, but sometimes we have to swallow our pride and seek professional help (if needed or He’s telling you to seek it) so you can walk in the inheritance that God has prepared for you.

Let’s go back to the lesson. If Jabez’s father wasn’t there, or his mother went through with his father (verbal arguments/confrontations), all that pain she had was being poured out into her son, Jabez. Sometimes parents fail to realize what we communicate to children and to the world.  But let’s look at us. If we have pain for whatever reason, we have to keep in mind what we communicate to the world. Sometimes others may experience indirect abuse because of your pain. How do I know this? I’ve done this at times (and of course, I have had to apologize on many occasions). Notice that Jabez’s mother didn’t name his other brothers that kind of name. Truth is, a son always has a good relationship with his mother (there’s a beautiful bond with a mother and a son). Let’s say hypothetically that Jabez didn’t deal with the sorrow that was brought on by his mother and he gets married. He will bring all of that into the marriage and into the children (hopefully, he will have an understanding wife that will help him heal – knowing that they are a unit and she’s in the fight with him and vice versa). But if it’s not dealt with, it’s worse at the second level.

Now I get to the crux of this blogpost: what did Jabez suffer from (just from what we read in verse 9)? Childhood rejection! You can’t be called pain, sorry, and misery without expecting rejection. Rejection can emotionally handicap you and any of you who have suffered childhood rejection will know exactly what I’m talking about! In fact, some of us have never fully healed from the rejection from childhood and it’s playing out in multiple ways (some greater, some smaller).

Here are some phrases that could hinge on childhood rejection: “if my sister wasn’t spoiled,” “if my parents would’ve protected me from my abuser,” “if my mother would stop beating me for minor things,” “if my mother or my father had spent more time with me,” and the list goes on.

I talked about some of the symptoms in a blogpost I did a few weeks back called “If God Really Loved Me, Why Was I Abused As A Child?” Here’s the link ->

Let’s now move to verse 10, what did Jabez do to break the childhood rejection? First, it said in verse 9 that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. And he turned to the Lord. He asked the Lord to bless him indeed and enlarge his territory. As a result, God honored his request. Verse 10 says this: so Jabez cried out to the God of Israel saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border [property], and that Your hand would be on me, and You would keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!” And God granted His request.

Jabez followed his heart beyond the words of his own mother and turned to God to boldly receive blessing, increase and freedom.

In closing: if you have suffered childhood rejection, please click on the link to read that blogpost. Now open your heart to receive this: God wants to you that He’s so good that He’s not going to let your negligent mother or father that had didn’t care about you, affect you if you come to Him. He’s saying that He’s got you, He knew you when you were in the womb. He’s also saying that He’s responsible for you and He just want you to come to Him right where you are. He wants a chance to take care of you. Stop blaming your predicament, your life and destiny on some other human being that needs a Savior just like you.


The Mayne Man

P.S. Also check out Psalm 34:8-10 and Psalm 27 in its entirety.

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