All throughout God’s Word we see God’s work in families and patterns of behaviors repeating itself. The most remembered is David and his son Solomon. If you interview families they will share family patterns of alcoholics, sexual abuse, anger… I was listening to a young man’s story of how he wanted a relationship with is father so badly, he was willing to commit similar crimes and go to prison. His father had the same patterns of behaviors. The son felt that if he behaved liked his dad, he could get to know his dad–be like him.
I’ve lived and worked in my profession long enough to hear mothers and fathers tell me how they said they were going to be different but, at thirty something, they find themselves with similar issues significantly impacting them and their parenting. They confess that they are repeating the same patterns.
In And Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh, she addressed generational patterns:
Just like shots giving to an infant to protect them from diseases……..It is much the way with diseases of the soul. The same diseases or sins that your parents came up against in their life will very likely be the ones you struggle with as well. If you can be given a taste of that through their testimony–and perhaps seeing their shame and regret–you will be better able to fight against it.
Did you know that in Old Testament times children and families struggled in similar ways?
Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.
Interestingly, a sign of the end of this age, is father against children and children against each other–family discord. As I ponder this, I realize how inevitable it is, but also, God is providing a way. If the enemy can destroy a family, he has succeeded in destroying generations.
What I liked about Gresh’s idea of talking is this–ACKNOWLEDGING! Are we not surprised? Do we live in denial? Seek God and truly ask Him what patterns of behaviors need to be changed and talk to your children–be real with them on their developmental level. Maybe you need to seek counseling first to heal, but ignoring, hiding, and pretending is the enemy’s way of keeping patterns going generation after generation.
Inoculate your children–talk to them about what God has done for you, saved you from, healed you from and be willing to apologize and change. Own it, share it, and talk…..
The young man above who wanted to be just like his dad is a great earthly example of the power of being just like our HEAVENLY father. If you are a young person in a situation in which your parents can’t be a role model, then “be just like your Abba–your Daddy”. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Seek Him. Know Him in the true sense of the word know–be intimate with Jesus. He wants a daily, intimate relationship with you.
Rev. John A Fair asked his congregation in a recent sermon (11/10/2013):
Jesus asks: Who do they (out there) say that I am? Who is Jesus for you? How does God care for all your needs, for you in your suffering … in your rejection? To what are you being asked to die in (to let go of that is) in order to follow Jesus in all of life’s circumstances?