Generational Effects

I have been marinating over this blog post over the last week. This is the final blog post to come out of Genesis 4. As I prayed this morning, I sensed the Holy Spirit birthing this post. After reading about Cain and Abel, I often wondered how Eve was feeling. I can imagine at this point she was really regretting eating that fruit. She was watching with her own eyes, the effects of sin.  She is realizing that her choices not only affected her and Adam but they affected her children.

I have watched this in my own life. The choices I made out of my brokenness or stubbornness, depending on the moment, have affected my children in ways that have pained my heart. Some things have come through my generational lines and some things have just stemmed from continual bad choices or people pleasing and the need to be accepted by people, instead of being content with God’s love and acceptance of me.

[bctt tweet=” Adam and Eve’s choices not only affected Cain and Abel but they affect us today.” username=”]

Their choice changed the world completely. Sin was ushered in and it is still a battle today. Our choices and sins affect not only our children but generations down the line.

Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.” Deuteronomy 24:16 (NASB)

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18:20 (NIV)                                                                                                                                       

Although it is the truth that our parents and grandparents etc., have had an effect on us in positive and negative ways, it does not give us the right to blame them for all our wrong choices. The bible says everyone is responsible for our own sin. The generational effects make things harder for us many times but we are still responsible for our own stuff.

Being responsible for our own stuff includes dealing with forgiving those who came before us and those who affected our lives in ways that hindered us. It means dealing with the pain of rejection and hurts. It means getting rid of bitterness, resentment, and harbored anger and jealousy.

This is not easy. It is being intentional and doing the hard work.

And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.” Nehemiah 9:2 (NASB)

Being responsible also means separating ourselves from those sins. It requires repenting of our own sins and the sins that have been carried down through our generational line.

[bctt tweet=”Repentance means a turning away from sin. We need to repent and walk away from these sins.” username=”]

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

This is one of my favorite characteristics of our Heavenly Father. He never requires obedience where He doesn’t give us help. He has given us what we need to walk away from sin. He is faithful to provide a way out, a way of escape.

[bctt tweet=”He does not say it will be easy. He says it is possible because He is with us and He has given us everything we need to do it. ” username=”

I will restore to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25 (ESV)

This verse has been an encouragement over the years. I believe God is restoring and redeeming all that the locust has eaten and the enemy has stolen along this life. I believe if we have a heart of repentance, a willingness to take the way out that God gives us, and we walk in obedience towards God instead of living in sin, He will restore us. He will free us.

As a mom, I have not always made the best decisions. I have not always taken the way out that God gave me. Sometimes it felt too hard and I allowed myself to walk in the flesh instead of the Spirit. Sometimes the pain and fear were so great, I allowed it to control me. Other times I was trying to do it in my own strength without God’s help. I didn’t always appreciate His ways or His timing.

Many nights I went to bed in tears, in repentance and a deep desire to be a great mom and a good co-leader in the home. I cried because the battle felt overwhelming. The task felt too big for me. I have had to ask God for forgiveness as well as my children. Even though my children are adults now, this all matters.

It matters that I surrender it all to God.

It matters that I am still, silent, and calm, allowing God to fight for me.

it matters that when I struggle, I seek God for the way out.

It matters that I walk in the Spirit and not in my flesh.

It matters when I fall, I am able to ask God and those around me for forgiveness.

It matters that I fight to live free!

It all matters!

I am thankful that my Heavenly Father provided a way for restoration and freedom through Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. I am thankful He has given us the Holy Spirit to guides us, convict us, and to help us live in the freedom Jesus died for.

This is my encouragement to us all today, not just for us but for our children and the generations after us.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NASB)