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This is a topic that you will find in literature, music and the Bible. Moses said “The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons to the third and fourth generations of those that hate me” in Deuteronomy 5: 9-10. But he did go on to say “showing mercy to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.” Thank God that he added the statement about showing mercy!
In our fallen and sinful state we possess a heart and mind that is not always inclined towards God. We go through life and we see some of the negative attributes of our fathers start to take root in our lives. You can refer to them as generational curses, learned behavior or inherited behaviors. Either way, if they are sinful, we must deal with them so that it does not get worse for our children. Whether those traits are anger and abuse or drunkenness and pornography, we tend to do what we see. We learn more by watching than we do by listening for the most part. We are told that the most powerful influence in a boys life is his father. Many young men have said “When I grow up, I’m gonna be just like my father.” But the reality is, our children don’t see the error of our was and unless we start to do something, start to make some changes in our lives.. Our children will probably replicate many of the sins and bad behaviors. And to think that we could have prevented some of their challenges..
If we accept this all as being true and want to create change, we have a big job ahead of us as fathers. It should become clear that we must rid our lives of anything that is outside of God and His influence. It is our responsibility to erase any traits that we do not want our sons to possess from our own lives. This may sound like a tall order, in reality it is not as tall as you would think. It will take us relying on and trusting in God to help us through each day, as well as making better decisions with His help.
God said that He would show grace and Mercy to thousands that would love Him and keep His commandments. We see in Lamentations 3:22-23 That the steadfast love of The Lord never ceases and that God extends His mercy toward us and those mercies are new every morning! This tells me that I have a chance to succeed every morning when my eyes open and I pick my head up off that pillow. I have the opportunity to start over and create new habits, behaviors and responses. This may take a degree of mindfulness that we are not accustomed to at first, but as we do it more and more, it becomes natural.
Where do I start to make changes so that the sins of me and my father are not visited on my sons and grandsons?
It starts with our relationship with our God and creator. I have found that in my life, when I am reading and learning from God and his Word, I am a kinder more thoughtful person. I am sure my family would agree! I am more aware of me, my responses and behaviors. I mean that in the sense that I have a different perspective on things as they occur. I am a bit more forgiving to the person that cuts me off in traffic, or more patient with that one person that seems to know it all and is going to tell you all about it. I am more accepting of the daily challenges and less apt to react in a negative manner. It does not mean that I become a more passive version of myself that allows people to walk on me. Kind and thoughtful do not equate to weak and spineless. It means that you are considering all perspectives and reacting in a more tempered manner that display self-control and God’s love. Not always easy!!
A few tips to get you started:
- Start with a few minutes each morning reading something out of the Bible. If it is a Psalm and a Proverb, or a chapter in the devotional plan you can get on your phone.
- Have a morning briefing with God. Prayer does not need to be complicated, just have a conversation with your heavenly Father.
- Keep that conversation open throughout the day. Prayer is not a telephone call where you hang up and it is over. It is like having a friend with you all day. Sometimes you talk, sometimes you don’t.
- Be mindful of the impact that your words and decisions have on those around you. Be especially mindful of your reactions towards your wife and children. Exercise the fruits of the Spirit that we find in Galatians 5:22-23.
This doesn’t not need to be difficult and unattainable. Take a couple small steps towards improvement each day. Remember that old adage that “Rome was not built in a day?” Well I am here to tell you that all the good habits and behaviors you desire to form will not happen in one time of attempting this. You are going to need to do it until.. Until it becomes a habit. Until it becomes a part of who you are. Until you don’t remember any different. Determine in your mind that you are committed to a constant process of improvement and you will succeed. If you set goals that are not realistic, you will ultimately quit and fall back into old destructive habits and behaviors.
I hope this has been helpful in some way. As usual, fell free to like, share, comment, retweet, etc..
Stay strong and Be Blessed!