Sins of the Father

Published on Dec 4th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Sins of the Father

Sins of the Father

I know that there is a lot of discussion concerning how the sins of the fathers affect the lives of the children.  Passages in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Ezekiel, etc. are often used to teach how God punishes the children for the sins that the fathers have committed.  I believe that if you read all of the passages you will discover that teaching to be very skewed at best. There may be something to the fact that if my dad had sinned greatly and God punished him that I would live with some of the effects of that judgment; but, God does not punish me for the sins of my father.  Jesus clears this up for me in John 9.

What I would like you to think about today, though, is how much we have affected the lives of our children.  Watching our children and realizing how much they have picked up from our lives is, at the same time, encouraging and frightening.  Mannerisms, habits, speech patterns, humor, facial expressions…it can be downright freaky at times.  What is even more freaky is when people tell you how much your children are like you.  We are often so blind to the impact we have had on our children.

Wise parents will use this to their advantage.  When my children make fun of my old-age appearance I share with them how I am just a picture of their future.  I am a living embodiment of what they will become…it scares them so much that they have nothing left to say.  But there is another application of wisdom here.  When we find ourselves butting heads with our children and being surprised at how our children are handling life we should pause for a moment and stop and think where they learned this kind of behavior.  Of course it will be obvious that they learned these sinful behaviors from our spouse!…but this little process may give us insight as to how we can help our children.  If we can allow the Spirit to open up our eyes to how much our children are acting just like us…then we can seek the Spirit’s illumination into the Word of God to teach us how we can change.  As the Spirit reveals to us what is really going on in our hearts and how God has designed for us to change we can then begin to have insight into how to speak to our child’s heart.

It is hard for us to admit when we see our children acting in a sinful way.  We cannot admit that we have modeled that behavior or heart attitude before them.  In fact, we often are so shocked at their behavior that we believe that it is against everything we have ever taught them.  And maybe it is…I certainly do not want to lay extra guilt at the feet of parents whose children have wandered from the truth.  Children make their own choices and are responsible to God for their own lives.  But I have noticed something in my own life.  When my children sin and it is not a sin I have personally struggled with I react with disappointment, worry, and prayer.  But when I react with shock, embarrassment, and disbelief it is often due to the fact that I do not want to admit that what they are struggling with is what I have so often struggled with.  Rather than having more empathy and patience I often overreact and deal in harshness.

I would encourage you today to relook at those struggles you are having with your children where you are shocked and angered with your children’s behavior.  Is it because it is too much of a reflection back on your heart?  Too much a reflection of your struggle?  You are not responsible for your child’s sin.  They chose to do that all on their own.  But use this situation as a chance to allow God to change you.  Then out of that change ask God to give you the opportunity to lead your children in how to change.  You will find that the grace, mercy and forgiveness that God has given you will be what motivates you now to help your children.

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