A TRUE STORY
An only child, she herself had been considered a miracle conception by the medical community. Now newly married and sitting in the doctor’s office, she was devastated by the news she had inherited her mother’s condition. “Impossible to conceive”. Those words repeated themselves over and over in her head the coming weeks. “We can always adopt” her sweet husband would tell her in her dark moments, as she grieved her inability to carry a new life.
Years and thousands of dollars later, they welcomed their sweet baby boy. After much debate, they had decided to adopt locally instead of internationally, and their blond haired, blue eyed boy was everything they had prayed for and dreamed of.
They knew little about his birth mom. They knew she was unfit to care for him due to various issues, but that was all. Yet all of that didn’t matter – in their intense love for their new baby, they knew they could handle whatever life brought them.
They raised him in a conservative and loving environment. Adventurous and fun, they kept him busy, but away from violent video games and toy guns. They modeled and taught moderation, kindness and forgiveness. They encouraged him in music; even praising his efforts in a band whose chosen genre they would have never picked. They loved their boy unconditionally.
Still blond haired and blue eyed, their boy approached high school demonstrating alarming behavioral patterns. He was loose with girls. He abused drugs. He was drawn to violence. How was it possible that their boy, whom they had raised so well, would be attracted at so young an age to things they had never dreamed of, or even exposed him to?
PATTERNS THAN RUN IN FAMILIES
Generational curses sound pretty intimidating, yet it could be re-worded this way: family patterns. Have you ever noticed that some families tend to have the same addictions or issues? We see it often with alcohol, drugs, anger or rage. It’s not uncommon to find an alcoholic who had an alcoholic parent and grandparent. Our kids inherit our looks and demeanor, yet we often forget about our patterns, or even addictions. If your family patterns are less noticeable than alcohol and drugs, it’s likely you’ve overlooked them, but they are there.
Here are some often overlooked patterns: Sex. Immorality. Lust. Adultery. Incest. These ‘behavioral’ patterns are present in many families, and without stopping them, they run rampant in family lines. While the Bible contains many passages on generational sins being passed down, many have written them off as being too “charismatic”, or “old covenant” doctrine. However, the last 30 years has seen many breakthroughs in the scientific community, and completely secular studies are proving what the Bible has always said: “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, 41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. Leviticus 26:39-42
The way your great-grandparents lived affects you today, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. The way you live today will have an effect on the generations after you. How does that work? “Research shows that genes are being turned on and off – every day – by your beliefs, feelings and attitudes, which guide your choices. These beliefs, feelings and attitudes are all housed in your thoughts, which are the neuron networks in the brain. When genes turn on, genetic expression occurs stimulating many things to happen in your body and brain, of which the growth of new thoughts and redesign of existing thoughts is paramount. Science shows you have the potential to shift those genes through the choices you make! These choices are electromagnetic and chemical signals that change you physically for better or worse…for ‘life or death.'” – Dr Caroline Leaf
We could summarize what Dr Leaf is saying this way: you inherited certain tendencies, or patterns in the genes that were passed down to you. But you are not chained to those. They have the miraculous ability to change by the way you live, and the choices you make. In fact, negative patterns can be completely reversed. Isn’t that amazing?
If you can already identify some negative family patterns, write them down and begin to pray that God breaks those patterns. If you’re not sure about the existing patterns, ask God to show you. Once these patterns are broken, it’s important that you walk them out. The patterns in our brain are like an interstate. If for most of our lives we’ve been driving on the same five lane interstate, and we suddenly turn on a rough, unpaved path going the opposite direction, it can be tempting to give up and go back to the comfortable highway. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, stick with it. Not just for freedom for yourself, but freedom for your children, grandchildren – great-grandchildren. You can also do some research on what the Bible says about generational curses. One of the meanings of the word “curse” is “a cause of harm or misery”, which is exactly what these family patterns are. It’s also important that we know asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Overcoming harmful patterns is hard, and sometimes you really need someone to help you keep going. Often churches can recommend Christian counseling agencies, with professional counselors who have years of experience in specific areas. Whatever it takes to get freedom for you and your family is worth it.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.