Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Refusing Your Inheritance: Breaking Generational Curses

"The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Numbers 14:18

We're part of the same family, shared the same parents, grew up in the same house and yet, we're noticeably different. From the color of our hair to the shapes of our noses, apart from our parents, you'd be hard-pressed to identify us as sisters. Our physical features play witness to our ancestors: the red-headed, green-eyed Irish, the olive-skinned, brown-eyed Portuguese, and the fair-skinned British blond.

Beyond our physical traits, God's word says we also inherit the sins and blessings of our family to the third and fourth generation. We welcome blessings; the more the better, right? But what about he curses? We can't ignore our inherited curses or sweep them under the rug because eventually, we'll have to face them. I don't mean we need to wallow in them, stay stuck in generational sin, but we need to face them before they unexpectedly sneak up on us.

This weighed me down when I considered marriage. With at least two generations of infidelity/divorce in my family--a history I couldn't control and certainly not a promising one in the face of planning my own wedding--the statistics were against me. My heart toyed with me making it difficult to trust my then, fiance, no matter how loyal he'd proven himself.

But I knew a faithful God who "is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion."

And this, I learned: Christ's redemptive power in this world, in my own life allowed me to break generational curses. Repeatedly, throughout scripture we see where one generation either inherits God's punishment (curses based on their sin) or they inherit God's blessing (based on repentance and following God's ways). And here's the key: regardless of their inheritance, they could change it for the good if they followed God's ways.

I refused my inheritance and chose to break the generational curse of infidelity and divorce and my fiance had to be in agreement before we married. We couldn't just hope for the best, we couldn't just make a pact--we relinquished control of relationship, our marriage and our future family to God's ways. Simply put, we chose to follow God. That meant our personal relationship with Christ trumped our relationship with each other (that's difficult for newlyweds) and Christ became central in our marriage and family.

Ha, ha...don't laugh at our 1984 styles!
August marks our twenty-eighth anniversary. Can I hear a woot-woot for God's redemptive power? (I smile as I type this as our wedding processional music, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, streams from Pandora Radio).

Breaking generational sin and building an inheritance of blessing for our children, our grandchildren and even our great grandchildren is a conscious choice. It takes choosing God's ways in every family situation, especially the times when we could easily fall into your previous inherited curses.

What will it be for you, today, blessing or curses?

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

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