It's October 1, ya'll!
Today's topic went straight to my heart. It's all about sin. Yuck. In Exodus 34, God tells Moses that although He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, loving and forgiving of wickedness, rebellion, and sin he "does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation" (6-7).
Wait! Even though I am forgiven, my children will pay the price for MY sin? Ouch. I've heard these verses before in a book I read by Craig Chapin , Your Unforgettable Life: Only You Can Choose the Legacy You Leave. I remember reading them and thinking, that's not fair, but today's discussion led me to a few different thoughts.
This concept is called generational sin, and it implies that our sin--whether passed down or 1st generation--will impact our children's lives. The examples Mary gave begin all the way back in Genesis -first book of the Bible, folks- with Abraham. THE FATHER OF THE FAITH! Even he had the same problem. His sin was lying about Sarah being his wife. Because Sarah was so beautiful--her name means "princess"--he fears that he will be killed if men know that she is his wife. He lies to King Abimelech who takes Sarah for his own because he thinks she is Abraham's sister. However, God does not allow Abimelech to sin against Sarah or Abraham.
Next generation: Isaac says the exact same lie as his father about Rebekah.
Next generation: Jacob lies to Isaac to get his father's blessing. Plus, BONUS, Rebekah and Isaac begins their own legacy of favoritism.
Next generation: Jacob shows favoritism to Joseph-remember his beautiful coat?
Next generation: Joseph's brothers lie about his death when they actually sold Joseph into slavery.
Are you getting the picture? The sin must feel even uglier when seen in our own children. Especially if we know we are the one who helped put it there. It's an unwelcome inheritance, an unattractive legacy, but a chain that can be broken.
Mary's advice/homework/request: Go before God. Ask Him, "What is the sin in my life?" Ask for Him to reveal to how sin is affecting those around us, our children, the generation to come. Then, we reconcile ourselves with God. Repent. Really repent instead of doing the same thing again, and again, and again... For if we repent, and through the grace of God, are able to change our ways, we will be able to bless our children. We won't pass it on. But it has to start with the revelation. Sometimes we are sinning without realizing it.
Mary suggested looking at these areas in our lives: lying, sexual sin and addictions. We discussed other areas where we struggle and the fact that some things we are doing aren't sinful, but are causing us to sin. There are "good" things that are keeping us from our husbands, our children and our closeness with God. There are attitudes we have that do not show the world God's love or that we are followers of Christ.
It's all for my kids, but it's for me, too. I keep seeing that as we work on ourselves and our relationship with God, our lives are only going to get better. Our relationships with others. Our relationships with our husbands, our kids, our parents, our co-workers. I think I've said or realized something like this before. Now, go. I'm going.