Children's Children

Therefore I still contend with you,
declares the Lord,
    and with your children's children I will contend.
Jeremiah 2:9

How seriously do you take your life?

Do you realize that everything you do - even when no one can see - affects your family?

Of course you do. We all know that.

But really. Do you really understand the affect even secret and past sins have on your spouse and children?

The Lord told Jeremiah to warn the Israelites that because of their disobedience, He wouldn't only punish them, their children would be punished, as well.

Seems unfair, doesn't it? One passage in the Bible, at first reading, makes God look flippant - one minute like a kind grandfather and the next like an angry, vindictive mob boss.

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.
Exodus 34:6-7

How do we reconcile this?

Similar to our discussion of the responsibility of leaders versus individual accountability to God, we have to look at parents and children separately and together.

Parents are accountable to God for the choices they make and how they follow God.

Children are accountable to God for the choices they make and how they follow God.

But, sins of parents will affect their children's lives, directly or indirectly. Your unhealthy and ungodly choices will open your home to Satan's influence and remove God's hand of blessing from your family (see the story of Achan in Joshua 7 - thanks to Pastor Samra from Calvary Church for explaining this). The effects of this can be seen for generations. There are many examples of this, prevalent among them being abuse and sexual sin.

While children are ultimately accountable to God directly for their salvation and choices, parents have a great responsibility to demonstrate who God is and model how to follow Him.

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.
Deuteronomy 4:9-10

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:19-21

This is truly a weighty and seemingly impossible task. But there is hope. Remember that when we are following the Lord, He gives us supernatural power to accomplish whatever task He has set before us. I don't have kids yet, but I know from the testimony of many godly parents that this is true.

How do we do this?

1) Ask the Lord to reveal any unconfessed or unrepentant sin in your life.

2) Ask God for wisdom on how to teach your children the law of the Lord.

3) Ask Him to give you a hunger for His Word and His presence to strengthen your walk with Him.

God is faithful. He will be walking with us.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.

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