“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generation of those who are disobedient to me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Deuteronomy 5:9-10 NIV
- Every one of us has been deeply influenced by our family system of origin. Whether they displayed healthy or unhealthy characteristics, the environment and people who raised us, as well as the experiences that occurred within that system, had an incredible effect on the formation of our character in adulthood.
- We absorb the very patterns of behavior, belief systems, and relationship skills that were modeled to us, thus affecting every aspect of our adult lives.
- No matter what our earthly experience is or has been, we have a loving heavenly Father who seeks to “parent” us in His truth.
- Since He is the creator of the family system, He has the ability to supersede anything negative or toxic that we’ve experienced – if we allow Him to.
God’s Intention for The Family
Just like human beings, God desired a family of His own to care for, love, and bestow His provisions and blessings upon. In fact, all of us were created for God’s pleasure, to be loved, and to learn to give His love to others. The heart of God is depicted clearly through His creation of the family.
On earth, the purpose of the family was designed to provide a safe haven where love, security, and well-being allow for the healthy physical, emotion-al, mental, and spiritual growth of each member, especially the children. The family was intended to train its members for the “battlefield” of life. Children are to use the home, above any outside influence, to gain skills, to deal with emotions, to learn how to experience relationships, and to learn how to love. This special institution is meant to be a place of rest and safety amidst a world filled with troubles and pressures. It’s a place where we are meant to experience intimacy and find acceptance.
Understanding the Very First Family
Before we seek to understand the family in our own life, it is important to know that we were at a disadvantage coming into the world. We inherited dysfunctional family skills from our forefathers, and we have been bound by their toxic results ever since. This simply means that, like it or not, our families will have imperfections.
The history of the first family helps us accurately identify our own challenges within our family systems. Eve’s choice to disobey God’s simple commandment that she was not to eat from one particular tree in the garden wasn’t just a mistake. She chose to believe and trust that what Satan had told her was true, and that what God had told her was not. Not only that, but as she unseated God’s position of authority in her life, she then opened the door for her husband to do the same. Adam’s sin wasn’t just that he disobeyed God, but that he allowed himself to be influenced by his wife through a lie that she had been told. In essence, Adam gave her permission to be in a position of authority over himself and God. His inability to stand up to her in the name of truth cost him dearly. Regardless of Eve’s choices or actions, God held Adam responsible for the sin of them both because God had appointed Adam the leader of that family relationship.
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