We hear a lot about breaking generational curses.
But what about recognizing generational blessings?
Exodus 20:5-6 “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
If you came from a family who love the Lord, you have reaped generational blessings, whether you realize it or not.
And if you didn’t, there’s no better time to let the blessings begin with you!
Curses or blessings, it all begins with choices.
When we choose to honor God, the blessings flow.
I don’t know who began the cycle of generational blessings in my family, but I was recently reminded of the blessing of being part of a family with strong faith.
We went to visit my aunt and uncle at their fruit stand, and on the way back, we passed by my grandparents’ old home place. They have passed on, and the old house burned years ago.
But we noticed something as we pointed out the site to the kids.
Even though my grandparents have long resided in Heaven, and have not tended the ground in many years, it is very fertile.
The people who live there in a new house have a thriving garden. And you can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with what my grandmother invested there.
She could grow anything, and always had the prettiest vegetable garden and flowers you ever saw.
My mom commented that the garden there now is probably doing so well because of the all the fertilizing Momaw did over the years.
Maybe that’s it. But maybe it’s also all the prayers she prayed over the soil and all those she sent up as she worked in her garden.
Her green thumb was amazing and her faith was strong!
Her garden wasn’t the only thing she invested in and prayed over.
I am certain that she prayed for us too, cultivating her children and grandchildren even more carefully than she tended her garden.
And though we are far from perfect, none of us have gone down really destructive paths.
Nobody’s in prison or struggling with addiction.
(Without going into any detail, we were all at risk for addiction. I believe my grandmother, along with her mother, prayed the demons of alcoholism away. And God in His mercy spared us.)
We all get along, and we love each other deeply. There are never any family squabbles and we have a good time when we get together.
Most importantly, as far as I know, all the grown-ups have accepted Christ as Savior.
In a family the size of ours, I think that is pretty rare.
I don’t know whether my grandmother knew anything about generational blessings, but she sure loved the Lord. And because of this, she brought blessings to us all.
Please, please hear me and understand my heart when I tell you that I KNOW there are lots of people who DO love the Lord, who have had the heartbreak of children who have gone astray.
This doesn’t mean that these people did anything wrong or that they don’t love the Lord with all their hearts!
There are no guarantees. Prodigals come into every sort of family.
If this is your situation, please know you have already started or passed along a cycle of blessing, whether your prodigal is ready to receive it or not.
Cling to this promise: “Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
You have done your part. The rest is up to your prodigal. No matter what a great job you did in investing in their life, they still have free will when it comes to following the Lord.
Just keep on trusting and believing and praying. And never give up on that one that special someone whom you love.
During my own time as a prodigal, there were three things that kept me from going past the point of no return: 1.) The Holy Spirit keeping my heart convicted; 2.) Knowing how my parents would feel about the choices I was making and the heartbreak they would feel if something happened to me; and 3.) The prayers of those who love me.
While there are no guarantees, I believe there are some things we can do to pass along a cycle of generational blessing.
I never knew Momaw Williams’s mother, Granny Holland. She died when I was only a few months old.
But I have heard about her prayer habits.
My mama has told me of times when she would come in late and hear Granny up praying out loud in her bedroom. (Granny Holland lived with my grandparents, so my mother had the benefit of growing up with two strong Christian women in the home.)
And I have been blessed to learn from my mother. She taught me what’s important in life and what really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
Mama taught me how to live, how to work and how to love.
Mama always took us to church, and she prayed for us.
Mama is keeping the generational blessings going, and I hope to do the same.
So, how can we pass on these generational blessings?
It’s pretty simple. Just show your children, or any kids you influence these two things:
1. What it looks like to love the Lord with your heart, soul and mind.
2. What it looks like love your neighbor as yourself.
When asked which is the greatest commandment,
“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
And James tells us that:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
I fail so often. But God is merciful, and honors our efforts. Here are some of the ways you can put loving the Lord and your neighbor into practice.
Spend time with the Lord and let your children know that you do.
Spend time with your kids. Make sure your influence is the strongest in their lives.
Reach out to those who are hurting or in need, and encourage your children to do the same.
Take your kids to church.
Worship openly, and not just at church.
Teach your children to pray. Let them see you pray, and pray with them.
Teach them to live by God’s standards that are set forth in His Word.
Help them to memorize scripture.
Let them see you read the Bible, and encourage them to study the Word.
Model thankfulness and generosity.
Love and accept all people. Not just the ones who are like you.
Grab hold of teachable moments and talk about the Lord anytime there’s an opportunity.
Keep your priorities in line. Make sure that time with your family and time with the Lord comes first and don’t allow anything to overcrowd your schedule.
Admit that you’re not perfect and let them know how you depend on God.
Pour into them, putting their needs before your own.
But don’t spoil too much. Cultivate and expect responsibility.
Set clear expectations.
God wants to bless us all.
That’s why He gave His only Son to be our greatest blessing of all.
But we have to be able to receive what He offers.
Sin in our lives blocks blessings. Bad choices have consequences.
Oh, but good choices…how they spill over into the lives of our kids and their kids, and their kids’ kids..
If you have been hurt by life and the consequences of sin in your family, just know that God loves you.
He wants to bless you and your family.
None of us are perfect, but when we want to please God and our choices reflect that desire, He takes notice!
So keep those generational blessings flowing or begin the cycle right now!