Fourteen books in the Bible list the genealogy of the people of God, but I can only name a few of those passages. Why? Well, to be honest, I normally skip over them or skim them very quickly without retaining much of the information. Why would a list of names from generation to generation have any effect on me and my belief in God? Although knowing the lineage of the people of Isreal or the generational line that led to Jesus doesn’t seem to be important I beg to differ. What this list of people shows is God’s handiwork and His eye for detail. Each and every person is perfectly placed in the line and is given unique gifts to pass on to their children. We find this in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and even in our own lives. Think about your parent then their parents and then your great-great grandparents. Although you might not have personally got to meet them you know about them and possibly even do things because of how they did things. A large part of who we are is made up of who we are raised by and what we learn from them.
You have heard of generational trauma, where pain, anger, addiction, and sinful tendencies get passed down from generation to generation. It is like a never-ending spiral to acceptance of unacceptable behaviors that only lead the people of God away from His intent for their lives. On the flip side of that, there is also generational love and acceptance that gives us the ability to be free from the weight of the pain of our parents. It gives us the ability to redefine who we are and who we want our children to be. Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Love for others starts at home and radiates out into our community and from our community into our states and from our states into the world.
If you come from a broken and sinful family… well that is completely normal because no family is perfect no matter how hard they try to make it look that way. I urge you to do your best to take the good from your upbringing and pass it on to your children or to the children God brings into your life even if they are not in your bloodline. When we make the decision to overcome our bad tendencies and pursue righteousness instead the Lord rejoices and our children pick up good habits. An example from my own life is my grandmother who has experienced an abundance of loss in her own life starting from a young age, she lost a child at 11 months old, then many years later her son and husband in months of each other. With the immense amount of pain that comes with those losses, she put it into something productive and worked through it instead of turning to drugs, alcohol, or other dangerous coping methods. Although we knew the pain in her heart was great she still found a way to have joy in her heart, which taught me that no matter the depth of pain and suffering I endure God is bigger and greater and joy comes in the morning. Her ability to make it through and to continue on is the greatest gift she can leave me when God calls her home.
I leave you with this… What do you want your children and grandchildren to remember you as? Will it be good or bad?