The Ten Commandments mention parental relationships two times; once positively and once negatively. No parents are perfectly good or perfectly bad. Whether the influence is 99% in one direction or 1% in the other, in every generational relationship, there are good things to receive and bad things to reject.
“… visiting the sins of the fathers on the sons …” (Deuteronomy 5:9)
God does not punish us for our parents’ wrongdoings. However, the result of our parents’ lacks and wrongs does have a great influence on us. Some fathers have been abusive; some have been absent. Even mothers have faults. We have to forgive our parents and remove the negative influence from our memories, souls and behavior. Sometimes a person unconsciously repeats the same bad actions of his parents; or sometimes a person over-reacts in just the opposite way; which is still in effect, letting that influence dominate us.
“Honor your father and your mother …” (Deuteronomy 5:16)
When we honor someone, we place ourselves in a position to receive good things from them. When we honor our parents, we receive the good spiritual inheritance and qualities that they had to pass on to us. Honor goes up, and blessing comes down.
We have to make peace with our “inheritance” from our parents, and their influence in our lives. I recently came across an old photo of my parents, when they were the age that my children are now(!). When I saw it, I experienced an inner release and freedom. It was as if I was finally totally at peace and in line with who my parents are.
There is a process that many of us go through. At each age of our children’s lives, we understand our parents’ perspective of their relationship with us when we were that age. This gives us a “second chance,” as it were, to repent, to be set free and receive blessing.
This week, we had a time of discussion and prayer with the men on our team in which we realized that many of the issues we seem to be struggling with in the ministry organization, the congregations, and our decision making processes, had nothing to do with what seemed to be the obvious issue! In each case the responses were not appropriate or proportionate to the issue we were dealing with, and it all had to do with our relationships with our fathers.
In order to become the person God made each of us to be, to fulfill our destiny, and to bear much fruit in our lives, we must be healed of parental wounds, forgive our parents of their wrongs, and receive their good qualities.