Friday, June 13, 2008

Generational Curses

I used to scoff at the talk of childhood pastors when they got on the subject of generational curses. All of that "sins of the father" becoming the "sins of the son" stuff made no sense to me. Oh, the blissful ignorance of youth.

I must admit that my realization of generational curses had nothing to do with the inside of a church or a preacher's well-worded sermon. Instead it came from real-life experiences. Let's start with alcoholism. Alcoholism runs in my family - my father was an alcoholic, his brother was an alcoholic, one of his sisters was an alcoholic. I am sure that it ran back farther than that, but I did not know them well. I married an alcoholic - it ran in his family, too. A father, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew... Then I found studies showing that there is a genetic marker for alcoholism. The sins of the father being passed to the son. And so I began to teach my own daughters about the genetic factors of alcoholism and how to avoid "awaking" that particular gene in their make-up. It was an effort at breaking the cycle. Whether or not it works is entirely up to them.

Addictions are not the only generation curses. Abuse falls into this category. Those who are abused are more likely to abuse others. It is the patterened behavior that we learn and repeat. Those who are raised by enablers often become enablers. Those who fight weight issues often come from families who fight weight issues. It is a vicious, frantic part of life.

It is only through recognizing that we are falling under a generational curse that we can break its hold. The "curse" may begin somewhere other than ourselves, but we hold the key to breaking the cycle. We can acknowledge our risk of dependency and learn to avoid triggers and usage in order to keep that particular curse out of our lives. We can acknowledge received abuse and obtain counseling to keep ourselves from passing on this curse.

We must learn to live - and learn - from the darkness that we cannot escape. That is the permanance of a generational curse. It will always be there. But that does not mean that we have to fall for its effects or pass it on to others. We can learn to conquer the darkness and remove its fear. Dare to explore your own generational curses, take hold of them, and break the cycle!

No comments: