Chapter 4 of breaking free by, Beth Moore actually took me two weeks. As I was working through day one I had to stop. Not because of anything dramatic or terrible, but because I couldn’t answer the questions.
Week four is about our ancient ruins, our heritage, the negative and positive influences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.
You know that verse in the old testament that talks about our sins being handed down to the third and fourth generation? That’s what this is about. When we read that verse, we think that God is cursing us. That all of our sins will be passed down to our children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation. But that’s not what this versus actually about.
9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for 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,
The versus actually referring to what we teach our children. What our children learn from us by our actions, from our words.
As moms we stand in front of the mirror and we don’t like what we see, so what do we say? We say this looks terrible on me. Or we say my hair sucks today. Or we say I’m so fat today. Our daughter who is four is standing right there watching this whole thing unfold. What does she learned from that? She learns that she is not good enough, because her mom is not good enough.
About that alcoholic father? He comes home drunk night after night belligerent, abusive, and broken. What did we learn from that alcoholic father? We learned that when life sucks, things are hard, we can turn to alcohol. We become the belligerent, abusive and broken as well. Then we pass that down to our children and they pass it down to their children.
Week 4 was about breaking those bonds of brokenness and sin. It was about not passing those things down to our children and our grandchildren.
So back to day one, we were supposed to write positive and negative influences in our lives from our maternal and paternal grandparents and our parents.
I didn’t know my grandparents very well, so I wrote down what I knew. I knew nothing positive. Then I got to my parents. It took me a week and a half to come up with positive influences from my parents. That’s why this took me two weeks to do this chapter.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore my parents. My life was shattered when I watched my daddy slip away. My heart is broken watching my mother slip away. By choices of their own making.
But trying to come up with positive influences from my mom and dad was difficult. And after day one I just shut the book. But as I prayed throughout the last several days, I started asking the Lord to point out to me the positive things that I got from my mom and dad.
So what I came up with was both of my parents were very hard-working people. They weren’t lazy. As much of a victim as my mother was in her lifetime, she didn’t play the victim. She was stubborn and strong-willed. My mom was tough. Now that could be a negative thing as well. I guess it depends on how you use it. My mother also gave me faith in God.
My dad was a kind man, he gave me a love for mechanical things like cars, motorcycles, guns, that type of thing. My dad was one for justice. He got really upset and proactive when people intentionally hurt others.
But this chapter is about breaking the bonds of the negative things. And to be honest I’ve done a lot of work over my lifetime on breaking some of those things.
Both of my parents were rebellious, stubborn, strong-willed and party animals. I’ve had my fair share of the partying days. I made some pretty bad choices in my younger days.
I am still very stubborn. I am strong-willed and I can be rebellious. I am now learning to be rebellious in the right way. Rebellion against the things and temptations of this world. Being a rebel FOR Christ.
Sometimes, we do not see things in our lives as sin or bondage. Like say, someone with low self esteme or anxiety. (I know, don’t shoot me just yet)
2 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
The more the enemy can keep us distracted by things like low self esteme or anxiety the less we will resist him. Hear me out here. So often it seems anxiety was passed down form our parents. Or it seems everyone has anxiety and it’s the new “normal”.
Our moms had low self esteme. We inherited it. But what if I was to tell you, that is exactly what Satan, the enemy wants you to believe? If he can keep us distracted, we are less likely to be effective for Christ. And friends, it’s working perfectly. We are playing right into his schemes.
That’s what Breaking Free is all about. Letting go of those thought patterns that keep us in bondage to things we “think” we can’t control. We must break free from addiction, alcoholism, anger, unforgiveness, anxiety, abuse, being the victim and anything else that keeps our focus from Jesus.
I say we break out of the norm and stop thinking we are like everyone else so it’s normal. That these things can’t be changed or what we are struggling with isn’t sinful or bad because everyone else has it or does it too.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Let’s break free this week from those things passed down from generation to generation and walk in the way of everlasting!
What attributes did you receive from your parents and grandparents? How can you begin to break free from the negative ones this week?