We sat in Panera bread—our soup, salad, and chips spread out on the table in non-orderly fashion. After a quick pause for prayer, we joyfully dug in. As we mindlessly moved from our hot soup, to sips of water in between, to small bites of cold crisp salad, the older lady sitting across from me—the one who had invited me out for an impromptu lunch date, the one who emanated wisdom without haughtiness—looked me squarely in the face with eyes that exuded heavenly zeal. She then carefully stated,
“Jessica, the sins you don’t surrender now to God, will be manifested in your children.”
There was no pause. And yet her words stopped all of time experienced for me in that moment.
This was my bible study leader and a woman who greatly feared the Lord. The way she spoke of the Lord drew me to her. I cherished her words of advice. And so her warning pierced me in ways that others’ utterances simply couldn’t penetrate (due to my boundaries and sometimes pride).
She didn’t say “might be” or “could possibly.” She unapologetically said, “The sins you don’t surrender now to God, WILL BE manifested in your children.”
And then she used biblical examples and her own life experience to back it up.
The one sin that David didn’t take to the Lord regarded his sexual life. Just read the Psalms and you’ll see. David was open and transparent with God in several areas of his life, except when it came to sexual temptation. Hence, he had multiple wives and committed adultery/rape with Bathsheba.
Was sexual sin manifested in his children?
David’s son Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon’s pagan relations with women is believed to have been one of the main causes for the division of the Israelite kingdom an entire generation later.
David’s other son Amnon actually fell sick because Amnon was so overcome with lust for his half-sister Tamar. Tragically, Amnon’s lust eventually drove him to actually rape his own half-sister.
What about David’s other children?
When David committed his sexual sin with Bathsheba, the Lord said,
The Lord promised that the sexual sin that David did in secret would be manifested in public through someone else. That “someone else” was through David’s other son, Absalom. David’s son Absalom slept with all of David’s concubines openly for everyone to see.
Do you now see the common theme of sexual sin that ran rampant in David’s children?
If that example doesn’t convict you, let’s look at Abraham.
Abraham, the father of faith, had a habit of lying. Abraham lied TWICE and said that his wife, Sarah, was his sister when he was faced with the threat of death.
Because Sarah was beautiful, Abraham didn’t want Pharaoh (Genesis 12) nor King Abimelech (Genesis 20) to kill him in order to marry his wife, and so he lied on two separate occasions and said that she was his sister. Many years later, Abraham’s son, Isaac, was faced with a similar predicament and did the same. Isaac lied and told King Abimelech that his wife, Rebecca, was his sister (Genesis 26). That lie didn’t last long though because the king saw Isaac caressing his wife outside in a way that would have let anyone know that homegirl was not Isaac’s sister.
It doesn’t end there though. Many years later, Isaac’s son and Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, picked up this same sin too by lying and telling his father that he was his older brother, Esau instead of Jacob, in order to receive the blessing intended for the elder son. Then Jacob’s own children lied to him by telling him that Joseph, their brother and Jacob’s youngest son at the time, was killed by a wild beast when in actuality they had sold Joseph off into slavery to the Ishmaelites (Genesis 36). The “lying” stronghold manifested itself generationally, from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and all the way to the children of Jacob.
So when my bible study leader said “will be” I see now that she’s right.
If I don’t sacrifice my choice of sin at the altar, the sin that Christ died for, the sin that I can experience victory over- it is more than likely going to be manifested in my children.
This is how generational curses, sins, and struggles persist through family lines. It is up to us as believers to interrupt these patterns.
How can you change the future of your family? Surrender to God the choice of sin you so dearly cling to. In so doing, you can protect your children from experiencing the same struggle.
Do you disrespect your husband without shame?
Do you panic and allow fear and anxiety to dictate your actions when you feel out of control?
Do you surrender those insecurities about your body or looks by clinging to God’s word that says you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Or do you fuel them by comparing yourself to others in your newsfeed, insta stories, and celebrity fanfare?
Do you find that you often covet? As in do you find yourself secretly wanting the social status, marital status, children status, or any status of others?
These struggles may feel personal to just you, but be not deceived...
Your son is watching.
Your daughter is observing.
Would you want your son marrying someone like you?
Would you want your daughter following in your footsteps?
Even if children are only a dream of your future, they will still be impacted by your actions in the present.
Again, surrender whatever choice of sin you so dearly cling to. Otherwise, it could be manifested in your children.
Lastly, there’s hope.
If you’ve seen this to already be true in your own life and in your own children, identify the generational sin by name and rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Prayer is powerful. It’s never too late to experience the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in your life, your children’s lives, and in generations to come.
What sin do you currently hold onto? Is it worry? Is it compulsive eating? Is it laziness? Excessive spending? Substance abuse? Negative thought pattern? Do whatever you must to surrender it. Lay it at the altar. Christ died for it. There’s no need carrying it, experiencing defeat, and passing it on from one generation to the next. But I beg you. Let go of it today. You never know how the deliverance you seek today sows into the freedom your children will reap tomorrow.