In the previous blog the Adverse Childhood Experience test allowed us to see where we stand on the perspective of abuse. Now we will look at how entangled these issues become in our life.

The idea that we were adversely affected by our childhood and therefore we aren’t responsible for the choices we make is wrong. As adults we should know right from wrong learned through teaching from the Bible, our parents and normal life events. Sometimes it takes awhile for us to recognize what we thought was normal is not. The purpose of recognizing these problems is not to dishonor our parents or grandparents but to recognize the obstacles we face caused by damage from our family’s past.

The following is an excerpt from Beth Moore’s bible study “Breaking Free”  page 86;

“Idolatry involves anything or anyone we worship, use as a replacement for God, or in any way treat as our God. Only Christ can set us free, all other gods or idols can only enslave; therefore, enslaved parents teach their children how to live in bondage even with the best of intentions to do otherwise. For many years I have kept an excerpt from “It’s Always Something” by the late Gilda Radner. The last few paragraphs share a lesson on life every parent should heed.

When I was little, my nurse Dibby‘s cousin had a dog, just a mutt, and the dog was pregnant. I don’t know how long dogs are pregnant, but she was due to have her puppies in about a week. She was out in the yard one day and got in the way of a lawnmower and her two hind legs got cut off. They rushed her to the vet and he said,  “I can sew her up, or you can put her to sleep if you want, but the puppies are okay. She’ll be able to deliver the puppies.”

Dibby’s cousin said “keep her alive.”

So the vet sewed up her backside, and over the next week the dog learn to walk. She didn’t spend any time worrying, she just learned to walk by taking two steps in the front and flipping up her backside, and then taking two steps and flipping up her backside again. She gave birth to six little puppies, all in perfect health. She nursed them and then weaned them. And when they learned to walk they all walked like her.”

In Numbers 14:18 we read “ the Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ Exodus 20:5 tells us “The sins of the fathers increase the vulnerability of the children to the third and fourth generation. God is merciful but until we acknowledge idolatry, those who follow us will learn what our idols are and follow them. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way when we turn from idols to God.

A class of drug addicts found one common denominator in their family’s, all of them had at least one alcoholic parent.  The parents weren’t all using drugs but their children learned to use an idol to cope with life, just as their parents did. 

Things that happen to us as a child that have nothing to do with fault or blame, such as loosing a parent, could leave us vulnerable to insecurities about who will be there for us in our needs. It could cause us to seek care in areas that are unhealthy.

Challenge yourself and ask what bad habit or baggage are my children learning from me?We all have something. Thankfully we should all have something of value they are learning from us as well. Hosea 8:7 tells us “if we sow the wind we reap the whirlwind.”

These facts can leave us scared, but we can’t forget there is only one perfect parent and that is God. It amazes me that with his perfection, he stilled loved me with all my imperfections. It should make us more aware of what we might be leaving behind as well as looking back to see what we might have learned from those ahead.

This study humbles me when I realize how I have made many mistakes in my life as well as in parenting.  The study also encourages me to know that I don’t have to stay in bondage to idols, God can set me free.  I am thankful to say I have found freedom from some of my chains and I know it is possible and it also is a wonderful feeling. It really is not a negative thing even though it might mean some hard work facing these giants. More of being set free in another post.

Here is a link to a successful chain breaker!

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