The Power of Family

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, but showing love to a thousandgenerations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

I've always felt uneasy about this passage. Is it really fair that kids get punished for the sin of their parents? 

We can debate whether God's approach here is right or wrong, but what we can't debate is whether it's reality or not. Families have power. Parents shape kids; we've all experienced this. And even when we try not to be like our parents in some way that irritated us as children, as adults we often find ourselves drawn back into the same patterns of behavior they modeled for us.

Back in Genesis 12 God promised to use Abraham's family to be a blessing to the entire world. That meant that God needed to empower the family for such a huge task. I suspect that's why families are so powerful, because God designed them to carry so much blessing. But the flip side is that they can also bring a lot of damage. Talk with God today about the ways you've seen the older generation in your family bring hurt and/or blessing to the younger generation.