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Kingdom Parenting, Part 2

• Greg Boyd

Greg reviewed the main points from last week which were: individually, we all need to “get a life.” By this he means we need to get out life from Christ so that we are operating out of a fullness, rather than a deficit. Then as couples, we need to get a life together! One of the best things parents can do for their children is to model what it is for parents to love one another and have a rich, vibrant life together. This week Greg focused on a third principle. Breaking the domino effect of generational curses through the power of forgiveness.

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Greg reviewed the main points from last week which were: individually, we all need to “get a life.” By this he means we need to get out life from Christ so that we are operating out of a fullness, rather than a deficit. Then as couples, we need to get a life together! One of the best things parents can do for their children is to model what it is for parents to love one another and have a rich, vibrant life together. This week Greg focused on a third principle. Breaking the domino effect of generational curses through the power of forgiveness.

Just like dominos, sin and dysfunction in one family passes down through the children to their families. This can go on for generations. Hence the slogan: “wounded people wound people.” We learn how to behave from our parents, for better or for worse. Greg used the example of his step-mother abusing him because she too was abused by her parents. Even though we hate ourselves for doing this, it is so deeply rooted in us that we feel as though we cannot do otherwise. It’s like our instinct and it feels inevitable. (Consider Exe. 20:5, 18:20 in this context.)

But when the healing power of God intervenes in our lives there is a rich source of hope and a new direction that is possible. We don’t have to be defined by the curses that plague us from childhood. Christ has set us free from this, but we must do the work of wearing our new identity for it to truly change our lives. We must forgive those who have wronged us. Forgive those who passed the curse on to us—a curse that they likely inherited from their parents. Greg gave us this warning: “that which you despise clings to you.” We don’t learn from the curses (violence, sexual sin, verbal abuse, neglect, etc.) in our families that we despise, we internalize them. (Consider Rom. 12:21 in this context.)

How can we overcome the evil we inherit in this way? Forgiveness. On the cross, Christ forgives all, even those who put him there. There is infinite power in the act of forgiveness. Any debt can be released in this way. It doesn’t mean that there will be no consequences, it doesn’t mean we condone what was done in any way. It simply means that we let it go. We refuse to let this sin have power over us and define our lives. Forgiveness is our way of reaffirming that we will continue to get our lives from Christ, even when evil presses in. It means we refuse to live with wishing that things were otherwise, we refuse to live in regret, rather we forgive as God has forgiven us and we move on.

The fourth principle Greg offered what that parents should let their children inherit their faith. From a biblical perspective, the #1 job description of a parent is to teach their children about the Lord. (Deut. 11:18-19) Let your children in on how faith and life work for you! Greg reminded us that children are like video cameras, they will remember everything you do. So in addition to teaching your children, your life must verify that this is what you believe. They will not be fooled. The best thing you can do for your children is to be a sold out Kingdom person. Let them see it, it will compel them!

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Topics: Family, Forgiveness, Parenting


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 1:13-17

    But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

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