In many respects, both my wife and I are first generation Christians. I know there is a Godly heritage both down our family lines that goes back beyond grandparents but from where we stand today, neither of us were raised in Christian homes with God-conscience and God honouring parents. I don’t say that in bitter judgement, it’s just a fact. I love and honour my parents dearly for all they did and gave me. I thank God for them.
I recently finished a great book by Arthur Burke called Relentless Generational Blessings. It’s a book I’d recommend you read if, like me, you want to carve out a rich spiritual heritage for your children and their children’s children.
I’ve written on generational heritage before in a post called Increase Your Capacity, but I want to take it a step further and encourage any first generation Christian parents reading this today.
Each one of us is the modern day representation of our family line, our ‘tribe’. Today, you exist as a culmination of thousands of couples and families. Thousands! You represent their strengths, weaknesses, looks, abilities, blessings, curses, everything. It’s written in your DNA. That’s scientific fact.
My family line heads into the Nordic European direction, Natalie’s heads into the UK. Of my three kids, one has fair hair, another strawberry blonde and another quite white. It’s all quite amazing and sobering if you think about it.
Not only do you represent your family line in the natural, you also carry a spiritual heritage behind you. Ever notice some Christians just breeze through a lot life as if they have good luck and everything they touch turns to gold? I have noticed church pastors, leaders, business people and parents that are 2nd+ generation Christians have this great favour on their lives; quite often in spite of a poor character and disregard for their rich heritage. Just look at King David and Solomon as an example in the bible.
I’m excited for my kids. I’m excited that they’ll be able to build off a strong spiritual and cultural platform that Natalie and I are building on. Our roof will be their floor. Where we finish, they will be begin. The road that we carve out, the stones we remove, the curses we break, the blessings we give will all be theirs to inherit and pass on.
I know there are some who think generational stuff is nonsense. I’d encourage to read your bible and then ask God what he thinks about it. I’m convinced that a life lived that goes out of it’s way to honour God is the kind of life that creates the best heritage for those to come.
In Australia we celebrate and honour those before us that went to war in order to defend and protect those they love. I’m hoping that something like remembrance day is still around a hundred years from now but I have my doubts. Why? Because we DO forget, we progress and we rarely remember the price others paid, we just enjoy the benefits. For example, right now you as you read this you are benefiting from the dreams, sacrifice and wisdom of thousands of people who helped create and manufacture the computer, ipad or mobile phone you are reading this off – and I guarantee you’ve never stopped and said “God, thanks for all those who went before me and created this.” We just live in the present and take progress for granted.
So my question for you today is this. What are you doing to raise the standard of spiritual blessing and heritage for the generations to come?
As first generation Christians, here are a few lessons we’ve learnt along the way so far:
1. You have to war against the giants. If you have a history of obvious addictions and abuse in your family line, you need to stand against this and triumph over it. These giants may be drugs, alcohol, adultery, physical, emotional or spiritual abuse, workaholism, witchcraft (manipulation), murder and an array of others. Recognise it for what it is, if it’s caused destruction in your family line then confess it, crush it, beat it and keep it dead in Jesus name. Do what you can for as long as it takes to get the victory over this so those that come after you don’t have to fight the same battle with compound interest.
2. It’s not always easy. I’m going to be honest here. Warring against these things has it’s moments. If you’ve ever been 4 wheel driving and been stuck in a rut on the path/road/beach/track? It’s actually easy to drive this same path those before you have dug out. To get off the beaten track, to get out of the ruts and carve new pathways takes effort. Be kind to yourself, press into your identity in Christ and don’t go it alone.
3. Desire honour. Where you or your line has dishonoured God, go out of your way to shift things in the other direction. e.g. If there is a background of hatred and murder in your family line, go out of your way to love and care for others. Tip the scales in favour of blessing.
4. Win it on your knees. Much of the pressure that’s asserted on your generational line can be resolved through prayer (spiritual warfare). We’ve seen amazing and mind-blowing things happen in prayer that have simply shifted and lifted things in our lives. If you spend all your time battling behaviours you will probably lose. After you recognise the issue, go into prayer, then pray again. Get the victory that Christ won for you, then begin to live it out the freedom from that place of victory.
Keen to hear your thoughts and comments on the topic. Dave