One of my greatest desires as a follower of Christ is to run the race well, run to the end, and to pass the baton off to someone behind me. I think about my 6 (and one more on the way) grandchildren and if I am taking the time to invest in their lives adequately. Not being a stay at home grandmother that my daughters can call any time of the day or night (and not even weekends sometimes because of weekend training conferences), means I have to intentionally plan times that I am with them. This summer our oldest grandson went with me to Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I got to spend hours in the car and shared a room with him at night. It was a special time to really focus on what he was thinking and experiencing as a teenager. We talked lots about his spiritual life and what God was telling him.
As I studied The Patriarch’s bible study by author Beth Moore about 4 years ago, I was reminded of how our sins can be passed down generation to generation. We’ve seen how generational sin is so common in our families, whether alcohol, abuse, or lack of commitment in marriage. Husband beats wife, son beats his wife. Our society is rampant with the devastation this has caused.
This year, due to several famous deaths in the country, I’ve wondered what made each person the way they were. Were their fathers loving or not present in their lives, did their mothers have an alcohol addiction, were they abused by a trusted friend or family member as a child? Sure, some of us become who we are by our own decisions and of course, God’s help, but what about what’s been handed to us by family or other close relationships.
Perhaps you have been a product of generational sin yourself. Maybe you are ministering to women in your women’s ministry in your church or community who fit this profile. BUT through the power of Christ the cycle can be broken.
On the other end of the spectrum we also see positive trends and traits passed from one generation of women to another. As leaders, let’s allow God to break the negative traits and develop positive ones that will influence a new generation of women…those who will grow in Christ and impact His Kingdom.
- Help women in your church become positive influencers by you first modeling what that looks like.
- Pray for and with women who are struggling with less than ideal past experiences.
- Guide them to II Corinthians 5:17—“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (HCSB). Help them to truly understand how Christ sees them…unblemished, worthy, loved.
- Show them how Christ can help them break the negative cycle and develop new traits that they can pass on.
- Model and show Christ’s forgiveness that makes them “white as snow” (See Isaiah 1:18)
- Be transparent about your own past experiences.
- Perhaps lead her to study Breaking Free, Living Free, or Living Your Life as a Beautiful Offering
We just completed our first ever Generations…The Unbroken Chain: Ministry Through the Ages training event at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point, North Carolina. As leaders we discussed ways of reaching ALL generations of women in our churches. We must make changes to pass the leadership baton to our younger women. As women break free from generational sin, we must show them how to grow in Christ and then take the lead to reach others for Him, serving as Kingdom women. That means we will have to make changes in the way we do ministry.
God has raised us up for this time in history to influence the future of women living and serving in His Kingdom. What a responsibility and privilege! Let’s be faithful to the task!