This is the fourth part of a six-part series that investigates eight major ways that ungodly beliefs are formed in our lives. Part four shows how ungodly beliefs are formed through our families.
A huge breeding ground of ungodly beliefs is our families. Every family has its own character, values, and sayings. I liken our homes to an atmosphere that we breath day in and day out. It becomes such a normal part of our lives that we don’t even realize how much a part of us it is until the Lord reveals it to us.
Our families are designed by God to be a place of protection and nurture. The family is to be a source of love, support, encouragement, safety, godly discipline, and blessing. The sad truth is that sin has tainted every family and sometimes ungodly thoughts invade our families and become something that affects everyone involved.
Parents are to be the protector of the family. When a parent sins in an area of his or her life it opens the doors for the enemy to come in and begin to affect the entire family. That is why we see certain characteristics that stick out in generation after generation of a family.
One quick example from the Bible will help us see how this principle works in real life. We are going to examine the role of lying in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s sons. These four generations are a snap shot in the linage of Abraham.
- First Generation: Abraham. In Genesis 12:10-20 Abram and and Sarai went to Egypt because of a terrible famine. Abram was worried that the Pharaoh would kill him because Sarai was so beautiful. He asked her to lie and say that she was his sister.
- Second Generation: Isaac. In Genesis 26:1-11 we have an almost duplicate situation with Isaac. Another famine took place and he went to Gerar, a Philistine city. He was worried that they would kill him and take Rebekah, his wife. He asked her to lie and say that she was his sister.
- Third Generation: Jacob and Rebekah. In Genesis 27:11-40, Rebekah encourages Jacob to dress up like his brother to deceive his father and get his brother’s blessing. Jacob’s mother put goat’s hair on her son and dressed him in Esau’s clothing to trick Isaac. Jacob is successful and steals his brother’s blessing.
- Fourth Generation: Jacob’s ten oldest sons. In Genesis 37:12-36 Joseph is the favored son of his father Jacob. His ten older brothers hate him with a passion. Jacob sends Joseph to check on his brothers to how they are doing. He travels to Dothan and when his brothers see him they plan on killing him and telling Jacob that he was killed by a wild beast. Rueben, his oldest brother talks them out of killing him, hoping to rescue him later.
In the meanwhile, Joseph’s brothers see a Midianite caravan and decide to sell their brother into slavery, that way they would not have to shed innocent blood and make some money on the sale.
They kill a goat and dip Joseph’s tunic in the blood and return it to their father. They let him come to the conclusion that his son has been killed. They keep the lie alive for many years.
Lying ran in the family. As you can see it got worse as time passed on. Opening the door to sin will let that influence run rampant in the family lines.
There are many more traits that we can see that travel throughout family lines. This generational iniquity becomes part of the invisible background of the family. It is an unseen force that impacts each person. Many times the person is so used to it that they think nothing of the influence and are blind to it or proud of it.
Here are some further examples of ways that the enemy works in generation after generation through family lines:
- Competition: the family is fiercely competitive in everything they do. They want to win and hate to lose. Everyone is always striving to be number one in whatever they do.
- Fear: Fear runs through the family. There is constant mention of the bad things that could happen or take place. The first response to any new situation is fear.
- Pride: Everyone in the family believes that they are superior to other people. The things they own are better than others, the clothes they wear are the best, and they drive the most expensive cars.They pity those who live normal, boring lives.
- Guilt: In this family there is a constant guilt trip. Guilt is used as the foundation of everything. Manipulation is the common way to get anything from the other person.
- Shame: People live in a constant silence about the things going on at home. This can be due to drugs, alcohol, or abuse. We can’t reveal that things that are happening or it would destroy our family reputation.
- Anger: People in this family have short fuses. Everything seems to irritate them. They are constantly angry and letting everyone know about it. Complaining is natural.
- Addiction: Many things continue on in generation after generation. Drug abuse, alcohol abuse, physical or sexual abuse.
Many times we are shaped by the words that were spoken over us. Family members can say some of the most terrible things. If the words are spoken often enough, we begin to believe that they are true.
We have already mentioned word curses in the section on curses, but will speak to the issue here also. Many of the lies we believe come from our family upbringing. We have heard them so much that we almost think that we are the ones that came up with the idea.
These words are always in the back of our mind and the tip of our tongue. We speak them out as if they are verified facts. There is no question in our minds that the things that happen to us is because this is the life we have been dealt.
Here are some word curses that are common and some of the possible results from believing them:
- “You’ll never amount to anything.” There is a feeling of being unable to accomplish anything of purpose. You strive and strive to become something that you mom and dad would be proud of, but never seem to get there. Success always seems to elude you.
- “You were supposed to be a boy.” Throughout your life you feel unloved and not good enough. You may even become a tom boy and join all the sports that a boy might play in order to have you dad love you and be proud of you. You know deep down that he will never be satisfied because you are a girl.
- “You’re so stupid. Can’t you do anything right?” You’re fine as long as you are alone. If someone watches you, you get nervous and always seem to mess up. You just can’t seem to get it right. You berate yourself for being so stupid and inept.
Some of the words spoken over us still haunt us. They are right there in the back of our minds constantly tormenting us and driving our actions or reactions. The important thing to remember is that just because the words were spoken, we do not have to receive them.
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