Think of your family. Think of your siblings. Your cousins. Your aunts and uncles. Your Grandparents.
What are they like? Are they thriving? Are they the type of people you’d like to be someday? Do you smile when you think of them?
Generational curses run in EVERY family, because we all carry the heaviness of sin in our bloodlines.
In my family, I see a lot of people who never thrive. I see a lot of unspoken pain, the inability to love passionately and freely, a theme of legalism and doing that keeps individuals from truly experiencing joy. I see stifled emotions.
I see a lot of bondage to self.
I’ve heard it said that true integrity is when those who know you best respect you most. Whoa! Raise your hand if you suddenly feel like you need to step up your game?
So, how do you break a generational curse?
First, you need to identify the curse…and don’t settle for the “obvious” answers like alcoholism or divorce. Yes, those are often present in families…but alcoholism and divorce are the side effects of something deeper: is it shame? is it pride? is it selfishness? is there deep wounding? DIG!
Because you don’t just “not want to get divorced” or “don’t want to be an alcoholic,” right? You probably want an incredible, thriving marriage. You probably want to live a healthy and honorable lifestyle. Am I right??
The antidote to generational sin is vulnerable, humble leadership within your family. The antidote is love.
Second, you need to be HONEST with yourself and take a long and steady look at what you are holding on to that you inherited from your family. And no matter how scary it is…if you want to CHANGE YOUR LIFE and CHANGE YOUR FAMILY you are going to have to be willing to stand alone in this, and most of all be willing to change and grow. Because if you always do what you’ve always done then you will always get what you’ve always had. And we are looking for something different here.
Maybe you’ll be super lucky and your entire family will accept your challenge to embrace a new and better way of living. But…probably not.
Chances are, you’ll be standing alone. Maybe forever. But the HOPE is that you become the beacon. YOU become the inspiration. YOU take on the weight of leadership and YOU stand in the gap and YOU say “I’m changing history.”
They are going to laugh at you. They are going to be pissed at you. They might disown you, or you might have to go no-contact. They are going to question you and “wish things could just go back to the way they were.” They will wonder why you’re so bitter, and incapable of loving your own family. And if you come from a Christian family, then you will inevitably hear things like, “you’re so unforgiving” and “how could someone who claims to be a Christian ever stop talking to their family” and “you’re such a hypocrite.”
Here is what I have to say to ALL OF THAT!
It is OK to step back from a toxic family to get healthy.
It is OK to step back from a toxic family in order to learn who you are and who God has created you to be.
It is OK to have boundaries. To expect respect.
It is OK to change the course of GENERATIONS by doing something no one else in your family has. It takes courage and grit to stand up for yourself and to stand up for what is good and true.
You don’t have to accept ABUSE and SHAME and FEAR because someone in your family claims that “deep down they really do love you”.
And please hear me on this, because I’m not talking about normal family squabbles or dynamics. I’m very intentionally writing about broken, toxic, manipulative family members who REPEATEDLY treat you horribly, do not change or apologize even when confronted, and even deny their treatment of you.
I’m talking about ABUSE.
Ok. So, first, you’re going to identify the curses. Second, you’re going to have an open and honest conversation with yourself about which generational curses you struggle with yourself (talking this through with a trusted friend, therapist, or spouse is highly recommended).
The third thing you’ll have to do is simple, but it really, really sucks…you’re going to have to heal and change and grow.
You will need to learn how to vocalize this entire journey. You will need to be humble enough to allow people who love you to correct you. You will need to let God heal all the deep resentments and fears, all the things you thought you were “over”.
You will have to stop pretending that “everything is fine”.
Look back on your family…What are they like? Are they thriving? Are they the type of people you’d like to be someday? Do you smile when you think of them? Or do you cringe a little bit inside?
What has been passed down to you?
These curses, they are fixable…because you are no longer bound to sin. You are free!
Stop living in bondage. Stop giving the devil a foothold. Stop allowing shame to rob your family of the potential to change the world.
Let God M O V E in you! Be brave. Do not hesitate to call out the sin, the brokenness, the dysfunction. Noticing and calling out sin does not strip value away from anyone, it doesn’t mean you don’t love your family. It does not demean or dishonor a person. Rather, calling out sin and brokenness IN LOVE creates an environment where God is able to work.
How can generations be changed unless you first identity what needs to be changed??
Whatever you do, do not confront generational sins with contempt or a toxic attitude. That’s half the problem with dysfunction right there. Change you attitude. Cover yourself in love and truth and prayer and wisdom. And then go for it!
Because God moves mountains all the time! And he uses regular, everyday people to do the impossible, to fix the broken and lost years, to shine light on injustice.
You are capable simply because you exist!