Mike Yaconneli tells of a time when he was working with some students and parents trying to bridge the generation gap. What do you hate about your parents? Pushy, nosy, overbearing, won’t listen . . . they made quite a list. Then he excused the kids, flipped over the board and let the parents make their list. Called both groups back together. Read the teenagers list first. Then flipped the chalk board, What parents hate most about their children, “They are so much like us.”
Man is that ever true. I am becoming my father. The other day I was working around the house and looked down and realized I was wearing dress socks and tennis shoes. Oh my stars. Not long ago sitting in a hospital waiting room with a girl that was once in my youth group. She’s in her 30’s with a teenage daughter now. She said the other day she dropped her daughter off at a friend’s house and as she got out this young mom said, “Make wise choices.” Oh my goodness I’ve become my mother.
You might not like to hear this but there is more of mom or dad in you than meets the eye. And that’s not all bad. There are things of my father that I hope I get. He was kind and honest and generous. I want to be that way. Dad rarely met a stranger. That would be nice too.
But there are some traits I’m seeing in me that I saw in dad and I hoped I could skip. Why is that?
Sins of the parents are visited on the third and fourth generation. Uh oh. We will make the same mistakes our parents make. Even if we swear that we won’t. Haven’t you wondered why someone who grows up in an abusive home becomes an abuser. He knows how it feels. Why would he ever do that to his child? Children of alcoholics are often alcoholics. Why is that? They saw the devastation. They know what that lifestyle produces. Sins of the parents. Like it or not, we become like them.
It doesn’t have to be that way. God wants to break the cycle, but you have to cooperate.
Jeremiah 31:29 “In those days they will not say again, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
Just because dad eats the sour thing doesn’t mean you have to pucker. You can break the cycle. Jesus does that for you.