Too many of us spend our adult lives struggling to overcome the pain and challenges of our past. We even wish that some of the things we’ve experienced never happened. But we know that we can’t change the past.
The good news is that we can do something about the future; especially when it’s the future of our children or grandchildren that we are talking about.
We would all love our children and grandchildren to grow up without having to deal with the same problems we dealt with. Why? Because we want them to have a better life than we've had. But for that to happen, we have to make some hard choices.
Start with the Person in the Mirror
We have to deal with the sinful patterns of negative behaviour in our own lives because they are easily passed on to the little people coming up around us. Whether it’s anger, violence, obesity, alcohol abuse, or financial mismanagement - if you have it or do it, chances are that your children would have it or do it too.
In a recent article, Marriage Counselor and TV host Jimmy Evans observes: “Without thinking, we tend to treat our spouses the same way our parents treated each other—or the way our parents treated us. Your attitude toward your spouse is likely to be similar to what you experienced from your parents as a child.”
Give Up the Blame Game
Pointing the finger or blaming your parents or guardians will solve nothing. In fact, it may raise a few sticky problems of it’s own. So the key to making progress here is to take positive action and attack the problem head-on. When you start taking responsibility for your actions – knowing that the choice for those actions was ultimately yours – you open yourself up to God's transforming power.
For instance, say you manage to break the chains of laziness and poverty from your life; your children are less likely to need to fight these same battles as they grow up because they would be able to access more advantages. This principle is true for anger, depression, addiction, and a thousand other life-battles that we are called to win on this side of heaven.
Take Responsibility for your Past
Acknowledge your poor life choices, your addictions, your bad behaviour, and your failures. Take positive steps to break the cycle of sin – which ultimately breeds many of the vices above. Focus on ending the painful legacy of your past; and choose to provide a better future for the generations to come.
Your Children Deserve Better
If like me, you love your children or grandchildren; aim to give them the best start in life. Your children deserve to build their lives on a positive and empowering legacy. And nobody qualifies better than you to give it to them.
As your children see you overcoming the challenges in your life with God’s help, they will learn to trust God for their own breakthroughs too. They will ride on the coat of your victories. They will bask in the light of your examples. They will obtain an anchor for their souls and God will be very pleased with you for doing your job well – as a parent.
Article by Tony Peters