Home Videos, Generational Sins and God's Love

Anders was feeling a little under the weather when he came home from school, so he laid down on the couch. After Nils and I had supper and did our Advent devotions, we sat together and I read several chapters from the current Little House on the Prairie book that we're reading (On the Banks of Silver Lake). I pulled the computer over and we watched a few short video clips of the Little House TV show on YouTube. Then I put in a DVD of my grandfather narrating old home movies being projected on a screen that my aunt had compiled. I hadn't really watched the DVD before. It had been about 10 years since my grandfather had died. This was the first time I'd heard his voice since then.

I still haven't watched the whole DVD. It's not easy. I miss him. But it was good to hear his voice. And to see my grandma in her youth, long before the ravages of a stroke. And to see my dad celebrate his second birthday.

Few generations before us in history have been able to do that--to watch their ancestors in their youth. It's a blessing--not just for me, but I think even my boys were blessed by seeing their great-grandfather whom they never met and seeing what life was like 50-70 years ago.

I met with a friend the other night who asked to come over and talk. He's going through some tough stuff in his life. He shared a lot of his life story; I shared a lot of mine. We've both been through some tough stuff and dealt with a lot of issues in our lives. Some of the stuff we've dealt with is stuff that has been passed down in our family.

The Bible warns us that the sins of the fathers will be passed down for generations. This is a hard fact as a father. I know that there are generational curses that need to be broken, and if I don't do it then my boys will have to deal with it.

I also know that God says that even though several generations will have to deal with the consequences of our sins, that He also promises to pour out his love for thousands of generations (Exodus 34:7). If we choose to work hard, we can overcome those generational curses. But no matter what we do, God's love is still present for our families for years to come. This is good news.

And looking back, watching that DVD of my grandpa, I am blessed. I know things weren't perfect. I know he had sin...as does my father...as do I. But I can remember the good times and remember Grandpa as the man of God that He was. Fun loving, hard working, devout, family-focused and even a bit mischievous. Not perfect, but saved by grace...living with the Good News.

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