On Family Curses–A letter From the Editor

As you might imagine this journal attracts quite a lot of readers with a diverse range of interests; some simply interested in the paranormal, others seeking relief from the same.

Due to other responsibilities we cannot respond to all readers that use our contact us form but we do try to answer the questions of those that seem to be sincerely troubled. Today we received one such message, that in reality is a common fear, that of generational curses. Sometimes we perceive a commonality in our lives with those of our parents, grandparents, and so forth back up the proverbial family tree. Perhaps the problem is medical in which we suffer from the same ailments as our ancestors, or perhaps the common problem is of a spiritual nature. The latter seems to be the concern that this journal is most frequently asked about.

One reader wrote a short somewhat cryptic note, which is common among most seeking information about familial curses but at the same time fearful of being perceived as less than mentally stable.

The reader:
I have a problem that spans 4 generations including myself, too long to recount here. It has become apparent that God has dealt with my family before on this evil issue. The problem is simple; it keeps coming back and skipping generations.

My response:
Not knowing the nature of your situation it is hard for me to comment or make suggestions, however as you seem to suggest that your family might be suffering from a generational curse you might consider what is implied in the following passages;
Exodus 20:4-6
4″You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5″You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.…
Ezekiel 18:20
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.

Commentary on above:
The writers of Exodus 20 have been credited with trying to point out how dangerous false idols can be; so dangerous that it is implied that worshipers of such will be punished to the forth generation.  However in Ezekiel 18:20 we find that only the guilty party is punished.  For example the innocent child of a bank robber is not punished for his father’s transgressions, providing the son does not follow in his fathers footsteps and makes robbing banks his vocation.

Those who believe in the possibility of familial curses use these two passages to (1) lend credibility to the possibility of such and (2) give an example of how to “break” the curse; simply repent and as Jesus told the woman in John 8:11, “…go and sin no more!”
Of course Idolatry is but one sin that can become part of life and passed down environmentally to subsequent generations; but most of us never realize that we are guilty of that particular sin–as our fathers might have been–as we generally identify it (idolatry) as worshiping or praying to some statue or other creation.  Idolatry can be more than worshiping a statue or other material object; it can be obsessing over ideas, concepts, lifestyles, etc that separate you from God.  For example even the stereotype of the so called “American Dream” of an exciting career, owning a home in the “burbs”, married with 2 point whatever kids, once a year vacations to exotic destinations, etc, can be a false idol when we put that idea and the pursuit thereof  before God and family.  The lyrics of the Folk/Rock song “Cat’s in the cradle” from 1974 by Harry Chapin clearly demonstrates how lifestyle choices can have negative impact along generational lines. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat%27s_in_the_Cradle

Gods ability to forgive us is immeasurable, if we simply seek his forgiveness and make an effort to–as Jesus said–“…go and sin no more!”

[End of response to reader]

The admonition to go and sin no more may seem like too little advice to give this person, but considering the brief nature of the question and my not knowing more specific aspects of the problem it is difficult to give more detailed advice. But sometimes changing lifestyle, attitudes, so forth is all that is necessary to break conditions that we perceive as a generational curse. Sometimes changing such requires spiritual changes as well; getting back to church, or accepting Christ as a “newborn” Christian.

We openly solicit your comments and questions but remember at St Michaels Journal we are not a psychological counselling service, we do not solicit donations or other compensation, and we are unabashedly Christian.

May the Peace of the Lord be with you.

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