It is with great excitement that I get into this very important subject. Many children and young adults struggle with fear, doubt and feelings of insecurity because of things that have been done to them wrongfully by their parents. Many children today have to make decisions to accept or reject the ways of mom and dad. Granted not all parents are bad and probably if you would ask them, most would say that they have tried their best. However, even when parents try their best they still can fall short of providing the needed emotional stability for their children. If your parents have fallen short, this lesson is for you.
Why do Adults Treat Children Like This?
This is a very important question that needs to be answered. To do so, I go to the source of truth the Bible.
“For all have sinned, and come short…” Romans 3:23
This tells the story in a plain, straight-forward way. All of us fall short because of sin. Sin is something that doesn’t go away easily, in fact it can go from generation to generation. The results of sin are then passed from one generation to the next usually by parents.
“…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;…” Exodus 20:5
Iniquity is rebellion against God and his laws. When one generation falls into sin it is a natural thing for that sin to be passed to the next generation, usually the innocent children. It is important for us to know this so we can effectively understand why our parents may act the way they do. Check out the study called “Dealing With Pride” which may help you understand your parents a little better. This is not to condone or agree with anything your parents may have done that was wrong, it is simply a Biblical fact that this is how sin is passed from one generation to the next.
Question #1. Can you think of some sins that might be passed from one generation to the next?
What does the Bible say About This?
It is truly amazing how every situation of life is found in the Bible, Gods’ Word. There are two stories that bring out this very situation. Two young men (you can use women too) faced parents that were not exactly right in everything they did. Each of them reacted in opposite ways and the results were opposite as well. Let’s look at the first story.
Story Number One
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Genesis 4:1-2
This is the story of Adam and Eve’s children. The first to be born was called Cain. This name means decisive and strong, to strike quickly. Adam and Eve made comments about him that tell us how they felt about him. They said, “We have gotten a man from the Lord.” They loved him and felt like he had a great future ahead of him. They felt that he was to lead the family as the first-born and be an example of strength and wisdom. Cain grew up feeling like he was on top of the world. In fact he was treated with such praise and preference that he developed an attitude that he could do no wrong.
His brother Abel was born with quite a different name. His name means vanity, emptiness, and unsatisfactory. Why they would name an innocent child with such a name is beyond our comprehension. Abel grew up in a family where his brother could do no wrong and he himself could do no right. Notice when he was born “And she again bare his brother Abel.” Genesis 4:2 there was silence from mom and dad. No praises, no “We have gotten another man from the Lord.” Sometimes silence speaks volumes.
Frustrating? Yes? Hopeless? No! Abel learned something early on that helped him greatly. It was a need to worship God and put his future into the hand of God and leave it there. The result of this decision put him on a path to the blessings of God. He brought an offering to the Lord and the Lord accepted it. His brother Cain brought an offering and God rejected it.
“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” Genesis 4:4-5
Abel experienced the joy of true acceptance and Cain became angry because he didn’t have any depth of character. The decision that you make about how you will react to your troubles will determine the outcome of your life. Abel understood that God had the best future for him and he also understood that bitterness and anger would not be productive.
Only God can help us to be happy in negative situations. When we put our life into his hands we are secure from bitterness and anger. Abel learned this lesson and found true acceptance and love. You may not feel loved by your parents. If this is your situation you CAN be free from bitterness and anger through the power of God. Abel had the right attitude, do you?
Question #2. Can you describe in your own words what Abel felt when he realized that he was not favored by his parents?
Story Number Two
“Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.” 1 Samuel 25:3
Seemingly out of nowhere, onto the pages of the word of God steps a man named Nabal. Nothing is said of him except of his attitude and way of living. He was churlish, (cruel and hard) and evil in his business dealings with other people. You may ask, “Why are some people this way?” Well, in the case of this man we get a clue into the meaning of his name. His name means stupid.
We quickly begin to put the pieces together of his home life and of the attitude of his parents by the name that they put on him. If anyone dropped the ball when it comes to raising children it was this mans parents. Can you imagine being called stupid every day of your life? Nabal could. Maybe you have been or are now living in a home where you are looked down on and called stupid. It is very hard not to have a bad attitude. Nabal never trusted in God so there was only one way he could go. Bitterness and anger. This bitterness and hardness that he allowed into his life began to mold him into a stone.
Rest assured, God never intended for anyone to live life with bitterness. He desires joy and peace for each of us. Bitterness is like a poison that contaminates every part of a persons’ life. It is emotional poison as well as physical poison. Research has shown that heart problems can be a result of bitterness and anger. In fact this is exactly what happened to Nabal.
“But it came to pass…that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.  And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” 1 Samuel 25:37-38
What a tragic ending to a life that could have been blessed and happy. Bitterness is not worth the time or energy. Even if your parents have tried to put it into you, God has a better way.
Question #3. Have you been tempted to get angry for things done or said to you that are not right?
Jesus Spoke About Peace
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Jesus came to give us a heart that is not troubled. The Spirit of God wants to set us free from these negative emotions that only cause us hurt.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
Freedom is available to all. I’m not talking about political freedom, I am speaking of inner freedom that will be there when everything seems to be going wrong. Sin desires a channel so it can go to the next generation but you can stop it by giving your life to Jesus Christ and receiving the gift if the Holy Ghost. Peter preached this message to people who were bound by anger and had killed their messiah, Jesus Christ. The message is still the same today.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39
Question #4. Would you like to be free from anger and depression?
Anger is a poison that will destroy us. Jesus came that we might have an abundant and happy life.
”I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Through him alone we can have deliverance from negative emotions. If your parents have dropped the ball, don’t let it affect you for the rest of your life. There is a better way and it is through the cross of Jesus Christ and the power of his Spirit.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” Acts 1:8
Question #5 Would you like to talk to someone? Is there a need that we can help you with? If so, leave a message here and we will be happy to get with you.
Thank you for going through this lesson. I hope it has started you down the road to freedom. If you would like to talk with someone in your area let me know. We will get back with you as soon as possible. If you know a friend who would benefit from this lesson let them know too! Thanks again and hope to see you soon!
Focus on Freedom