generational curses

Generational Curses: Your Kids Aren’t Doomed

There are some in the Body of Christ who believe in “generational curses.” This refers to any negative behavior pattern, health issue, or natural circumstance that is assumed to be passed down from generation to generation.

For example, if Dad was an alcoholic, his children will struggle with alcoholism. If great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and parents are all divorced, the children will likely get divorced, too. If the family has lived in poverty for generations, the children will not be able to escape poverty.

However, the Word of God tells us that Jesus became the curse for us to set us free from generational curses! Keep reading to find out why and how generational curses have no power over you as a believer.

The Origin of Generational Curses

This idea of generational curses does come from the Bible! Exodus 34:7 says the Lord is, “by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.

Because of this passage, many believers have fallen for this idea that they are bound to repeat the sins of their parents and grandparents. They even feel that they experience hardships as a punishment for the mistakes of those who came before them. Even more horrifying is the idea that sins can be passed down to our children and they might suffer for our mistakes!

Man, that is some bad news!

Redeemed from the Curse

But hang on a minute! Does that even make any sense in light of the Gospel message? Doesn’t the word “gospel” mean good news?

Sure, maybe the world still struggles with negative things being passed down from generation to generation. But is that true in the life of the believer? Did Jesus die for us just so we could experience life under the same generational curses as the world?

The passage above, Exodus 34:7, is a negative consequence of the curse of the law. If the Hebrews didn’t obey God’s law perfectly, then they would be under those generational curses.

However, the New Testament shows us that, as believers, we are not under that curse any longer!

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13, emphasis added).

Jesus didn’t halfway redeem us from the curse. He completely redeemed us from all curses! The Bible says that God’s Word does not return without accomplishing its purpose (Isaiah 55:11).

Jesus was the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14). And when He died, was buried, rose from the dead, and then ascended into Heaven, He completely fulfilled His purpose! Jesus did not return to the Father until His reason for being sent had been accomplished.

That is why on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). His job was done!  He had taken every curse on that tree with Him, and those curses died with Him. You are now free from every curse, and so are your children!

A New Bloodline

Not only did God take on the curse of the law for us in Jesus, He adopted us into His family. We have been moved out of the bloodline of Adam and into the bloodline of Jesus Christ.

Paul tells us, in three different epistles, that we’ve been adopted as sons and daughters of God Himself:

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons(Galatians 4:4-5, emphasis added).

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:4-5, emphasis added).

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:14-15, emphasis added).

God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His children. What generational curse could we inherit from a perfect, holy God? He has no chronic illness, destructive behavior, or poor financial situation to pass on to us.

Instead, we are joint heirs with Christ, receiving all things with Him (Romans 8:16-17).

He Became Sin

Jesus took our curses on the cross, God adopted us into a new bloodline, and He isn’t even remembering our sins. God certainly won’t punish your children for your sins that He doesn’t even remember.

The Old Testament prophesied about this new way of handling sin in the New Covenant:

“In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’  But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge” (Jeremiah 31:29-30).

Jeremiah was prophesying about the coming New Covenant, following the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The Lord also shared that when that day came, “I [God] will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more(Jeremiah 31:34, emphasis added).

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21, emphasis added).

Jesus actually became sin for us! He took on our sin, so that we could become righteous in Him. Our sin has been completely taken care of! (Read our article Forgiven Much to learn more.)

The curse of sin was broken! You can rest, knowing that Jesus has paid the price so that you don’t suffer because of the mistakes of your parents. And your children won’t suffer for your mistakes, either!

Will I Mess Up My Kids?

Every parent at one moment or another has had this thought: What if I mess up? What if I don’t raise my children well, and they end up living a horrible life? 

That fear may be “normal,” but it is not what God wants for you. He has many promises in the Word for your children, but here is one that will bring peace to your heart:

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13).

You love your children, and you want to raise them to be happy, successful, and with a strong relationship with God. We can promise you: you will not do it perfectly! And that is okay.

The word “peace” in this verse is the Hebrew word shalom. It means completeness, safety, soundness in body, welfare, health, prosperity, contentment, and peace. God is promising you that He will teach your children and they will have great peace!

The Lord is promising you, “Listen, My son, My daughter: You follow my leading to the best of your ability. Keep your eyes on me, and I will teach you how to raise your children. But when you fail, do not be afraid! Trust Me. I am personally teaching your children. And I give you My Word: their peace will be great!”

Now, that is good news!

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