Logically, we know that when children grow up under various influences, they are much more likely to carry those influences into their adulthood and act the same way. It’s familiar. It’s what they know. When teenagers are exposed to drugs, alcohol, and various forms of fornication or pornography, and have those things around them as “normal” during their formative years, then they are inevitably—without a work of the Holy Spirit intervening—going to act out those same “normals” in their own lives. Most often they keep the pattern of destructive behavior going, and pass it down to their children.
The Bible says a lot about generational curses, and sometimes it can be confusing to try to put what seem to be two conflicting messages together. But we know the Bible is inerrant and doesn’t contradict itself, so there is an understanding to be discovered.
For example, in Numbers 14:18 it reads (emphasis mine): “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
And in Exodus 20:5-6 it reads: “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
But in Ezekiel 18:20 it reads: “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
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