For one of my classes in seminary I wrote a paper inspired by the Biblical passage in Exodus 20:5-6 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5:9-10, which says,
…I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
I asked myself the question, being a dad of three young children, “How does what I do affect my kids and their future kids down through the generations?” So for all dads and moms, the questions that arise from this passage are extremely urgent. If how I brush my teeth affects future generations, how much more so will the way I treat my wife, work at my job and love my God! And if there is an affect, what kind of affect is it? How severe is it? How lasting? Then also, how important is it that I make very intentional decisions right now about how I live my life and raise my kids, because it will dramatically alter the course of history!? Our sin does have profound penalties on future generations, but do not be crushed by this thought. Rather, relish in the wonderful reward for those who love God: steadfast, unbreaking and forever love in everlasting covenant friendship with God!
If you’re up for it I challenge you to read the research paper I put together in the attached pdf. Doing so may shakeup the course of your life and future family history in incredible ways! While it will require some serious thought, the process will deepen your commitment to God and your family’s future legacy.