When our kids leave home to embark upon college or careers, and might be several hundred miles away from us for months at a time, don't we wonder how they are handling life? We as parents, always want to believe our children are doing a reasonably good job of dealing with their relationships, circumstances, emotions, money, personal issues, and spiritual journey, but is it always safe to assume that?
Our young people are going to take with them a set of beliefs, experiences, and probably some unresolved issues that can work for them or against them in their new "real" world. Statistics report that about 40% of even Christian marriages are ending in divorce. This means that about half of our young people are coming out of negative, dysfunctional families. I heard on a radio program that about 25% of people, in general, are walking around with unresolved issues. Along with this are biblical or church teachings to which they have been exposed while growing up.
If there has been a history of low self-esteem, depression, anger, codependency. verbal abuse. addictions, or any kind of destructive behavioral patterns in response to difficult people or circumstances, within the family, how are our young people being impacted when they are out on their own? If they react the same way their family members did, then they have a generational curse. A generational curse is a dysfunctional behavior that has become a norm.
Just because our young people have had a spiritual upbringing does not mean they have it all together emotionally, or will hold true to the teachings of younger years.
An often quoted verse is Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it." I believe this verse says to instill proper biblical truth, moral character and values, and encourage our children to pursue dreams, passions, and occupations in keeping with their unique gifts, abilities, and passions, the way God designed them. Notice, the emphasis on training. Sure, we must uphold our young people in prayer and commit them to God's protection and provision, but it is during the time when our children leave our nest that any negative things from the past can start to play out in their own world. What have we trained them to do?
Have they developed some awareness of identifying and correcting emotional and relational issues, or getting the help they need?
Do they know that they can break a generational curse by refusing to carry on some negative, destructive pattern of behavior?
Do they know some principles for building a strong, positive marriage BEFORE they say "I do?"
Have they begun to exercise some discipline in the use of time and money?
Have they developed some concepts of how to progressively grow spiritually?
Have they begun to learn how to deal with personal struggles and make biblical and wise decisions?
Do they view the Bible as their source of divine inspiration and authority, and know some principles for studying and interpreting it properly?
We must seek to build a foundation so our young people will not flounder on their own. There will always be plenty of problems in their lives, and learning through experience and over time is, of course, how we all grow, but let us all try to help our young people get life right the first time.