The idea of a generational curse has captured the thinking of many Christians because it sounds so reasonable. Without doubt, parents have an influence on their children through inherited traits and parental teaching and example. But God holds individuals responsible for their choices and sins, not the sins of ancestors.
The biblical passage on which the extreme teaching of generational curses is based must be revisited in order to see how Scripture has been misapplied. Instructing the Israelites concerning the second commandment, God said,
You shall not bow down to them [idols and other gods] or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generationsof those who love me and keep my commandments
Let’s unpack the verse by sharing some arguments against generational curse that I find compelling:
– The word “curse” is nowhere found in the Exodus passage.
-If the punishment God promises idolaters is really a curse, one must ask who places the curse on the children? Human parents cannot cast curses.
– Satan is neither mentioned as the source of such a curse.
– If God who justly punishes sin places the curse on the children, who could break a curse instituted by God?
– I don’t know how anyone can miss these words – “those who hate me” – which speak to those will continue to experience the punishment of God, and the words “those who love me” – which speak to those who will continue to experience the favor and love of God
– Nowhere in the New Testament do we find any reference to this concept
My biggest problem with those using his verse as proof or generational curse is the failure of those who use it to quote the entire verse. They usually stop to the line that says “generation of those who hate me.” I don’t understand why they would stop there. The next line says,
but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This passage must be read from the perspective of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Outside the body of Christ, there may be evidence of a generational curse, but for believers the bondage and curse of sin are broken at salvation. Even though there may be some natural traits or behavior patterns in the life of the believer, we must deal with them through the help of the Holy Spirit.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Romans 6:6, 7
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
2 Peter 1:3
Generational Curse says you are still bound to sins, that the misfortune, sicknesses, and limitations of your parents are still on you, even though you are in Christ. That you need an anointed man of God to break to curse of your life. But Jesus says, you are justified, redeemed, delivered, regenerated, adopted and by my stripes you have been made whole. If the son sets you free you are free indeed. If you are in Christ, the old has passed and behold all things have been made new.