Sin of the Fathers

Today ran across a section of Forming: A Work of Grace that I think shows very clearly how the sins committed against us can distort our world for a lifetime, unless we receive healing from God.

When a child grows up in an abusive home environment, they learn how little they matter in the scheme of things, that no one cares for their soul, life is unpredictable, and they are powerless to impact their own world. Above all, they discover that they are alone; there is no one they can count on.

Beliefs such as these have a life of their own, a destructive power that wreaks havoc on every other aspect of a child’s life, probably long into adulthood. All their judgments will be impaired because they lack any foundation for coherence and security. They may adopt a heavy facade to keep from being known, even though they desperately need to be known by someone who cares. Very likely they will develop a pervasive hatred of their own life. A large percentage of these children will end up “looking for love in all the wrong places” because of the desperation they feel, trying to make up for what they never got as a child. Trust in God may be almost impossible, especially if they believe God should have done something about their home life. On the other hand, they may adopt a fantasy view of God, hoping He will provide a safety bubble in which they can live where nothing can touch them ever again.

Most importantly, there is absolutely no way to talk such a person out of these beliefs. They were forged in the depths of trauma, and by means of these beliefs this person has managed to cope and survive. When you challenge their beliefs, in effect you threaten their survival.

And it is not just their defenses you are up against. The very gray matter of their mind has been woven into a pattern that revolves around the icons they have internalized over time in highly emotional states. Such paths do not dissolve because of a Sunday School lesson that says, “Jesus loves me,” when the child has thousands of hours of life experience that cry out, “No one has ever loved me!”

Since there are hundreds of ways these kinds of wounds can enter our soul, we need God more than we can possibly know. Thankfully, He has provided many avenues for inner healing and restoration. We just need to learn how to participate in what God wants to do in us.

David Takle

Author, speaker, apprentice.

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