I am revisiting a blog I wrote on December 6, 2010, titled Second Hand... I have added some additional thoughts and wanted to share them with you today.
Last week I heard an interesting interview on Midday Connections. The women were talking about the kind of legacy we leave for our children and they challenged listeners to consider, as we all know, second hand smoke does affect those around us, but what about our second hand; attitudes, behaviors, habits, motives, and fears, etc.
While this can be convicting on many levels as you consider this, I encourage you to let this move you towards a place of healing and wholeness....a place of change. Allow this to be a call to get rid of undesirable traits, patterns, and thinking, so that our children don't have to carry the same second hand issues into their families. We all have things in our life that we hope our children do not continue in, or worse than that, pass down to their children. How often do you see habits like smoking, alcoholism, financial instability, worry, promiscuity, anger, or even prejudice, carried over generation to generation?
Does a smoker actually say, "I hope my child grows up to smoke?" What parent wants to see their adult child in constant financial turmoil? Are alcoholics really happy? do they wish their children the same emotional baggage as they have? Does a parent who has anger issues hope that their children learn to deal with stress and unexpected circumstances in the same angry way as they do? Does a mother who lives with guilt, shame, and fear, desire her children to carry the same burdens? I believe with all my heart, that the answer to these questions is a loud NO. However, when we are unwilling to change our patterns, behaviors, and attitudes that do not reflect a Godly legacy, we are passing the same baton that was most likely passed to us, on to our children.
This is a reflective opportunity to recognize all of our attitudes, behaviors, habits, motives, and fears do matter and our children are watching and learning from us. Knowledge is power and we have the opportunity to be honest (even if the honesty hurts) and aware to make changes. The key is...we have to be willing to change. Change starts with an acknowledgment.
It is important to communicate awareness of undesirable legacies to your children. Children (and other adults) need to see our example of repentance and change. They need to see that while we are not perfect, when we become aware of certain patterns, behaviors, and attitudes that do not reflect a Godly legacy, we have the option to stop, repent, and change at any given moment. We can begin to stop generational sin cycles!
Let's consider our legacy and all of the second hand issues we are leaving unchanged for future generations. What strong holds are we passing down? Again, I encourage you not to allow this to be a time of negativity, but rather an opportunity to become aware and pro-active. Be willing to do the "heart work" to set the stage for generations of HOPE!
One day at a time, one moment at a time...there is always HOPE