When my girls were very young, they loved to play dress up. I gave them my old dresses and high heels, and they played for hours. They would even dress up their baby brother in girl’s clothing. I noticed when they played, they imitated the things I did. They imitated my walk and said things I said. It was a reminder that as a parent I was always being watched.
Whether we want to be or not, we are examples to our children. Both our flaws and our positive qualities are repeated in our children and could even be passed onto our grandchildren. Because of this, we see things like alcoholism, sexual addiction, abuse, anxiety and other things passed along from generation to generation.
This phenomenon is nothing new. It goes back to Adam and Eve. Even Abraham passed on traits to his son Isaac. Both men followed and worshiped the Lord and had a close relationship with Him. They even talked one on one with God. Both had to wait many years for a son to be born to them. Oddly enough, both men had wives that were beautiful. So, when they moved to a strange land, both lied and said their wives were their sisters so that they would not be killed so the men of that territory could take their wives. AND they both did this under the Philistines kings’ rule.
Both Philistine kings were moral men. In both Abraham’s and Isaac’s account, the king discovers that the women are their wives and not their sisters. The kings scold each man and send out an edict of protection for the couple. Abraham and Isaac did not totally trust God to keep them safe in a foreign land, so they helped Him. It is amazing how both accounts are so similar. When reading them, it is possible to think you had already read this account.
The lesson in all this is that if God repeats something, it is important. I believe there is more than just the lesson of always being truthful and trusting God in these accounts. I see the repeat of this account as a warning to parents to be good examples to our children by loving God and living according to God’s moral code so that good things are instilled in them. Of course, parents are not perfect, and there are the teen years when no matter what you do, you feel like it’s all been for naught. Yet, if we live a life putting God first and adhering to His Word and moral code, it has a good chance to become evident in our children at some point. It is a process like everything else in life. Sometimes, we may not get to see results because they may come after we have died. Of course, there is always the chance that they will reject God. However, I believe God honors those who pray for their children and live as God would have us live to the best of our ability.
God loved Abraham and Isaac, and they were imperfect men. Regardless of their shortcomings, He still provided for them and blessed them. Why? Because they developed a loving relationship with Him and tried to live a life that honored Him – not a perfect life, but a good try at a moral one. The fact that they both repeated the same sin, and God still loved and blessed them, is a reminder that if we love and have a relationship with God and live a life that honors Him the best as we can, He will get us through the dumb, crazy stuff we do, forgive us and love us anyway. Our children will observe this in us and hopefully do the same.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39