Have you ever had to ask anybody for a second chance? Maybe you wronged a friend, a spouse, or even your boss and you had to throw yourself at their mercy in order to make amends for your error. Sometimes people give you a second chance, but sometimes they don’t. You want to hear some real good news? God is a God of second chances! In fact, even better, He’s a God of nth chances; He specializes in helping broken, sinful people to start over.
So how does this truth apply to our families? Well, aren’t our families just a collection of broken, sinful people gathered under one roof? God is a God of second chances for individuals as well as families.
If you’re like me, you may not have been raised in a Christian home and the habits and patterns you learned from your parents may strangely linger in your own life, as evidenced in your actions or your speech. I never thought I would say, “Quit crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!” As a kid, I didn’t even understand the logic of that statement. It seemed silly to me. I mean, I was already crying and you want to make me cry more? However, as an imperfect father following in the line of imperfect parents, I have said it too. The point is that the way we raise our own families is often a perpetuation of what we learned by being children in a family; and not all of that is good.
Numbers 14:18 says, “… [He will visit] the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.” Like endless waves on the seashore, the idea is that if we perpetuate the same sinful patterns with our own children that we learned ourselves as children, the ripple effects can be devastating; generations may be ruined by what we do with our children today. Soak that in.
However, the good news related to our topic is that God is a God of second chances! The first part of that same verse says, “The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression…” There is an opportunity for forgiveness with God. We can start over! By God’s grace, we can turn our homes around and start a legacy of godliness that alters the course of our family history and that can lead to the betterment, instead of the detriment, of generations to come.
May God give us the grace and wisdom to see what we need to change in our homes that He may be glorified, that we may grow to be godly parents, and that a Christian legacy may begin. Lord, help us to start over in our families.