I am aware of generational cycles that can destroy lives and lead to sin that we are sometimes unaware of. One of the things that I teach other women through the support group I lead is how to recognize the red flags of abuse and co-dependency in the hope of breaking those cycles. Yes, our bad choices play a part, but abuse is never the victim’s fault. When we are aware of the cycle, we can do something to change it.
Once we learn how to recognize these factors from our childhood, there are ways to break the cycle through repentance and prayer. I am reading a Bible plan entitled “Freedom for Ladies” (GJF Ministries, Jamye Lane) on the YouVersion Bible app, which is very timely and helpful. The logic can be applied to anyone, not just women. The plan outlines the steps in breaking off things from the family line and replacing it with blessings from God.
The morning I read the steps, I decided to use one of my favorite verses as the blessings from Scripture to pray over myself and my family. It is also one of my favorite songs, “The Blessing,” with the lyrics taken directly from the Bible. Aaron’s blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 is a priestly blessing showing God’s will to bless every Israelite. The ESV Study Bible denotes that this blessing engraved on a silver amulet is the earliest archaeological discovery, having the covenantal name of God (Yahweh), which was found in a Judean tomb dating back to the seventh or sixth century B.C.
(V24)“The Lord bless you and keep you; (v 25) the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; (V 26) the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Emphasis mine)
Let us look at the meaning of each verse: The Lord blesses us by giving good harvests, peace, children, and his own presence (Lev. 26:3-13). ‘Keep’ means to guard or protect. His face shine upon you in God’s presence, like sunshine (Ps. 19:1-11). A shining face is a smiling face, a pledge of God’s good favor (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19, ESV). The countenance is the expression on one’s face. The study Bible says that for God to lift his countenance involves treating people with favor. Peace or shalom means total well-being.
This led me to Daniel 9, which provides the same model of repentance and prayer along with this blessing. Daniel prayed a prayer of adoration, then a confession on behalf of himself and his people (9:4). Daniel asked God to show favor and make His face shine upon him and bring exile to an end. Not because of his righteousness but because of God’s commitment to glorify His own name (9:17). If we read further, Daniel received an answer from God through an angel named Gabriel. Still, I want us to pay attention to this: he confessed his sin and the sin of his people, presenting a plea to God and asking for His blessing.
This mirrors the steps in the plan first to praise God, then repent for the sins committed in our generation, then break them off our generation, in Jesus’ name, and next wash the generations on both sides of the family with the blood of Christ, as far back as the sin got in; close the doors in Jesus’ name. Take authority over the sin in Jesus’ name, and then bless yourself and the next generation with applicable biblical blessings. If you have anything in your family that needs to be broken off and replaced with a blessing, I encourage you to try it. Just as awareness is critical to change, Lane points out repentance is key to freedom.