Would God approve of children blaming their parents for how they developed or the decisions the children made? Would God approve of parents complaining about how their children turned out?
Dr. Marline Howe said, “When stress hits the system, family pathology will override theology unless you’re deeply committed to objective truth.”
That means what feels normal is what you will do in difficult or stressful times. The way you have developed and handled things in the past is the way you’re most likely to act under pressure. And unless you are deeply committed to God’s word, you will not say, “You know what, it doesn’t feel normal to do it the way God’s saying, but I’m going to trust God,” if you are not in that mode, you will end up letting your flawed thinking rule the day.
Even awful behavior like child abuse and incest in a family can be seen as normal. Therefore, it is not unusual for child abusers to have children who grow up to be child abusers. The same can be true of incest and multiple other bad behaviors.
Your Family Tree
You are a product of your family tree, but that does not mean you are stuck with how the family system thinks. Some people would also say you are responsible for improving your family tree. Is that true?
No, that is not your job. You are not responsible for your family tree. But to some degree, you are responsible for the seeds that fall from your tree branch. Just like a picture of a mostly dead tree except for one branch. Hopefully, that branch is you and your immediate family.
Now, you are not responsible for making the rest of that tree healthy. As a father, and you can include a mother, you are responsible for keeping your part of the tree as healthy as possible.
Too many parents assume they are responsible for how their kids turn out. That is an unfortunate, unbiblical thought. Check out this blog for more details - Godly Parents Have Godly Children - True or False? Or, watch this lesson in course 8B - “Parents – You Aren’t Your Child.” for details on what God tells parents and children in Ezekiel 18.
Spoiler alert – every person is responsible for their own actions, and God says He never wants to hear parents blame their children for how they turned out, and no child can blame their parents for how they turned out.
So, look at any dysfunctional family system. At any time, any person in that system can participate according to the family system or in the way God wants them to live.