How Family Systems Impact Children

Click the Transcript icon (immediately to the right of the CC icon) if you want to read the conversation.

Family systems are the building blocks of a society and culture. Pay attention to God's instructions for the health of your family.

God’s Warning to Fathers

This scripture may include the mother, but it speaks explicitly to fathers. Since it speaks directly to fathers, you see the role of leadership that God expects from fathers because that is the assignment He gave them.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. – Exodus 20:4-5

That last part needs to be repeated—visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.

That is a wake-up call for a father! What God says there – the sins committed in your life – will impact your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren! If you are practicing a lifestyle against God’s desires, you are passing that thinking and lifestyle example and the consequences of those sins to three and four generations that follow you.

Research Shows That Truth 

They have mapped out families that have been followers of God and how many good children come out of that and have a positive impact on future generations. And they have traced families where the fathers were ungodly and how many children from that family system hurt society.

Of course, this does not say that great people cannot come out of bad homes and lousy people from great homes. That is part of Ezekiel 18, and you can see that here.

For now, focus on what you are passing on to your children. Look at your life and be honest about your life. If you are not paying attention to what God’s word says, you are putting obstacles in the path of your children. Or you are listening to God, and you are blessings them.

Consider Deuteronomy 6:6-9 which is a way to be a great help to your children.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What is it that God is saying there? “Pay attention to what I’m saying continually. That is the saving grace that will bless your life. Pay attention to what I’m offering you, and you will have the right thinking to live with blessings for you and your children.”

God also provides critical truth in Ezekiel chapter 18; children have a decision of their own. That will be looked at, but right now, this is about you, your choices, and what you are doing with your life.

Beliefs, Issues We Can Pass On

Children often imitate parents, right? Especially in their formative years. So, what they see, they will tend to do. It is like that old statistic of “Why do I drive a Ford?” Because, odds are, “My dad drove a Ford.” I do not even look for other cars. I am just looking for a Ford.

So much goes on in family systems without saying a word.  Everything that you do in your family system has a family stamp of approval and is accepted in some form as OK, the norm. That is the reason research shows that even evil actions like incest and child abuse get passed on. The family system says, “That’s how families work.” It is not thought of as evil, even at times when the truth exposes the lie.

So as a parent, not just the father but also the mother, start looking at what you are passing on. Look at the beliefs, values, and issues you pass on to your children.

A Starter List to Consider

  • Degree to which offspring can be intimate with spouses
  • Whether the family is father-dominant, mother-dominant, father-led, or equalitarian
  • Importance of males vs. females
  • Character; Honesty, Integrity
  • Respect for Authority
  • Family secrets
  • Expressions of emotions
  • Career choices
  • Meaning and use of money
  • Use of alcohol and legal or illegal drugs
  • Views on separation, divorce, remarriage
  • The Value of Children
  • Racial, social, or physical prejudice
  • Sexual attitudes
  • Importance of education
  • Favored or disfavored children
  • Religion
  • Love for God
  • Suicide
  • Unresolved Issues

The list could be much longer. Watch course 06B for more information.


examples to children, exodus 20, helping or hurting your children, parent impact on children, parents passing issues to their children, Post, sins of the fathers, three and four generations, TV0055

Television Shows you may also like

Podcasts you may also like

Good People Up To No Good

Good People Up To No Good

Why Only Me Who Must Change?

Why Only Me Who Must Change?
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}