Southern California, Class of 2013
My parents divorced when I was in 5th grade. It was a painful and devastating experience seeing your father, who was your childhood hero, abandon you and walk away from your family. I was heart broken and furious. Witnessing all the sorrow and heartache endured, I vowed myself to never grow up to become like my father. Ever.
20 years later, the vow is still vivid, active and very much alive. I’ve willed myself to become completely opposite of my father. I’ve reminded myself millions of times that I would be different. That I would love my wife til the end. That I would never leave my family. That I would become a father that my own father has failed to become. However, to my utter shock and dismay, I was becoming like him daily, without ever realizing that I was.
Growing up in a Korean-American community, divorces were very common. Because it was so prevalent, a kid from a divorced family wasn’t treated any differently. There weren’t any special programs, mentoring or teachings catered specifically – both in society, school or at church. All I knew was that you never become like your father and never divorce when you get married. You are to love your wife unconditionally and respect the single mother who’ve raised you. No one has every taught me about how to become a father. Let alone, no one has ever taught me about generational sins.
It was at Father School Retreat in 2013 that I was introduced to a concept called the generational sin. In the past few years, I’ve despised myself for becoming like my father daily. 20 years of self-training, reminders and revisiting traumatic memories in 5th grade couldn’t prevent me. The man that I’ve refused to become, was becoming alive in me daily. I hated myself. I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t keep my marriage happy. I couldn’t understand how the thoughts of divorce was penetrating my mind. I could no longer see myself in the mirror. I was ashamed and even had thoughts of following my steps after my dad. Even giving up my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Through the Father School, I’ve found out that I was not alone. There were many men, who’ve found themselves becoming like their own father. It was comforting to know that I was not alone. But how do I overcome this? Are we hopeless? Why weren’t we equipped to handle these situations?
Generational sin is very real and is infiltrating through every marriage. In the Scripture, King David’s generational sins were violence, blood and lust. It never left his family and it passed down to the next generation through Absalom and Solomon. For some of us, it may be divorce, gambling, alcoholism, anger, violence, infidelity, career and so on. It is absolutely important that we recognize this sin that lives like a virus inside us. Once recognized, we need to come to God daily, depending on His absolute guidance and strength.
Father School has taught me that only God can help us to overcome this generational sin. No tragic experiences, no self-training, no self-will can ever overcome this sin. Only God himself through the blood of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit can save us. It has revealed to me a different perspective on why we need God daily. Why I can never leave my guard down. It humbled me and brought me to my knees.
Also, it taught me the importance of reconciliation with your own father. Yes – although unseemingly impossible or undesirable it appears, it is critical. No person on earth will ever understand the temptation you face daily like your own father. God has designed this relationship to be edifying and holy. God does not desire us to be eternally separate – but to lean on each other, share and overcome together. How you treat your own father is an indicator of how your own son will treat you. Your hatred for your father can be a generational sin that you pass down to your son and to his sons for generations.
Praise be to God because there is also a generational blessing. In the Scripture, God promises over again and again to our forefathers that He will bless the offspring for generations to come. All of us, there is a generational blessing that we don’t recognize as well. It is absolutely important that we recognize what this blessing is and we make it known in our family and to our children. You see, God is a just God. He desires to bless us abundantly more than we can ever imagine. Anything that God lovingly places in our life with His own hands is a blessing. Do you know what your generational blessing is?
I highly invite all males of all race and all seasons of life to Father School. It is a biblical program led by the Spirit to identify core issues within us. More importantly, it instills in us a hope and a future where we can stand proudly and reclaim our role as a Father.