From generation to generation
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I was reading a debate recently regarding the impact of parents vs. genetics and socialization on things such as faith, politics, personality, etc. (If I knew how to insert a hyperlink, I, like any good blogger, would include a link, but I don’t. So I won’t). One party argued that despite what some scientific studies suggest, parents MUST have an impact – it seems intuitive. Another argued that parenting’s impact is mitigated by other factors such as who kids hang out with (i.e. their social group). Leaving aside the science which I am woefully unable to debate, the discussion itself was interesting if for no other reason that there would be people out there who would deny or severely limit parents’ impact. After all, as the first party suggested, it seems intuitive that their impact is real – how many people do you know who turned out the way they did because of an expressed commitment to be unlike their parents? And how many of these people failed? A lot do – primarily because the impact of their parents is far too great.
In his book, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”, Philip Yancey tells the story of how one generation passed on a heritage of unforgiveness. Year after year, messages of ungrace had been inherited. And at the time of his writing, the cycle had remained unbroken. Conversely, I am the byproduct of several generations of love. From generation to generation messages of love were communicated and this in no small way shaped the person I’ve become.
May the cycle remain unbroken.