Anyway, the Death Star was destroyed at the end of Episode IV and Darth Vader is obsessed with finding Luke. Think about the man you respect less than anyone else on Earth. Now imagine that you’ve just found out he’s your father! Luke seemed less freaked out to discover that Leia was his sister (but that doesn’t come until the last episode) than to find out Darth Vader was his father. Then again, who wouldn’t want a sister like Princess Leia? ~smile~ Personally, I think a sister who can fight off creeps with reckless abandon would be nice to have in the family!
Let’s say you were in Luke’s position and you just found out that your birth father is one of the most hated, wanted men in the galaxy. Do you think you would begin to question yourself and your affinity for evil? My dad is one of the most docile, easy going people I know (unless his Indianapolis Colts or University of North Carolina Tarheels are losing) – and, I generally think of myself as an extension of him. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But If I found out tomorrow that my dad adopted me, and that my birth father was an angry man, in jail for rape and murder, would I question who I am and my destiny? I think I probably would, even if only for a few moments.
Our parents do a lot to influence our lives, often in ways we cannot understand. We are affected by what we see in their lives and we pattern ourselves after them. My mom would clench my chin in her hand when she wanted to get my attention (as I tend to daydream) and I hated it. It was something I never wanted to do when I grew up. Well, I turned seventeen and started helping in the 2-5 year-old class at church and what do you think I did? A little boy wouldn’t pay attention to what I was saying to him, so I clenched his little chin in my hand and forced him to look at me. It was frightening how natural that action was for me. I’d never done it before, but it’s what I knew. It was familiar.
What we don’t often think about is how our parents affect us spiritually. It’s not fun to think about, but we are affected by our parents’ sins. Exodus 20:4-6 (ESV) reads, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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 or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
This is one example in the Bible of the sins of one generation affecting future generations. How often do you see the son of an alcoholic struggle against alcoholism or the daughter of a promiscuous woman struggle against sexual sins? Our parents’ sins do affect us, but the good news is that God is bigger than any sin and His grace is sufficient. Yes, you may be drawn to a particular sin more than someone else because of your parents’ sins (e.g., gluttony, drug abuse, pride, rage, etc.), but those chains can be broken. When Christ took our place on the cross, He broke the curse of sin and death.
In regards to relationships, it is good to know that by the grace of God you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes your parents made. Maybe your dad was abusive or your mom was disrespectful and venomous. Yes, you will likely have more to overcome than someone who had a stereotypically perfect upbringing; but if you are in the faith by the grace of God (i.e., God has regenerated your heart and you are a new creature in Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17]), you don’t have to repeat the sins of your parents. The chains can be broken and by breaking the chains you can begin a life that will bring blessing and spiritual prosperity to your children and your future generations who follow after God.
Though Star Wars is not a Christian move, it does display the power of evil and the greater power of good. As believers we know that only God is truly good and He has already triumphed over evil. If your parents divorced, treated each other badly, or simply lived a life of regret, you don’t have to follow in their footsteps. However, you must remain vigilant in your future marriage relationship. Keep verses up around your house. Pray and read the Bible together daily. Keep short accounts with each other and let grace and forgiveness be the theme of your home. As you pray daily, ask God to show you and your spouse grace, ask for Him to protect your relationship from ruin, and ask Him to break the chains of familial sins in your family.
Are you afraid of getting married because you are afraid you will follow in your parents’ footsteps?