Breaking The Family Curse
BREAKING THE FAMILY CURSE
Asa King of Judah
1 Kings 15:9–14 9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. 11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord , as his father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his fathers had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life.
“Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord ” (v. 11 ). He led a spiritual reformation and destroyed the idolatry of his father. He also removed Maachah, his grandmother, from being the queen mother because she had made an obscene image of the idol Asherah. Asa cut this image down and burned it by the Brook Kidron.
Asa actively broke the family curse or generational curse over his family line. Just because his parents and grandparents had been involved in sin and idol worship did not mean he had to continue in their sins. He allowed God to cleanse him of these sins and destroyed the idols in his family.
Asa — physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land ( 1 Kings 15:8–14 ). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honoured by his people ( 2 Chr. 16:1–13 ), and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
Building others up. Eph. 4:12-13
Speaking truth in love Eph 4:15
Stirring up love and good works Heb 10:24-25
Building others up. A central theme in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the priority of building up the body of Christ. God has given us the responsibility and privilege of entering into one another’s growth process. God wants to see that the gifts he gives are used “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13). There is nothing small about God’s expectations for us.
Yet, in a day and age when there are ample illustrations of the dangers of cults and codependency, we need to be reminded that the Bible calls us to be responsible to those around us, while avoiding the tendency to be responsible for all their actions, choices and relationships. As Christian, we are responsible to call our group members to the life values and lifestyle consistent with the kingdom. Yet, what if one gets drunk or another sleeps with his girlfriend or another turns her back on the fellowship? We are not to blame. Each makes his or her own decisions. Our job as leaders is to call them to repentance and faith.
Building up people is harder than tearing them down. Encourage patterns of communication in your group that bring personal and spiritual growth. This will occasionally include confrontation, but it will most often involve tons of encouragement. Identify and discourage attitudes and interactions that injure people or inhibit relationships. Watch out for biting humor that cuts down members or causes others to clam up. We are both swimming instructors and lifeguards, teaching our groups to relate effectively with one another at the same time we are staying alert to communication dangers that might cause someone to drown.
Just as an individual possesses a self-image, a small group develops a corporate self-image. The guide for our groups should be “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building others up according to their needs, so that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). As members of the group learn to enter into one another’s lives, dig into Scripture, make life-transforming decisions and reach out together, the group’s self-image will reflect the reality of God in our midst.
Speaking truth in love. The wisdom of Scripture is wonderfully reflected in another of Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians: “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (4:15). Paul clearly sets his instruction about communication in the context of the overriding goal, which is the fellowship’s growing connection with and resemblance to Christ. Communication between Christians that loses sight of this ambition is wayward.
What does it mean to “speak truth”? In the narrowest contextual sense, this means conveying and teaching the truths of the Scripture. However, because of the clear concern about the ethical quality of our speech that surfaces in Ephesians 4:25–32, we probably have the freedom to interpret the phrase in a broader fashion. In other words, we are to tell the truth to one another about many other matters—ranging from the struggles we are having spiritually to the shortcomings of discipleship that we detect. We speak forthrightly and honestly with one another, but with one condition: Before we speak, we make sure that our motive is characterized by a desire for the other person’s spiritual well being. It is the precondition of love that protects the other person from ruthless critique and hurtful evaluation. Love distinguishes confrontation that stimulates change and growth from condemnation that results in hostility and despair.
Particularly in the academic world, people become accustomed to arguing and debating. The verbally gifted can engage in hours of argumentative conversation and leave thinking it was fun. Usually this is a “win-lose” pattern. Someone wins the argument, and someone else loses. Speaking truth in love creates a “win-win” situation, and the kingdom of God advances.
There is no doubt that we want all small groups to reach a level of maturity where people can enter into one another’s lives and speak truth lovingly. When this happens, people can repent of sin, overcome shortcomings and grow in spiritual maturity. However, it does take time, trust and the security of a loving environment. Without the love factor, even truth-speakers become noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.
Stirring up love and good works. Any group of Christians who gather together regularly can begin with a burst of action that dissipates over time until there is little that is happening inside or outside of the group. The writer of Hebrews 10:24–25 address this undesirable potential: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The image of a pool of water on a cold day comes to mind. It would quickly freeze if it weren’t for someone regularly taking a stick, stirring it up and maintaining its fluidity.
Great News! You are a child of the King and already have inherited His righteousness! Ps 139:13-16.
CORE DEFINITION OF CO-DEPENDENCY:
Co-dependency is a dysfunctional pattern of living which emerges from our family of origin, as well as our culture, producing arrested identity development, and resulting in an overreaction to the things outside of us and an under reaction to the things on the inside. Left untreated, it can deteriorate into addiction.
THE EMOTIONALLY DEPENDENT PERSON:
The emotionally dependent person is the individual in the relationship who is the primary dependent. This person views connection to another person as the essential source for their self-esteem and security. This is the weaker of the two people in the relationship who leans on the stronger, yet controls the stronger with their manipulation and their great neediness.
THE CO-DEPENDENT PERSON:
The co-dependent person is the individual in the relationship who is stronger but easily controlled by the neediness of the weaker, emotionally dependent person. The co-dependent will compromise their own well being to meet the needs and to protect the feelings of their leaning, emotionally dependent family member, friend, or co-worker.
A. Co‑dependency is an unhealthy relationship to mood‑altering person that has damaging consequences. Co‑dependents give up their own feelings, needs, and wants. Like all addictions, co‑dependency has at its core a shame-based person. Such people feel worthless and believe they do not have a right to depend on another person to get their needs met. Instead, they react to or live according to another person's feelings, needs, and wants. Co‑dependency can occur on a one‑to‑one basis or with a group of people to which one pledges and gives up their own identity.
B. Co‑dependents manifest the following characteristic:
1. Difficulty in identifying and expressing feelings and desires.
2. Difficulty in forming or maintaining close relationships. By avoiding closeness with another person, they avoid the trauma of their stored pain.
3. Perfectionism ‑ unrealistic expectations of self and others. The drive for perfection is always rooted in damaged integrity.
4. Rigid or "stuck" attitudes and behavior.
5. Difficulty in making changes.
6. Feeling overly responsible for other people.
7. Difficulty in making decisions.
8. Enmeshed boundaries ‑ they don't know individual limits within the co‑dependent relationship.
9. General feelings of being flawed and powerless over one's life.
Books for Co-dependents
Facing Co-Dependency, Pia Mellody/ Andrea Wells Miller/Jay Keith Miller
Boundaries, Cloud, Dr. Henry, Dr. John Townsend
Please Don’t Say You Need Me, Jan Silvious
From Bondage to Bonding, Escaping Codependency Embracing Biblical Love, Nancy Groom
Breaking Free, Recovery Work Book Pia Mellody