This weekend we celebrated one of our friends receiving his doctorate. He has Italian roots, so I knew I would make my mom’s famous lasagna. I’ve made it so many times I don’t need to look at the recipe anymore, but if I were to pull it out, you would find it stained with tomato paste and grease from hamburger meat over the years. This recipe was one of the favorite things my mom made me and I’ve made it for over 14 years now. I hope it’s something my children will make for their families one day too.
My counselor and I have talked about many things I hope to pass down to my children from my family, definitely my mom’s lasagna and my grandma’s peach cobbler. They have also been very consistent throughout the years, and I hope to pass that down to my children. However, there are certain things, I have drawn a line in the sand and resolved would no longer be in my family line. There is generational abuse, addiction, and divorce that will no longer be the inheritance of my bloodline.
I was reading about Rahab this morning and was thinking how similar her story is to mine. Rahab had every reason to continue in the life she was living. Rahab was a prostitute living in the city wall. Her life was filled with constant abuse and trauma. Her inheritance looked dark and hopeless.
Until one day, two men knocked on her door. It wasn’t the usual knock on the door for her, this was an invitation, a divine moment in her history where her resolve changed everything. These two men were spies from Israel, scoping out Jericho. The Bible says she knew immediately that these men were different. God was with them and had given them the land. She encountered something she had never experienced with men before. It was the presence of God. She knew, their God was her ticket out.
The king tried to come find the men that were spying, but Rahab hid them on her roof. They made a covenant with one another that if she hid them when it came time to take the land, they would save her and her family. The way they would know to protect her household was that she would hang a scarlet cord down from her window.
She had worn a scarlet letter on her chest for years. She was the town prostitute, that was her identity and inheritance. And a scarlet cord saved her and her family and redeemed her story to such a great degree that she was in the generational lineage of Jesus. I can’t help but think the scarlet cord foreshadowed the blood of Jesus that covered her and her family. Rahab resolved that no longer would the scarlet letter be the inheritance for her and her family, but it would be the scarlet cord that was her way out of the cycle of abuse and trauma.
There is an invitation for us today, like Rahab, to choose the inheritance we want for our children. Do we want to continue in the unhealthy generational cycles that have been passed down to us? “Well, we have anxiety because our grandma and mom have anxiety. It just runs in the family.” Or, “I struggle with anger because my dad has always had a temper. It’s just a part of our family.”
I don’t know about you, but I want the fullness of the inheritance I have in Jesus. Yes, I want to pass down my mom’s famous lasagna, love for birthdays, and my grandma’s peach cobbler, but I’ve drawn a line in the sand, much like Rahab, and decided to let the Father heal the deep parts of my heart so I don’t pass down unhealth to my children and their children.
Just because “things have always been this way,” doesn’t mean they have to always stay that way. The blood of Jesus, that scarlet cord, speaks a better word over our future for ourselves, our children, and their children.
Pray this with me:
Father, I invite you into the deep places of my heart. I invite you into the places of shame and hopelessness, where things have always looked the same and it feels as if there will never be change. I invite your presence in those places, your resurrection power, and the blood of Jesus to wash over those deep places. I ask you, Holy Spirit, to help identify places in my heart that need healing so I and my family can walk in the abundant life you purchased for us. I decree and declare that You are my family’s inheritance and I plead the blood of Jesus over my generational line that we will be your people and you will be our God.
Questions to Journal:
- What are aspects of your family you want to pass down to your children?
- What are places in your family you want to see the Father heal?
- Invite God into those places and ask Him for His healing.