Understanding Generational Curses

The subject dealing with generational curses is a challenging topic for many people. There are a  variety of viewpoints on the matter. A person can easily find those who support and those who oppose various points of scripture. It is not my intention to provoke controversy or debate scripture. I can only tell you what I have found to be true by my personal journey and share my testimony. I also share many insights that I continue to learn and you'll find them in various other articles. It is one thing to try to arrive at understanding based on what others may or may not teach. It is something altogether different when God gives it by revelation.


When God first began speaking to me about this subject, I did not hear Him reference the scripture in Exodus 20:4, 5 that many other teachers reference. This is one key verse that many ministers utilize and seemingly what causes a great deal of controversy. I did, however, hear Him clearly ask me a very specific question in regards to the sins of those in my generational line. At a time when we were literally losing everything, I had been troubled by some very disturbing dreams. Finally, one night in prayer I sought the Lord to the meaning of it all. I heard Him say, "Renounce voodoo." After contemplating the validity of this request and given to the tendency to argue the fact, I did what He requested. Then I heard Him ask me, "Do you know what those in your family have opened a door to, Laura?" I said, "No, Lord...how could I possibly know that?" To which He responded, "That is my point exactly." You see, there can be many things that the spirit realm is quite aware of, but we are not, and it's those things that keep us blind to the doors the enemy uses to gain access to our lives.


Let me ask you something. Have you noticed anyone in your family that seems to have repeated the same pattern as a parent or a grandparent? Do you or anyone in your family have a history of things like addictions, alcoholism, anger, rage or abuse? What about adultery, broken relationships, divorce or controlling behavior? Is anyone in your family an atheist, a practicing witch or warlock, or exhibit an unnatural affection for the occult and supernatural realm? What about things such as mental illness, untimely death, poverty and inherited disease? Has a parent or grandparent gotten pregnant out of wedlock only to have the same unfortunate pattern reproduce into the children and grandchildren? Sometimes the children are even the same age as when the sins first appeared in the parents. Many of these things repeat from one generation to the next. Who do you think gave you and your family those things? God did not, and they do not exist in heaven. Sickness, disease, poverty, repeated cycles of loss and all those things are often a result of unbroken curses. It's not a blanket statement to indicate that there aren't other explanations or seasons of life where we are living through something where God is teaching us another principle, HOWEVER, for the most part, if we seek the Lord to why we are going through loss or decrease, there will often be a reason why. Many times it is because we have things in our life that cause us to form unknown agreements with the enemy. Curses, oppression, poverty and things that rob from us didn’t come from God because those things do not exist in heaven. They come from the evil one. The question isn’t whether or not these things exist in people’s lives; the question is why more Christians don’t have the victory.


The evidence is all around us. If sickness doesn’t exist in heaven and God didn’t give us sickness and disease, then why isn’t every Christian healed? His intent is very clear in scripture that it is His will to heal. If every curse is broken then why isn’t every Christian walking in victory? Why don’t we see every Christian running around casting out demons, healing the sick, working miracles and turning the world upside down? The problem is not with God; it is with our understanding. We can be saved, but people still perish for lack of knowledge. Salvation is not the same as deliverance. The effects of unbroken curses are not a salvation issue. They are a deliverance and sanctification issue. There can still be areas of a person’s life - habits and mindsets that are not yet renewed where they actually serve as an open door to the enemy, even if we are unaware of it. We have to appropriate that victory Jesus won for us by cooperating with our own healing, deliverance and sanctification.


Most of my Christian life seemed extremely difficult and it felt like trudging through concrete. Although I was saved, loving and serving God to the best of my ability, there were definitely some things I knew were old cycles that kept repeating in my life. For instance, though it occurred in different years, both my brother and my father died right around the anniversary date of one another. My brother died unexpectedly in boot camp at the young age of 17. It occurred the first week of August. My father died the last week of July some years later. I also suffered a miscarriage the last day of July many years after that. The timing of the dates did not seem coincidental as they all took place within about a week’s time from one another. July and August were anniversary dates of death and sorrow. For years I had a curiosity about the odd occurrence of the timing of those events, but it never occurred to me that it might be attributed to the possibility of a generational curse. Alcoholism also ran in both sides of my families. Inherited diseases such as cancer and heart malformations were evident. My father had mental illness, I struggled with depression and mental health issues and others in my family were also affected. Three generations of women got pregnant out of wedlock. A poverty spirit hung over my family for at least several generations. There were certain things that had been with me all my life. Even as an adult and a person committed to Christ, no matter how much I asked God to help me something was there to hinder my deliverance. In some ways, I felt as if I was a magnet that drew the same type of troubled people into my life. Each time I was left in a worse state. No one had to tell me I had a demonic attachment in my life; I was well aware of it. The problem is, I had no one to tell me how to get delivered because the church I was a part of at the time didn’t really teach on this subject. I was doing everything I knew possible to do to live right and honor God. I went to church, I worshiped, prayed, devoured the word of God, tithed, and I did not socialize with others that were not Christians. I was serious about turning over a new leaf in my life but the enemy was equally serious about hindering me any way he could. I went up for practically every altar call and still did not experience victory the way I thought it should be lived out in a believer’s life. I was in spiritual and emotional poverty no matter what I did. I was plagued with spirits of fear, lust, anger and other things I could not get free from. If every curse was indeed broken upon my salvation and coming to Christ, then why was I still living with the effects of unbroken curses? A curse does not occur without a cause, according to Prov. 26:2. Let’s examine what exactly constitutes a curse and how to recognize it.


Miriam Webster Dictionary defines a curse as: 1) a prayer or invocation for harm or injury so come upon someone; 2) something that is cursed or accursed; 3) evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution; and 4) a cause of great harm or misfortune: also torment.


The effects of a curse produce many things. A curse produces loss. It produces defeat, failure, and an inability to prosper. The spirits of death and hell are attached to everything in that person’s life. It causes health issues, mental and emotional troubles, hopelessness, fear, loss of finances, employment, broken relationships and divorce and many other troubles. Nothing works right. It’s impossible to get a head. Blessings, however, cause a person to do well and prosper. It’s the complete opposite effect.


I know what some people say; some would say that the subject of generational curses is false teaching. I get all the reasons why. That was me many years ago. I had a religious answer but I didn’t have spiritual insight. I understood the scriptures, or at least I thought I did; but it still didn’t answer the questions why I had no victory and why the effects of Satan’s handiwork were still evident.  I couldn’t reconcile the two. People can tell others what scripture says all day long; but if that person needing deliverance walks away and doesn’t have an answer that heals and delivers them from bondage then it really hasn’t helped them at all. They truth is that someone is missing the truth somewhere because Jesus assured us “It is finished.” The fault doesn’t lie with God; it’s with people and their understanding of His word. People need answers for their problems, not just religious answers. I was left wondering, “Did Jesus really set us free from the law and the curse?” If so, why wasn’t I seeing more victory in my life? Why didn’t I see other Christians living in victory? Everyone I knew was just as messed up as the world. They weren’t walking in peace, victory or wholeness either. They had no real power in their life. I knew there had to be something I was missing. It was that conflict between what I read in God’s word and what I saw lived out in those around me that made me question everything I had been taught.


People can look for reasons to disbelieve, debate the issue and have a scriptural answer, but it may not necessarily be a spiritual answer. I think perhaps some of the confusion and where people differ is found in the words people focus on rather than on the spiritual principles. We are not just looking for the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law that helps us understand the intent of why it exists. The promise of blessing was conditional upon obedience. Curses were enacted upon those that refused to serve God. When God’s people entered into covenant with Him, they were to serve Him out of love and loyalty. Those that broke covenant were subject to the penalties of the law, which was rigid and not the least bit compassionate to human failure. God knew that no one could keep the law meticulously no matter how much they tried, and that the law in itself could not make a person righteous. That is why Father sent His Son, Jesus to pay the price that none of us could pay. He traded His life for ours, and through that act, redeemed all mankind and made a bridge between sinful man and a holy God.


Jeremiah 31:29-30 tells us, "In those days they shall say no more, “The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." What this means is that God no longer punishes His children for the sins of their forefathers. However, the sin weaknesses and sin patterns of the parents will be visited upon the children. Familiar spirits entice, tempt and lure other family members into the sins that have already been committed, learned and practiced in an unsanctified lifestyle. This is how the curse passes down the bloodlines in families. God does not curse His children, but Satan does. And, though some things may not necessarily be transferred from our ancestors to us as punishment from God, we still have to deal with the things that existed prior to our salvation. Before we came into covenant with God, we were in a covenant relationship with Satan. We might not stop to think about it in those terms, but that is the truth. Before we came to Christ we were under the law of sin and death.  Familiar spirits attach themselves to families to reproduce certain weaknesses towards sin, creating negative patterns of repeated loss, brokenness, etc. the way to break the curses is through repentance and confession of those sins, both of ourselves as well as identifying with the sins of our parents, grandparents and other ancestors.

Many people question whether confessing the sins of their ancestors is biblical, or necessary. Consider the fact that when the early church was first established (in the Book of Acts), there did not yet exist any other authoritative scripture outside of the Old Testament. That was their standard for sin, confession, conduct, and how to live. There are plenty of Old Testament scriptures that model identificational repentance, such as in Ezra, Nehemiah, Moses' and Daniel's examples of identifying with the people they were called to, and including themselves in the confession of sin, appealing to God for mercy and forgiveness, on behalf of the nation. New Testament scriptures that speak of confession of sin are found in James 5:16 as well as 1 John 1:9. We learn that the principles of Old Testament law are not nullified in the New Testament, rather Jesus came as the fulfillment of the law. We still adhere to God's law, according to scriptures in the Book of Romans. (see 3:31, 8:4 and 13:8).


Every person has to make a choice who they will serve. People either serve God, or they serve the world and the ruler of the world. Proverbs 26:2 tells us, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” The enemy cannot throw a curse on a person for no reason, so he looks for open doors that we might not understand are there. It becomes our job to pursue God and find out if the enemy sees something about our life that gives him access to us and our family. Jesus became the answer we need to redeem us from the power of sin!


Jesus made everything available to us through His death and resurrection. The legalities of what He accomplished on our behalf and what he made available to us are finished. Jesus does not need to do anything else. He died for our salvation, healing, wholeness, restoration and victory, but if we never accept Christ as our savior then whose fault is that? It isn’t God’s fault. He made everything available but you or I would not get the benefits of salvation or any other promise that comes by faith in the Son of God if we never chose Him as Lord or chose to serve Him. Let’s make this personal and apply it to ourselves. Think of it like this: Jesus won the victory for me, but if I do not read my Bible or study His word, then how will I really know everything that is available to me? If I want the benefit of God’s promises then there are some things I need to do to insure the promises come to pass. It is all available in seed form. The seed of the promise exists, but I have to cooperate with God to make sure I have broken agreement with the enemy in every area of my life. That means I need to take the authority God gave me and cast the devil out of my life. In Matthew 18:18,19 Jesus told us the principle of “agreement” is at work in the kingdom. It’s a spiritual principle. Either we are in agreement with faith and obedience, or we are in agreement with a lie and compromise. We speak life or we speak death with our words; we choose life or we choose something that has death attached to it. Every time we make a choice, we choose who we are going to follow. Every promise is ours through faith, but people can be saved and still perish for lack of knowledge. It is our job to understand what the scriptures mean and enforce the victory that Christ made available for us.


The evidence of our faith is obedience to God’s word. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” The enemy is a liar, murderer, a thief and a rule-breaker.  Satan is a career criminal. That’s his job. A career criminal is not going to abide by the rules or obey the law UNLESS someone ENFORCES the law. That is our job! If a person thinks that the enemy cannot rob, steal or mess with their life simply because they are under a new covenant of grace, that person is quite mistaken. If we do not exercise the authority that has been made available to us, then we will not experience victory.


It is not my intention in any way to bring people back under the condemnation of the law. Jesus came to break the curse that has people bound, but we must still deal with the familiar spirits and old mindsets that keep people in bondage. The mind must be renewed. Teaching on this subject is intended to be used as a means of learning from the entirety of God’s word, and show the reader how a lack of faith and misunderstanding scripture can cause people to suffer and struggle unnecessarily. We cannot afford to judge ourselves by our own opinions. Jesus Christ paid the price to make it possible for all mankind to live in freedom, health and victory- in as much as they are willing to appropriate that victory and live inside of covenant with God. When we step outside of covenant, we are in disobedience and open doors to the enemy to bring in a curse. God did not throw out obedience simply because we are under grace. I am so grateful for God’s grace and mercy, but at the same time we cannot afford to have a false sense of security in thinking that it becomes a substitute for our obedience. We must endeavor to fulfill our part of this covenant relationship.


The question we still need to resolve is what causes generational curses to activate in a person’s life? We know that the curse is upon all those that have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. But, what about the believer? Here is the key factor to why people don’t understand this issue: We still have to deal with whatever was passed down to us through generational iniquity before we got saved.  When I first got saved I knew my life was a mess but I didn’t know how to address demonic attachments. Those things remained with me for years, even after becoming a Christian because I did not know I needed to tell them to go. Demons will only listen to someone with spiritual authority. The reality of generational curses can be understood by the evidence in a person’s life. Sometimes those things always seem to be in progress, unraveling every bit of success and blessing in a person’s life. At other times, it would seem as if life was generally going ok and then something triggered the demonic realm to begin to destroy a person’s life. Unforgiveness and unresolved sin issues, for instance, allow the enemy to have legal access to a person’s life, and may be some of the things that seem to continue to allow the enemy access to a person's life. One open door is all Satan needs to bring in a great deal of trouble, and allow demonic attachments to remain.  


Repetitive Cycles


People tend to repeat patterns and behaviors of their parents. They can inherit spiritual traits just like a child inherits physical traits such as eye or hair color or other physical characteristics through genetics. In a similar manner, families can inherit negative spiritual patterns. Some things can be attributed to children repeating learned behaviors from what they have observed in others in their family.  Other things are reproduced spiritually through unbroken patterns and the propensity to have a weakness for certain sins. Though we are saved, there can still be demonic attachments to our lives that need to be severed. Is it God that puts the curse on us? No. The curse comes from the enemy. I don’t want to simply refer to an Old Testament scripture because everything in the Old Testament must first come through the cross. But, there are still principles in God’s word that apply. For instance, just to name a few, if we have idols in our lives (and many people do); or, if we are holding on to unforgiveness, bitterness, certain areas of our life where we have not allowed God to bring sanctification or have cursed others with our mouth; these things boomerang right back into our own lives in the form of blocked prayers, financial lack, infirmity, and perhaps other things as well. The curse is broken in and through Christ, but is that person living in the obedience that allows God's greater blessing, healing and freedom to manifest? Not really, no. So what manifests? Strongholds. Restricted emotional healing and freedom. Restricted blessings. The person is still bound through their own choices and actions. When a person is bound to anything in a negative sense, where does it come from? The enemy. But, God also does not contradict His word. He withholds his blessing until those things are resolved through our obedience. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are judged based on the law of love. We are to elevate God to the highest authority in our lives and honor Him first, and love our neighbor as ourselves. This is what fulfills all the commandments.


People tend to repeat the same familiar patterns and behaviors as their parents or grandparents. These patterns of behavior are both leaned through observation and habits but there is also the component of familiar spirits. Just because the things we do are normal to us doesn’t mean those things warrant God’s stamp of approval. People may suddenly get a different perspective on the things they do when they read God’s word and learn to apply it to themselves, but again, it requires something from us. What people consider normal behavior can often be repeating a familiar pattern of things they’ve grown accustomed to. That is where generational sin comes in. The things we think may be harmless enough may not harmless at all. Habits and behaviors that we tend to accept as part of us are things that we make room for and allow them to persist in our lives. Those things can lead us backwards into things that are tied to patterns of sin. We must renounce the lies and the familiar spirits that want to remain attached to us and our families. Jesus came to set the captives free. I pray you find the insights and wisdom that will truly make you free, healed, and lead to abundant life.


If you would like a prayer to break generational patterns, demonic attachments and other things that are tied to cycles of bondage and hardship, please go to the link at the right margin of the page called Breakthrough Prayer. #breakgenerationalcurses, #healyourfamilytree, #breakthroughprayer

6 comments:

  1. This is so lining up with what I've recently learned re: God's word however, this publication answers my main question .... something is holding me back and I said to myself ... could I be under some kind of curse ... I thank God for sending this site to me.

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  2. I put this on Face Book and Kelly Shaw says: Wow I needed this. I've been struggling for a long time. I renounced familiar spirits in my life when I got off work. I came home and came across this mighty prayer. I almost burn my hard-boiled eggs because I wasn't going to stop until I said the whole prayer over my life and my families lifeπŸ™πŸ˜„πŸ’ͺ

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  3. That is awesome! Another one of God’s kids enters into victory! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. That is awesome! Another one of God’s kids enters into victory! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thank you for this article! I've heard about the generational curse, or spiritual curse, from another Christian leader about 20 years ago, and I can confess that it is real (or at least true in my life), and it hits my heart whenever I read Exodus 20:4-6. While I live in Florida, I was born in a Korean family, and my grandparents and ancestors worshiped other gods from Buddhism and others, and despite being born-again Christian, I faced a lot of spiritual battles and struggles even today that somehow related to my ancestor's past (, a long story). I somehow found this website after praying to God this morning and thinking about "spiritual octopus", another article on your blog. I have just finished praying the Breakthrough Prayer. I will also share this article with others. Thank you for writing the truth and God bless. Daniel

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  6. Glory to God! A Mighty Spiritual Prayer!Breakthrough Prayer its Mighty!

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