“Like father like son.” “The acorn didn’t fall far from the tree.” These are common sayings that often oppresses the children of parents who have been bad. People expect children of thieves to be thieves, children of drunks to be drunks, evil parents beget evil children. This feeling all too often is true, for children learn bad behavior from their parents and sometimes feel they have no other choice. They have a bleak, empty outlook on life. But it doesn’t have to be. I speak from personal experience, my father was an alcoholic but I have never had an alcoholic drink, possibly because I am afraid that the idea is true so I won’t touch alcohol. But I also have a different reason.
When we believe in Christ we become children of God. He is our Father. We become a new creation. Instead of exhibiting the same bad behavior of our earthly parents we take on the holiness and righteousness of our heavenly Father. We are changed to be in His likeness. Fortunately, good behavior on the part of the parents is also picked up by their children. This is especially true of those parents who reflect Christ in their lives. My mother is a godly woman and taught me godly behavior as did my grandparents. We have to work at righteous behavior, it isn’t easy. But our Father not only exhibits holiness which we are to emulate but He enables us through His Holy Spirit to live a life that He so desires.
Like our Heavenly Father, like His sons and daughters.
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. -Psalm 79:13