We all have them—negative memories, character traits, and struggles from our upbringings and our pasts. It may be difficult to say the words “I love you” or to show physical affection to your wife or children. Or it may be something painful, like the struggle of dealing with a crazy temper or not speaking up in the heat of the moment. It might even be something harmful like an addiction or even abuse. When passed down from one generation to the next, these negative habits or traits are often called family curses.
And they are very real. We all have them, whether they’re big and glaring or small and hidden. But saying “I can never change because that’s just who I am or that’s just how I was raised” isn’t just an unacceptable excuse—it’s also not true. Whatever your family curse is, it’s time to break it before it gets passed on to future generations. Using ABC, here are 3 practical ideas for how to break a family curse.
1. ADMIT that it’s a problem.A man’s past doesn’t primarily determine his future—his choices today determine it.
The first step to change is to acknowledge that the way we’re doing things isn’t working and isn’t going to result in our end goal. I have met many people who excuse a lot of bad behavior because of their last name. They say, “Well, that’s just a part of being a Smith.” But a last name is never an excuse for losing one’s temper, speaking one’s mind no matter who it hurts, or failing to say “I love you” to the people who need to hear it. A man’s past doesn’t primarily determine his future—his choices today determine it. Until you recognize this issue as a problem, you will never work toward a solution. So start by getting honest with yourself and admitting that it’s a problem.
2. BEGIN the process of change.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Changing for yourself, your family, and your future will not happen simply out of a desire to change. You’ve got to make a commitment to start catching yourself when you slip and making course corrections in your actions and behavior. You might even need to ask someone (or your entire family) to help hold you accountable to your commitment. And when they point things out to you and actually hold you accountable, it’s imperative that you’re not defensive but humble. If your family curse is something more extreme, it might even require that you get outside help. This is going to be a process with ups and downs, but you can succeed if you stay committed to the end result.
3. COMMIT to finishing the course.
Family curses are hard to break. If they were easy to break, everyone would be doing it. So once you’ve admitted the problem and begun the process of change, it is imperative that you commit to finishing the course. Keep working until you make the necessary changes for your family’s future generations that are counting on you to lay the foundation for them to build on. It’s not fair for our children to have to face family curses in their future simply because we weren’t willing to come face to face with them in the present. For the sake of yourself, your children, and your grandchildren—commit to finishing the course!
Note: The above are practical steps to help make life-changing results happen. Seek additional counsel or professional treatment as needed, depending on the severity of your family curse.
Sound off: What family curse do you need to break? What family curse have you or your loved ones already broken?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What family curse do you see in my life that I need to deal with?”