I was listening to a message by Andy Stanley last week on the subject of the impact our decisions have on our family. I thought I would share a couple of my own points on the subject.
Think about your parents and the decisions they made that had an impact on your life. Is it safe to say that the financial decisions they made or didn’t make has affected your own life? It is probably true. The same question can be asked about their lifestyle, marriage, education, honesty, health, temper, language, etc. Parents often think that decisions they make will not have an impact on their children. For example, I came from a broken home where my parents divorced when I was about to start the 3rd grade. God picked up the pieces of all of our lives and it all worked out ok, but the point I am making is that the decisions our parents and grandparents made have an effect sometimes for generations.
You see, many criminals say that they did the crime because of their childhood. Well, that is hogwash. They did the crime because they wanted to do the crime. Plain and simple. That said, if they had a better home life and better example to follow growing up, their life may be much different. It would have probably changed how they made decisions.
Make no mistake, I am saying that we all get to choose our own life and we can’t blame our failure on our parents, but the life your parents lived does have an impact on how we process decisions.
Examples in our life can be good or bad, but both can be useful. I have a friend (several actually, ha) that has a terrible parent. I was talking to the child one day and I told the child that we can choose to use that parent’s example as the perfect example of what we don’t ever want to be. A bad example is as powerful as a good example to follow. See, we need to have good and bad examples in our lives so we know the difference.
During my high school senior year I left home, and I have been supporting myself ever since. I could have easily gone the bad route that impacts your life long term, but I had several good examples to follow that pulled me through the season. Those examples and the US Navy got me on the right path. Two of the best examples were my Mom and Gene (stepdad) and my wife’s parents. Between leaving home my senior year and joining the Navy, there were times when I didn’t have meals because I could not afford them. It always amazed me how Elaine’s mom seemed to know what was going on; she asked me many times to stay for dinner. She knew what was going on in my life, and she cared and loved me, which is why I love her so dearly today.
Back to the point, if the decisions your parents and grandparents made had an impact on your life, do you believe the decisions you and your spouse make will affect your children and grandchildren’s life? With absolutely certainty.
The examples you had growing up do not determine your life and the life you want to have for your children. The examples you want to set and the memories you want to leave is your choice and your choice alone. Don’t ever find yourself defending your actions because of what your family did. It is your choice.
Therefore, what hangs in the balance of your life is your family and the impact your decisions will have on them. Be careful and vigilant about the decisions you make because the results of those decisions go beyond you and beyond today. KT