# IX Commandment cont…

IX: Never forget you owe it to your child to squarely face your own particular generational curse.

Some people have rude fathers or mothers with sharp snide tongues. Others have darkly depressed parents. Some have hovering neurotic parents, or a cold and distant father—whatever.

Whatever it is that curses you  know this: You are going to pass on what you experienced and learned to despise when you grew up unless you make a huge effort not to.

You have a choice. If there was something you didn’t like in the way your parents behaved it won’t change in your family unless you get up every day reminding yourself what you will NOT DO and NOT BE that day.

If you act like a helpless victim, you’ll make your child one too.

Stop doing what you didn’t like that was done to you!

This is the only way to stop from passing on “heirloom” faults.

(to be continued in this space tomorrow…)

To book Frank Schaeffer to speak at your college, church or group contact him at Frankschaeffer.com 

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back .

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • http://Patheos threeten2yuma

    This one’s a keeper, I think, Frank, though I’m not sure how it’s all that different from the self-improvement lecture in Commandment VII or why it strikes me a little differently than that one did. More on that in a moment, but first an aside, if I may . . .

    WHERE THE HELL IS EVERYBODY??? Sorry, I’m not meaning to shout, just trying to get some attention here. It seems to be just you and me, Frank. Did I do that? Sorry if I’ve inadvertently frightened off your more timid readership . . . or is it that the masses of people just love you when you are raging against something that they also hate! Seems that lots of people come out of the woodworks when you are at your most caustic, but when you are writing about something beautiful like this, they go find other amusements. I know this isn’t your best stuff right now, Brother, but the subject matter itself is worthy of at least a little discussion, in my humble opinion. Well, screw ‘em! You don’t need readers like that anyway. I bet they don’t even buy your books, the lousy cheapskates!

    OK, then. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

    “Generational curse?” Jesus, Frank, have you run off and joined the Pentecostals? Actually, I personally think that there’s something to that notion. I mean, just this morning I read in the Bible, somewhere in the Old Testament, the Book of Numbers, actually, wherein the LORD promised to visit the sins of the parents upon the children even up to the third and fourth generations after the Israelites had disobeyed Him and chickened out from entering The Promised Land in order to take possession of it after slaughtering every last man, woman, and child of the devil-worshipping, child-slaughtering, utterly corrupted and forsaken infidels already living there, and not because they blanched at such a Divine Command, but because they feared getting killed, themselves, in the attempt. I presume that you’re not talking about this kind of “generational curse,” but something more metaphoric. Am I right?

    On the other hand, the LORD does promise to bring about blessings up to the third and fourth generations upon the children of all who return to Him in repentance and faith too. I know I’ve read that also somewhere else in the Old Testament, but I don’t want to take the time to look it up just right this second. Which raises the question, are you gonna bring God into this discussion on child rearing . . . or leave Him out of it, as is your usual inclination?

    And here’s a thought that just came to me, could it be that the reason your own children and grandchildren are such decent human beings despite your own admitted gross failings as a parent is because the God of your parents and grandparents is still blessing the faithfulness of members of your immediate family, the fruits of which you, your children, and your grandchildren are yet enjoying to this day? We can leave the question of Grandma Schaeffer aside for a moment, and, besides, I think that your Mom wrote about her getting “saved” too, so maybe even she enforces this point rather than undercuts it!

    Anyway, Frank, I hope you don’t mind me using your family for illustration. Hell, I’d think that the Schaeffer Clan is part of the public domain by now with all the ink that’s been spilled writing about them! And I trust that you know that my own contributions in this regard are meant with the utmost and sincere love and respect, with also a little smartassedness thrown into the mix to keep things a bit jocular so that they don’t get too insufferably serious . . . something else I’ve learned from reading your works, by the way! Thanks for that, as well.

  • Frank Schaeffer

    Threeten2, always good to have you here! I like your essays after mine, really helps the page and takes the discussion to another level. Thanks

    • http://Patheos threeten2yuma

      Thank you, Frank! Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit too deranged, I imagine me and you going on a speaking tour together. . . a la Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal. ;) -3:10

  • Carol

    I identify and agree with the things you are saying. I’m having a bit of a temper problem, even when I don’t think I am. I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading that it is not possible not to think something. Another thing about that idea is, as a person who has ADD, and who knows what further deficits (?), I often think how much I would have appreciated and benefited from someone telling me HOW to do something or WHAT to do or HOW to view a situation rather than telling me not to do whatever it was I did wrong. First, I have a permanent negative expectation. But more important, I didn’t learn to construct the right pathways. I say this because you advocate that we decide not to do it, and I’m with you on that. I decide over and over again not to do the bad things I do. But I believe we need guidance. There is a book by Temple Grandin and two other authors, The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, that tries to lead in a positive way. A friend of mine self-published a very short book titled “It Is All About You,” her name is Kathy Sprau. In this book she recommends converting everything we say to others to a positive phrase. In particular, not to say ‘don’t do that.’ Instead, say, ‘Try it this way.’ She is a motivational speaker and a cheerful person, whose advise I am not exercising as I should. I’m so glad you published these commandments. I’m trying to figure out how to give them to my son.