In the bible it states on several occasions that God will punish those who turn away from him to the 3rd and 4th generations. I have wondered, in the past, how this was fair.
I now believe that God may have been saying that if we turn away from him, we will consequently punish our children for several generations to come. Take for example, a man who turns to drink, beats his wife and abuses his daughter. This daughter then seeks destructive relationships as she matures, constantly seeking approval from father-like figures. Her son, grows up in insecure environments with no good example for relationships turns to drugs as a means of escapism from the pain he cannot describe, let alone talk about. Sounds like something purely for Geraldo? Hardly. While these extremes may not be the norm, more subtle variations exist in almost every family, and the progression can only be halted by the one invariable truth. And that is in discovering who we are in Christ Jesus. When we are able to deeply and fully understand what we are to God, in spite of what we were to our parents, that is when true healing and wholeness take place. It may seem like a slow process, but when you become obedient to God, following the teachings of Jesus, following his counsel, something amazing happens. You come to a point when you can let go of the choking entanglement of untruths that held you away from God, that led you to believe you are worthless. When you can ignore the calls of humans declaring what must be done to be better, live successfully, find happiness, and follow the Word, you suddenly begin to understand scripture. You know in your very soul what it means to declare that the Truth has set you free.
There is nothing I can say to explain this fully. It is faith, pure and simple. You can't ask for proof to believe it. You have to begin with believing it, and then the proof begins to be revealed...one small step at a time.