Breaking Generational Curses

Duane Vander Klok

“She has her mother’s eyes.” “He looks just like his father.”

We have all seen how the physical characteristics of parents pass on to their children. You may have a big nose from your dad or your mother’s smile. You might be short or tall, light-skinned or dark based on the physical traits of your ancestors, but one thing is sure: much of who you are physically is influenced by heredity.

Heredity also has an influence on your talents, abilities, traits, and even how you think and behave.  We have all heard the phrase, “Like father, like son.” But did you know that it is just as true in the spiritual realm as it is in the natural?

Generational influences have the ability to bring blessings – or curses – to your life. An understanding of this reality brings the power to change not only your life, but the lives of your family members as well.

Generational Blessings
Family is important to God, and it is clear that He does not think merely in terms of individuals but also in terms of generations.  Matthew 1:17 tells us: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”

When God looks at you, He also sees your family. He sees where you came from. He looks at your ancestors, and He looks at your children and grandchildren.

When making a covenant with Abraham, God never once said, “I’m going to bless you.” He always said, “I am going to bless you and your descendants.” An example of this is in Genesis 22:17-18, where God said, “In blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 

Abraham obeyed God and was blessed, and his descendants were blessed, too, because blessings tend to run along blood lines.

Generational Iniquities
Curses also run along blood lines. In Exodus 20:5-6, God warns the children of Israel not to follow false gods, saying, “You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” 

The word “iniquity” means to be bent toward a certain sin, and we see that the iniquity of the parents is carried on to the children to the third and fourth generations. So, a child will be bent like his or her parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

They will all have an inner inclination toward the same certain sinful habits. Lamentations 5:7 says, “Our fathers sinned and are no more, but we bear their iniquities.”  In other words, even though they may be dead and in the grave, their iniquity is sticking with you.

Evidences of Curses
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 contains fifty-three verses listing generational curses. Here are just a few of the symptoms of curses listed there:
~ Poverty
~ Hereditary disease
~ Divorce
~ Child abuse
~ Sexual abuse
~ Domestic violence
~ Alcoholism
~ Drug addiction
~ Immorality
~ Adultery
~ Perversion
~ Depression
~ Confusion
~ Fear
~ Indecision
~ Panic attacks
~ Mental illness
~ Suicide
~ Destructive attitudes and behaviors

Each of these can be, but are not always, the result of a generational curse, and most have their root in idolatry and iniquity.

Many people, if not most, can identify some of these symptoms that have passed on from generation to generation. How about you? When you look at your family tree, do you see a pattern of any of these things?

Do you struggle with a particular sin and see a history of that sin in past generations? Maybe you’ve been told that the depression or fear you deal with runs in the family or perhaps you struggle with marital infidelity and can identify a pattern of affairs and divorce going back to a parent and grandparent. These could be symptoms of a generational curse.

The good news is that generational curses can be stopped today!

The Blood of Jesus
Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission.”  Here are two basic principles you need to know:

1) A generational curse comes through the blood line.
2) A generational curse can only be cancelled by blood.

It Is all about the blood of Jesus Christ. In Romans 3:23-25 (NIV), we read, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”

To define “justified” in simple terms, you could say, “I’ve been made just as if I’d never done it.” This is possible only because God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement, or as Young’s Literal Translation puts it, God set Him forth as a “mercy seat.”

If you remember, the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant was where, once a year on the Day of Atonement, the priest would sprinkle the blood of animals. The blood was a barrier between the curse of the law and the people of the covenant.

The ninth chapter of Hebrews tells us that Jesus placed His blood on the mercy seat in heaven, not once a year, but one time for all of eternity to obtain eternal salvation for all who put their faith and trust in Him. Today, Jesus is to us a mercy seat.

It is extremely important to note that we must appropriate Jesus’ sacrifice through faith. Yes, His death on the cross paid the penalty and broke the power of sin for everyone from Adam to the last person standing at the end of the age. However, salvation is not effective in our lives until we personally accept Jesus’ sacrifice by faith and appropriate it for ourselves.

The same is true of deliverance from generational iniquities and curses. These are the “sins committed beforehand” mentioned in Romans 3:25, and just as salvation must be appropriated through faith, so must deliverance from generational iniquities and curses. Until you personally appropriate Jesus’ sacrifice through faith, it is not effective in your life, and the curse can remain.

Breaking the Curse

If you are living under a generational curse, it will be cancelled when you, through faith, appropriate the blood of Jesus for your deliverance.

You can pray and make this your confession:

Thank you, God, that generational curses are broken through faith in the blood of Jesus. I put my faith in the blood. I believe Jesus is my mercy seat and that His blood cancels the curse and breaks generational iniquities. I believe, by the blood of Jesus, that the generational curse from the law is cancelled and broken off my family now, in Jesus’ name. Thank you that sins, bondages and iniquities are cancelled and the curse is stopped by the blood of Jesus. Thank you, God, that the blood of Jesus on the mercy seat is a barrier and that a curse cannot pass the blood.  Amen.

Choose Life and Blessing
We saw previously in Exodus 20:5-6 how God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth of generations, but did you notice the rest of that verse? It says that the blessing goes, not only three or four generations, but up to a thousand generations – and the blessing is much stronger than the curse!

How do we pass this blessing on to future generations? By loving God and keeping His commands – and it starts by choosing life and blessing.

God, in Deuteronomy 30:15,19 says, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.)

If this article has been helpful to you, we strongly recommend Pastor Duane Vander Klok’s series, The Line – Family Blessings and Generational Curses. This 5-sermon series is available in either CD or DVD format and can be purchased at our store.