Most parents don’t know that. It’s an unconscious process. How did this come about? It was a process that spanned generations – beginning with Adam and Eve. (See last post: How The Devil Stole Your Soul)
When they sinned against God, their relationship with Him was dramatically altered. Adam and Eve subsequently lived in fear of their Creator because their disobedience cut off His connection with them. They believed the devil when he told them they could be something more than the perfection that God created in them, (suggesting there was something missing). Instead, when they acted upon Satan’s suggestion to break God’s commandment, all they got was fear, isolation, guilt and shame because they then felt unacceptable and unloved by Him.
Moreover, they passed this mindset onto their children. How do we know that? We only have to look at Cain – their firstborn child:
…Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1 Jn. 3:12 NKJV
So, Satan infiltrated Cain. The devil cannot plant seeds in your head if your soul has a healthy, righteous outlook on life. Cain’s head was fertile for planting. We can see that he was jealous of his brother (thinking himself less than Abel and that he must be unacceptable to God – which led to rage, and finally to murder).
Prior to Cain murdering his brother, he had a brief conversation with God, whereupon He set him straight:
‘Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’ Gn. 4:6, 7. AMP
God told Cain that if he pursued living his life in His ways and purposes, acceptance was sure to follow. (We learned last time that the way God makes His love connection with us was through our obedience. God always loves us, but He cannot connect that love to us if we are mired in sinful behavior.)
Instead, Cain decided to exercise his devil-generated (but co-created) rebellion. Indeed he did find rejection. He suffered because of his rejection of God.
This spirit of rejection was then disseminated laterally across the world and longitudinally through each generation. People scurried throughout their lives, searching for acceptance, trying to find love – both of which was always available if they had only sought out their Creator. But instead of looking inward to Him, they gazed outward towards the world and its ways.
People in power created human rules that one had to follow in order to gain acceptance from other humans. The Law of God was distorted and replaced with a law of man. Mankind was Pharisaical long before the Pharisees terrorized the streets of Jerusalem…
These human laws dictated how you must be in any particular setting – family, social, workplace, or religious. It was (and still is) the supposed plumb line of acceptance. Eventually though, these laws became tweaked by so many different ‘authorities’ that they became impossible to adhere to.
Satan’s groundwork was done. The people did the rest.
The greatest irony is that the people forgot they made up these false laws and they literally kill themselves trying to achieve the perfections demanded by them. What is left is a life without love, a life without life.
Where do Mom and Dad come in?
We aren’t born with seeds of doubt or a spirit of rejection. They have to be indoctrinated in us.
We are born perfect – fearless, loving, forgiving bundles, each reflecting the essence of God, sent into this world to spread His love to others in a way that is unique to each individual. As a child, we allow our flawless spirit to express itself and we see our universe with untainted objectivity. Everything is wonderful.
And then something happens. Our parents, (and I’m talking about the ‘good ones’) who have been unconsciously shackled by their parents with the laws of man, start drumming these rules into their perfect children’s heads – molding them into an altered persona that they believe meets the demands of those laws.
You see, most parents suffer in some degree from being unlovable and not good enough. (It’s not true, it’s just a belief handed down to them.)
They do not do this to their kids maliciously. They do it because it was done to them – through generational cultivated unconsciousness. Your parents actually think that they are doing you a favor in raising you the ‘right way.’
The indoctrination begins subtly. The child doesn’t even see it coming. It begins with ‘family values,’ (based upon the opinion of others). Many families harbor some unhealthy beliefs. Parents tell their children what is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, true or false, and what has value or not – instead of letting the child create these values for themselves (or far better, to create them from God’s values).
In their hearts, children know what God values:
“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jer. 31:33 NKJV
But their parents continue to layer beliefs upon them that steer them to the laws of man. The children begin to sense a contradiction between the truth in their hearts versus the familial and social dictates they are called to conform to. They begin to question their own hearts…
Mom and Dad continue to parent you in ways based upon the opinion of others (perceived authorities). However, those opinions might be the opposite of what you need.
Let’s say you are afraid of the dark but your parents force you to cry your way through it, or you’re hungry but they deny you because it’s not the proper feeding time. Your parents aren’t denying your need out of hostility. They are basing their decisions upon recommendations made by people who study outcomes on averages based upon a small slice of the infant population. Mom and Dad forget that you’re unique with unique needs.
But hey, you’re just a kid at this point, without access to all this information. All you know, is that your needs aren’t being met by the two people that are the total source of your livelihood. Possibly, you will make the assessment that there must be something wrong with your needs or with you for having those needs. So thoughts of rejection rear their ugly head.
Worse, as you get a little older you become more curious – getting into things you shouldn’t. You might even drop something or do something else that displeases your parents. Perhaps they may sling the same unconscious behavior at you that was slung at them: statements such as ‘Why can’t you ever learn?’ What is the matter with you?’ You should know better!’ How could you be so stupid?’ ‘I can’t believe you’re my child!’ Etc. There’s not one word that comes out of the mouth of a parent that does not burrow its way into their child.
[There’s a difference between:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Pr. 22:6 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4 ESV)]
It’s no wonder that a child gains a sense that something most be wrong with them if the people who love them the most treat them this way (albeit unconsciously).
Still, children are smart. They figure out how to get their needs met – either by acting out or by memorizing their parent’s ever-growing list of ways that they are supposed to make them be acceptable and thus, lovable. In other words, they learn to become something other than who they are.
As they understand this, they begin to suspect that who they really are is unlovable and unacceptable. They are about six years old…
We can stop this cycle by becoming aware of our own indoctrination, removing it and replacing with God’s ways – realizing that we are acceptable and lovable and pass all of that onto our children. (Stop working for the devil and start working for God.)
Until next time…
Goodnight and God bless.