The Sins of the Parents

“That they might set their hope in God, and not  ...  be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” Psalm 78:7-87That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. (Psalm 78:7‑8)
“Do we bear some responsibility as parents for our children? Indeed we do. I believe that it is a principle that runs all through the Word of God. I cannot teach my child that which I have not learned myself, and that is what it means when it says, ‘the discipline and admonition of the Lord.’ Unless I as a parent have come to terms with the Lordship of Christ, I cannot think that I can act in a proper way in discipline towards my child. If there is a particular sin in my own life that I have not judged, then I cannot effectively discipline my child for the same things. One of two things will happen. I may discipline the child severely for that which I have not judged in my own life — in which case it will produce only rebellion in his soul because he sees that I am not consistent; or, on the other hand, I may completely lay aside the discipline, letting the child do what he wants, producing the same effect.
“Let me use an example from the Word of God. You will remember how the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, died at the hand of God because they offered strange fire before the Lord. If you read the passage (Lev. 10:1-31And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:1‑3)), you will remember that it is recorded there that Aaron ‘held his peace.’ Why did Aaron hold his peace? I believe poor Aaron remembered only too well how that probably not more than a year before he had shown a careless attitude toward the honor and glory of the Lord in producing a golden calf, and in leading the people of Israel into idolatry.
“Even if we have fallen ourselves, we must not lay aside the discipline and admonition of the Lord, repenting and confessing our failure, and acknowledging His Lordship. We must seek His grace and strength to live in the power of our new life and His righteousness. Then we need to humbly admonish our children to avoid the same error, and thus avoid its consequent sorrow. If we repent and judge our own sins before God, then we will have moral power to guide our children’s feet into paths of righteousness in spite of our own past failures. Through God’s grace this may prevent our sins from being carried out in the next generation.”
— Adapted