Why You're Not Really Just a "Chip Off the Old Block"
If The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree then my kids are in trouble.
Am I really just a chip off the old block? If that is true, then my poor kids are just a chip off a chip of an old block.
When I think of idioms like these two, which people use every day, regarding the likeness of children and parents, I can't help but think they are somewhat limiting and defeating for the child!
There is SOME truth in this statement, because Moms, we have influence in our child's life.
As a mother, I am reminded of just how much influence I have in my child’s life. Not only have I passed on a biological genetic disposition, but I also have the power to influence the shaping of their mind, beliefs, convictions, and their self-esteem. I have a responsibility regarding how I raise up my child. I can either tear them down with a word or glance, or build them up with a phrase or nurturing gesture.
I contemplate how habits, dispositions, character traits, mannerism, sins and more can passed down from one generation to another. And I feel an immense sense of purpose to be a good example to my children, that they might develop healthy habits, and grow into godly men and women with honorable integrity that live for His glory.
So in one regard this idiom can obviously motivate a parent to nurture and pour out their best into their child believing much of it will stick. But on the other hand, mindsets like this one, which much of our culture passes down can be defeating, preventing some from living in freedom and fulfilling their purposes and callings in life.
For some, this idiom, The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the tree, will automatically impose a heavy burden. For those who were raised in an oppressed environment and didn't receive unconditional love, this statement is defeating. And there are yet others, who may have been raised in a loving home, but their parents lived ensnared in their own kind of bondage, whether it was mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. We all have our stories, and because we live in a sin-stained, fallen world, they are not all stories of what the world labels as success.
We need to beware of popular mindsets like these, examine them and our perception as children and as parents. Then we need to guard our hearts and minds from believing self-defeating lies.
The burden I carry is the truth that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree regarding sin, because I see it in myself. I see, as I am sure you do, the waging war inside myself-- the war between my flesh and the Spirit of God which resides in me. I see the generational stumbling blocks, and the weight can be heavy at times.
Being a chip off the old block can make me feel defeated; like there is no hope and I am limited, so why should I even dream to great things for God? Regardless of how great my parents might be, all I am is a chip?
The Word of God tells us that we will fight many battles of the heart. It warns us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We all battle the genetic fleshly nature which we were born into. Realizing that genetically, by creation alone, we don’t fall far from the tree is truth! And that word, by itself, could be paralyzing.
If you feel this way, I want to encourage you, that God’s word frees us from dwelling on our sin in such a way that we feel defeated and stuck.
Praise God that He sent His Son to free us from the bondage of sin, that He not only offers the free gift of salvation but by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live in freedom NOW from the bondage of any sin this world and the devil might try to ensnare us in.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
Therefore, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:12-19
Praise the Lord for coming to save us from ourselves and the sins of our fathers!
Do you feel like you got the shaft as a daughter? Are you constantly battling the sin of the flesh or even sins of your parents?
If you do, I have a word for you: Jesus sets us free!
We don’t have to continue leaving a legacy of sin.
We can leave a new legacy--one that is a beautiful story of redemption through Jesus Christ! I want to challenge you to believe God’s Word, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV
You do not need to define yourself, your parenting, our the legacy you are leaving by how you were raised.
Do not allow the enemy to deceive you and disable you from leaving the legacy you were meant to leave-- one that brings glory to God.
Lastly, I think of another truth found in the Word of God that declares that we are co-heirs with Christ, Daughters and Sons of the Most High!
“And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18, KJV
When I realize this is the truth about who I am, who my daughters and sons are, I can let go of the pressures and expectations I am tempted to put on myself to perform. My intentions may be glorifying, but if I can’t enjoy the journey and truly acknowledge that it is ALL God, something is missing.
If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and I am a daughter of the King, then Praise Be to God, my Father, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit who does that supernatural work in us all.
My prayer is that I would be living in his likeness and that so would my children.
Here is to living in the Freedom of the Cross,
Angie Tolpin, The Courageous Mom
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