Lamentations 5:7 "Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities."
There are several places in the Bible where it talks about the sins of the parents being carried down through several generations. I didn't used to understand why or how, but looking back now, I do understand.
Children suffer for their parents misdeeds. A child of abusive parents becomes abusive. Mothers take drugs or alcohol during pregnancies and doom their children to mental health problems. Welfare parents who would rather remain on welfare than work their way out of it produce children with like attitudes.
I'm going to tell you a story--fictionalized, although the situation is terrifyingly real right now in the lives of some people I know.
A teenage girl, let's call her Jessica, becomes pregnant by her boyfriend--and we'll call him Mike. Her parents are distressed, to say the least. They ask Jessica to break off her relationship with Mike, but she is sure she knows what she's doing. She moves in with Mike.
Mike begins to abuse her, but always is so sorry, and she forgives him. They have another child. The abuse escalates, and he blames it on their surroundings, her parent's meddling, etc. They move to another state. Fast forward two years.
Jessica finally realizes Mike's abuse will not end and fears he will eventually begin abusing the two children. She leaves him and returns to her parent's house, filing for custody of the children.
The state they moved to doesn't like that she removed the children from the state and requires that the parent requesting custody and the children reside in the same state as Mike.
Jessica's parents cannot afford to support her in another state. She is forced to take the children to a homeless shelter and live there. Mike, during a weekend visitation, tells the children their mommy wants to send him to jail. The children cry constantly. Jessica wants to end her life.
What will happen to the children?
I believe that God's apparent condemnation of the parents who sin is instead a warning. Be careful what you do. It WILL affect your children. It WILL affect your life and their lives FOREVER!
Oh, Lord, may this pattern be broken. May the children grow up in a peaceful, loving home. Please forgive these two young parents and make their first concern the welfare of their little ones. Only then will this pattern be broken. Thank You, Lord.