Do children suffer for the sins of the parents?
Thanks for asking a question on www.thisisyourbible.com
Hosea 2:4,5 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. 5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
The issue with parenting is not that the children are condemned for the sins of the parents but because the children grow up in a Godless environment, they are far more likely to themselves be unrepentantly sinful and deserving of wrath. See Exodus 20:5 and Deuteronomy 5:9. Of course there are exceptions to this rule but by and large it is true. If the children grow up in a household where God is held in contempt, that attitude will be passed down. Notice the key phrase in the Exodus and Deuteronomy quotes "of them that hate me."
God wishes that everyone would turn from wickedness and be saved. However, we can create circumstances which will dramatically impact the chances of our children making right choices. God will never turn away from a repentant sinner no matter what he has down and grievous his sin. See this passage from Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 18:20-23 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
Consider the example of Rahab in the book of Joshua [chapters 2 and 6] who was herself a whore in the city of Jericho. Yet she believed in the God of Israel and acted upon that faith. She became a faithful member of the community of God's people and became an ancestress of Jesus!
If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free Bible study course on www.thisisyourbible.com? You may take this course either online or by regular mail.
This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.
To sign up for the course, go to www.thisisyourbible.com and click on the "Students" tab on the left of the screen. Then scroll down and click on the blue bar which says "Sign up as a student today!" Fill in the registration form and submit it. If you sign up for the free online Bible course, you will be able to start immediately.
I hope you have found this helpful.