Blessing the Next Generation: Creating a Lasting Family Legacy with the Help of a Loving God
What’s in your family tree? Do you come from a background of strength, hope and success? Or is your heritage filled with loss, addiction and pain? Marilyn Hickey and Sarah Bowling believe that knowing your past is important to establishing your future. In BLESSING THE NEXT GENERATION, this mother-daughter ministry team offers insightful teaching on how you can turn any situation around and begin a heritage of blessing for your family.
Hickey and Bowling note that some families are plagued by generational curses, addictions and negative behaviors. They highlight the example of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes, both of whom were contemporaries. While Edwards’s family tree is lined with college graduates, professors, government officials and ministers, Jukes’s is filled with poverty, murderers, drunkards and prostitutes. Drawing on scriptural background, the authors argue that generational curses are very real, but no matter how dark the past, God can use you to turn the situation around, help heal wounds and turn defeat into victory.
The book is divided into 16 chapters that often read like sermonettes. “Outrun What Runs in Your Family” offers five practical steps to break free from sin --- acknowledging and confessing the sin of your forefathers, forgiving family members, confessing your own faults and asking for forgiveness, submitting to God’s will, and declaring your faith with the authority of Jesus’ name. The teaching is filled with Bible references and encourages readers to boldly reclaim back what has been lost in the past.
They write: “We tend to think in terms of generational blessing being only for our descendents. It is also for those who are in our ‘up-line’ --- our parents and grandparents who are still alive. We can be instrumental in sharing the Word of God and the plan of salvation with them.”
Chapters such as “Base Your Family’s Future on Truth” and “Developing a Faith Worth Passing On” explore basic fundamentals that include truth and faith, and are great for reminding readers of the foundation of faith.
Throughout the book, Hickey and Bowling share miraculous stories of recovery, healing and restoration in the lives of men and women they know. Bowling talks about her own children, their experiences in life and growing in faith. But two of the most notable stories are those of Evelyn and Oral Roberts; the background on their life and ministry is compelling.
In addition, each author offers her own insights into particular topics throughout the book. These sections, simply labeled “Insights from Sarah” and “Insights from Marilyn,” often include some great nuggets of wisdom and truth. These would be even more powerful and effective if they flowed smoothly into the text.
Longtime fans of Marilyn Hickey will enjoy BLESSING THE NEXT GENERATION. Sarah Bowling is a wonderful addition to this book, and hopefully these two will continue writing together for years to come.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on January 9, 2008