I’ve never understood why so many alcoholics, who hated this trait in their parents, became alcoholics themselves. You would think they would never . . . touch a drop of booze, having seen in their childhood the devastation brought into their dad, as well ass the entire family. But something went wrong. Something changed! It wasn’t the alcohol that was inherited; it was that “intangible” something that was amiss deep inside the man.

Now, not all alcoholics have alcoholic fathers, and not all alcoholic fathers have alcoholic offspring. But the figures are surprising. Is it in the genes? No, God did not build alcoholism into the genes; nor did He plan sin of any sort into the days of our lives on this planet. But it comes forth, nevertheless, in ALL of us. “In sin my mother conceived me”.

That does not mean the act of marriage performed by my father and mother was a sinful act. What it means is this: All person born into the family of man, Adam’s Race, come forth with Adam’s genes, into his sinful nature – his rebellion. There is no way any human being can conceive a sinless child like Jesus was. He alone was sired by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin. But man cannot sire a sinless child, even in the womb of a virgin, because the genes in his cell come of sinful flesh, his nature. But God has a “Genetic Code”, a spiritual genetic code prepared for us, in the redemptive plan in Jesus Christ. All that the Father has for man or desires of man, He has put into His Son, Jesus Christ. “All that belongs to the Father is mine”, said Jesus. “That is why I said the [Holy] Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:15).

In the flow of cellular replacements in our bodies, we cannot stop the process. We can alter it, slow it down, or speed it up by the things we do – by our lifestyle. We can contaminate it by habits, but the stopping of the process is in death. And so it is in the spiritual realm, in the REAL life of man. We must die so that the “genetic code”, God’s plan and purpose for us, can be established. And here, it boils down to our CHOICE! It was by CHOICE  that the first Adam brought death to God’s Genetic Code. And God has never taken away from us our right to choose. To this very day, He continues to repeat the words of Joshua: “CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).

We cannot halt the process of SIN. It will go on as long as man lives in his present nature in this realm of life. But, praise His holy Name, God our Father has established for us , in Jesus Christ, a higher call, a tougher road. And it requires a new commitment to a different discipline, a NEW lifestyle. And here, we are learning at a faster and faster pace, how very important we are as parents in forcing and governing this process of change. What a key role it is in God’s plan for man to be responsible for the first 15 to 18 years of His chosen people!

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 38, April/May 1984.