After graduating from divinity school, I continued to study the Bible in groups, at conferences and retreats, and on my own. However, I never noticed a portion of the Second Commandment which speaks of generational sin. “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:5–6)”
At a workshop on spiritual warfare I learned about this important principle and how to apply the work of Christ to break demonic bondage from my past. One day I made a list of family members as well as anyone I had “sinned with” and went through a simple exercise taking authority over ungodly connections. My list was long and after awhile it became tedious. I noticed no effects, but I persevered. The last person on my list was my father. When, almost by rote, I said “I cancel and break any relationships set up by Satan between my father and myself,” I was physically thrown back against the sofa. I felt paralyzed. For the first time in my life I called on angels to help me. I didn’t understand what happened, but one of my spiritual mentors, Dr. Victor Matthews, explained that breaking such a tie could be like cutting a taut rope between two people.
A month later my daughter and I were visiting my parents’ cottage. My daughter was using the one phone line when my father became furious and verbally assaulted her. I stepped in to mediate and he redirected his rage at me. He said I was “just a mother” and called me stupid and cursed me to hell. This was extreme abusive behavior, even from him. As I stood watching the venom spew from his mouth, I saw an ugly organ-grinder monkey jumping up and down on my father’s shoulder and glaring at me. In its hands the monkey held a leash attached to a collar around my father’s neck. Suddenly I realized what was going on: through prayer I had unbuckled the collar that used to bind me. I was no longer under the monkey’s control.
Unfortunately my relationship with my father grew more estranged. He once told me that perhaps on his deathbed he would pray to God. I did my best to love him and share God’s grace and truth with him, but it became increasingly dangerous for me to be with my father. Even a few minutes alone with him became an opportunity for attack.