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Length: 5-minute read
“From your generation onwards, it will be different” – The Origin Story
Every Father’s Day for over 20 years, I have been writing letters to youths in Heart of God Church who come from broken families. They are more than church members, they are our spiritual sons and daughters.
Usually, I would meet or have a meal with some of them so they don’t feel left out. Last year, at the height of Covid, we couldn’t meet in person. So, I had an audio call with 300 youths who do not have fathers or come from complicated backgrounds.
In HOGC alone, we have many such youths… But sadly, beyond our church, there are many more young people without fathers. I pray that this article will be a blessing to them. If you know a young person who needs it, share this article and encourage them.
Here’s an excerpt of what I shared in the call with HOGC youths last year.
From your generation onwards, it will be different.
You may come from a broken family but you are not broken.
Your family may be broke but you are not broken.
History will not repeat itself for you.
I want to encourage you that by the love and power of God, all things are possible.
But you need to make good decisions.
I have chosen to make decisions that are aligned with principles from the Bible. I have made decisions that follow the Holy Spirit and my heart, not my insecurities or fears.
Because… The past can come back to haunt, hunt and hurt you.
I have seen it consume and crush too many young men and women.
Your past can condition you to make decisions out of your insecurities, fears and phobias.
That is why you must read and live by your Bible.
First and foremost, the Bible is a mirror. It gives you insight into yourself. As you read, you realize, “Oh, I’m a little bit like David…” or “I’m a little like Saul.”
The Bible is not a Hollywood movie with perfect superheroes. The Bible is real and raw. It doesn’t hide the weaknesses or struggles of the great men and women of God. Like a mirror, we can learn how they dealt with and overcame their struggles.
I have come to a place in my life where, by God’s grace, I have…
No axe to grind
No point to prove
No lofty ambition to be fulfilled
No position to defend
My prayer is that you come to this place too.
I am not angry or bitter on the inside… I have forgiven everyone.
I am not hurt and insecure… I don’t need to prove myself to people.
I am not chasing ambition… The Bible says that godliness with contentment is great gain.
I am not defending my position… The only position I defend is Christ and the Bible.
If you come from a broken background, you may have a lot of disappointments and hurts. What is important is that you don’t internalize and make bad decisions out of them.
Don’t allow your past to affect your future.
Don’t allow the external to affect your internal.
Don’t shut down.
Growing up, I learnt to compartmentalize. The moment I walked out of my parents’ house, I was a totally different person. But don’t shut down. Deal with it. Let God heal it. Then, you will learn from it.
Don’t allow their sins to cause you to sin.
Don’t allow their mistakes to push you to make mistakes.
Don’t make decisions out of insecurity.
I’ve seen that if people don’t deal with their broken background, they become insecure. They live their life trying to prove something… They put on a Rolex or carry an Hermès bag they can’t afford, driving a BMW convertible that’s owned more by the bank than them. But all the flashy bling-bling on the outside may only be covering the insecurity on the inside.
Insecurity is loud. Confidence is quiet.
Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.
And worse, sometimes, it is not about proving yourself to others… it is about proving yourself to yourself.
Growing up without love and acceptance, you want to prove to yourself that you are worthy of love and acceptance.
That is how the devil attacks you.
That is how the world seduces and tempts you.
Remember Jesus in the wilderness? All 3 temptations… They always start with “If you are the Son of God…”
In other words, “prove yourself”.
You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.
You are already sons and daughters of the Father.
So, don’t make decisions out of insecurity.
Make right decisions.
Make godly decisions.
The last verse I want to leave you with is this:
3 John 4 (NKJV)
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Sometimes, people ask, “What does Pastor How want for Father’s Day?”
The greatest gift you can give me is found in this verse. I have no greater joy than to hear that young people like you walk in truth with Jesus for the rest of your life.
– Pastor How, 2021
In 2021, Pastor Lia and I were writing the GenerationS book. On Father’s Day that year, I gave these youths a special preview, 3 months before the official release.
In Heart of God Church, you will hear a constant refrain – “From your generation onwards, it will be different.” This excerpt explains how it originated and why it means so much in HOGC.
Excerpt from Chapter 7, “The Woke & Awakened Generation: Idealistic, Activistic, Epic”
Those of you in HOGC may wonder why I always tell youths that from their generation onwards, it will be different. Well, because a long time ago, it was what God told me.
My grandfather was a temple medium. (For my Western friends, he is like a shaman, practicing voodoo, going into a trance, and summoning demonic spirits for money.)
My father was a good father to me but a bad husband. He was a womanizer with a bad temper. He physically abused my mom… almost weekly. When I was a kid, I would hide whenever they fought. My modus operandi was to pretend to be asleep. When I grew older and bigger in size, my mom would drag me into their fights as her protector. So now I graduated to refereeing and breaking up fights. As expected, my mom was depressed, addicted to sleeping pills, and suicidal. So by my secondary school years, I was promoted to a new role – First Responder – literally saving my mom from overdosing on pills. My childhood memories were a blur of fights, blood, frantic searches for mom, talking her off buildings, hospital visits, and repeat.