My father abandoned my mother when I was 4, with no money or anything else. I'm about to get married, but I'm worried that I'll end up doing the same thing because someone told me the Bible says a father's sins will be passed on to the next generation. Is that true? — P.F.
No, this is not what the Bible says, and you shouldn't let this worry take root in your mind. Instead, focus on living the way God wants you to live, and ask Him to help you become the best husband and father you can possibly be.
It's true we're all influenced by our parents, sometimes in ways we may not realize. We may even end up making the same mistakes they made if we aren't alert, and if we don't seek God's help. But just because your father behaved this way doesn't mean you'll do the same -- not at all. He alone was responsible before God for his actions -- just as you will be for yours. The Bible says, "The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son" (Ezekiel 18:20).
Commit your marriage -- and your whole life -- to Jesus Christ. Turn your life over to Him, and make it your goal to build your life on the foundation of His truth. Then seek out a church where Christ is preached and where you and your wife can learn more about how God wants you to live.
Then thank God every day for your marriage, and let His presence build a "fence" around your life to keep love in and temptations out. The Bible says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).