DEFINITIONGenerational curses are spiritual bondages or predispositions for sinful behaviors that are passed down from one generation to another.


    Natural heredity is a term used to describe how living organisms reproduce after their kind.  It concerns the presence or absence of certain characteristics–physical, emotional, and personality traits that are passed biologically from one generation to another.

    Spiritual heredity refers to spiritual blessings or curses that are passed from one generation to the next.   Spiritual heredity–what you received spiritually from your ancestors–can be either positive or negative in your life.  You may have had godly parents who gave you a good spiritual heritage,  or you may have had unsaved parents who were hostile, angry, and addicted and passed some of these issues on to you.

    Blessing and cursing are invisible forces of spiritual power which are transmitted by words (Proverbs 18:21).  You can speak positive words of blessing over someone, or negative words of curses that cause despair, discouragement, and destruction in a person’s life.

    Generational curses are negative spiritual traits passed down from a previous generation.  These are sinful spiritual strongholds that have controlled  the attitudes and actions of your ancestors. In the natural world it is possible to have a propensity towards certain physical conditions–cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.–due to heredity.   The same is true in the spiritual world.  For example, if your ancestors were involved in the occult, you may have a predisposition to dabble in it also and you may be affected by it.  Chronic sickness can be a generational curse passed down from your ancestors, as well as a tendency to use addictive substances.  Children often repeat the sins of their parents.

    You can initiate and pass on curses to following generations.  Through your personal sin, you can erect spiritual strongholds that will be passed on to your children and succeeding generations.

    Generational curses can be broken through the blood of Jesus.  Galatians 3:13 says Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”   Jesus not only redeemed you from sin when He died at Calvary, but He also redeemed you from every curse.

    You can pass on spiritual blessings.  Just as curses can be passed to succeeding generations, so can blessings.  See Deuteronomy 5:8-10 and Psalm 103:17.


    Acknowledge known sin.  Acknowledge your sin and take personal responsibility for any sinful practices in which you are engaged.  Confess and repent of these sins  (Ezekiel 18:20).

    Identify generational curses.  If you are struggling with issues passed down from your parents–and if your siblings also struggle in these areas–you most likely are living under a generational curse.

    Break every curse in the name of Jesus.  A stronghold is an area in your life where the enemy has established control.  It may be a hold he has over your attitudes, behaviors, emotions,  or your finances.  Claim the power of the blood of Jesus and take authority over Satan in every area of your life.  Pray a prayer of deliverance, binding the power of Satan and breaking any curses or generational spirits operating in your life. Here is a sample prayer:  “In the name of Jesus, I confess the sins and iniquities of my ancestors and declare that these strongholds have no hold over my life.  In the name of Jesus, and by the power of His blood, I declare that every generational curse is broken over my life.  I am no longer in bondage and I declare myself and future generations freed from bondages passed down by our ancestors.”

    Refuse to engage in curse-causing behavior.  Things like rebellion, negative emotions, witchcraft, the occult, addictive substances, and sexual sins all result in spiritual curses in your life.  Reject  such behaviors so that you do not erect spiritual strongholds and pass curses on to your descendants.



    And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”  (Exodus 34:6-7)

    The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. (Numbers 14:18)

    You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers 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.  (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

    But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children– with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. (Psalm 103:17-18)

    The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.(Proverbs 18:21)

    In those days people will no longer say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’  Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes–his own teeth will be set on edge. (Jeremiah 31:29-30)

    You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers’ sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty,  great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.  (Jeremiah 32:18-19)

    The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.  (Ezekiel 18:20)

    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”   (Galatians 3:13)

    (See also “Curses” in this database.)

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