Father's sins


Do children suffer because of their father’s sins?


Since your question was rather simple, I’ll make sure the answer is too: no.

We’re not made to suffer because of someone else’s sins or shortcomings…


Well, many sins that we commit do have practical consequences that result in harm to those around us - which can be one of the reasons why such behaviours are considered to be immoral in the first place. If the parents’ sin is child abuse or something, of course the children suffer.

But I suspect you already knew that :slight_smile: and are really asking ‘does GOD punish children for the sins of their parents’. The answer to that, since Christ promised forgiveness (through His apostles) to the repentant, is no.


Of course children suffer because of their father’s sins. As examples consider the sins of adultery and abandonment. They suffer from their mother’s sins too.


Are you asking spiritually or socially? JimG’s post makes a good point.


That’s true…that is a good post and a good question… I for one assumed the OP meant (paraphrasing, of course…)

If someone’s dad sinned, does God “take it out” on that guy’s kid???


I was also thinking along the lines of our forefathers. Somewhere in the Bible I remember an Apostle asking a person if suffer from their sins or the sins of their father. I can’t remember the passage. I’ll have to see if I can find it.


Yes and No, Eze 18 tells us that God does not hold the child responsible for the sins of the father. But, if that father is a drunk, and uses up all the family resources for his drinking than the child will most likely suffer physically due to lack of food, lack of whatever is needed in life.


Does God punish children because of the sins of their parents? No he does not, but it is the nature of sin and inherent in the evil of sin that it carries intended and unintended consequences which damage the innocent, including the children of the sinner. Abortion is the obvious one.


Actually when Jesus cured the man born blind at birth, he was asked if the man’s blindness was the result of his sin or the sins of his parents.

Jesus’ answer was that it was neither, but so that the glory of God could be manifested through him. (Jn 9: 1 - 3 Douay-Rheims)


The whole question is interesting, not so much for the content of the question, but for what it shows us. It is entirely possible to take a passage and get two “readings” of it.

One reading would be that children are punished by God for the sins of their father.

A second reading wiould simply say that the Sacred writer was wise to the realities of the world; that a parent who abused the other parent modeled a behavior that was likely to show in the children.

If nothing else, it should caution us in reading to not jump to conclusions too quickly.


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