Hand-Me-Down-Syndrome: I just checked Google, and I find no mention of it in a medical dictionary. Since this dreadful syndrome has afflicted most every person born into this world, its lack of mention is interesting
The first born child, often times, will not be fashioned by the hemlines of this condition, but she is directly involved in the distribution of this disorder. Prior to her birth, her mother, grandmother, aunts, and well-meaning family friends bought her cutesy, little pink girly dresses; and, within a few months she outgrows it all.
The Hand-Me-Down-Syndrome begins when the second child is born, and she gets the leftover hand-me-downs that had been previously worn by big sister. While this process is played out in many families, and it is a good money-saving practice, I received very little of what my older brother had worn. He was kind of a skinny, scrawny kid, and I was more robust—I much prefer robust to chunky!
This syndrome can manifest itself in either a negative or a positive fashion. As parents, we can pass-down unhealthy patterns of living (substance abuse, domestic violence, etc.), or we can be a guiding hand that provides positive re-enforcement.
Our children will mimic what we have modeled. Again, this can be either positive or negative. Paul gave a great example of this in his letter to Timothy: “I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also (2 Tim 1:3-5).”
Timothy was blessed by the powerful faith aspect of this syndrome. It began with his grandmother, was handed down to his mother, and Timothy dazzled the church as a fashion model of the faith.
How have you modeled your faith for your family? What are you handing-down and passing-on to them?