I sit in the doctor’s office reluctantly completing the family medical history portion of the new patient application. Part of me does not want to acknowledge that my grandmother and sister have had cancer and my mother has high blood pressure. However, I realize that this information is an important clue to medical conditions that may run in my family and affect me in the future.

The health and wellness habits of our ancestors likely are impacting our state of health and wellness today. If we’re attentive to what our favorite foods are, for example, or how we prepare our meals, or how we cope with stress, even how we feel about ourselves, we’d discover that we might be following family traditions. In the same way, our health and wellness  choices today will impact future generations of our families. The important thing to keep in mind is that family ties can affect our health positively or negatively; the choice is up to us. I believe it is God’s will that these ties have a positive effect on our lives.

God had given us guidance in His word on how we can use our family ties for our good. One such guidance is found in the fifth commandment, which instructs us to honor our mother and father.

Our Health and Parental Connection

If your parents encouraged, praised, validated, approved and accepted you as a child, then to honor your parents is an easy thing to do. On the other hand, if your parents constantly criticized you about your weight, emotionally abused you, ridiculed you about your academic performance, or sexually abused you, then it’s difficult, if at all possible, to honor your parents. Therefore, I feel that this fifth guiding light is given especially for those whose light may have been extinguished in childhood.

To honor your parents does not mean to celebrate or condone everything they’ve done as parents. It means to acknowledge their role as co-creators with a loving God in giving you life. As you do, you must hold on to the good your parents imparted to you and let go of the bad so that you can become whole and enjoy the life God has prepared for you. You honor your parents by passing on to your generation only the positive things you received from your parents and throwing away all the negative. But be aware of what the negative things are, for they can affect our gene expression.

Keeping the Good and Epigenetics

Epigenetics, the study of gene expression, shows that diet, lifestyle and life circumstances can change the expression of genes. In other words, our genes have an internal switch that can be turned on or off. The study postulates that the cancer genes, for example, that were turned on in my grandmother and sister can be turned off by making changes in the same way they were turned on. Let us be aware and diligent in examining all aspects of our health. In keeping the good our parents passed on and eliminating the bad, we are also preventing genes prone to certain diseases turned off. Thank God! We are not  at the mercy of our genes, but our bodies are at our mercy to take care of them.

This fifth guiding light, which is connected to our longevity, can shed light on our journey to health and wholeness. If you’d like to learn more about this guiding light or the remaining nine guiding lights, order a copy of The Ten Guiding Lights to Health and Wholeness. Light your way to health and wholeness today.