“Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.” Joshua 7:24
This story is an example of how the sin of one affects many. Sin is like a disease that manifests in one member of the body and, if left untreated, will continue to spread. Even when contained to a specific member of the body, it forces the rest of the body to compensate for the loss of functionality.
Achan stole what rightfully belonged to the Lord, and because of it, his entire family and all of his belongings perished alongside him. Because of his sin, the Israelites suffered defeat at Ai because the Lord was angered against them. The sin of one man caused the destruction of many. “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (I Cor. 12:26). It’s for this reason that the Bible calls us to reject fellowship with those that live in unrepentant sin, even if they call themselves believers (1 Cor. 5:11, Eph. 5:3-7, Titus 3:10, II Tim. 3:2-5).
This goes for ALL people, but men specifically have been called to be leaders; leaders of their families, the church, and beyond. As such, men have a lot of influence over the direction of their church, family, or other organization. The sin of a leader can send an entire congregation onto a path of darkness, the sins of a father can lead his entire family astray.
The Bible says that He will “visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Exo. 20:5), and science has now proven this to be true. It’s called epigenetic mutation, a father’s negative behavior causes changes in how his genes are expressed without changing his DNA, and those gene expressions are passed on to his children to the third and fourth generation. An alcoholic begets children prone to alcoholism, a porn addict begets children prone to porn addiction. What you do affects those around you, as a father, as a leader, as a husband.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”
I Corinthians 9:24 #CalledtoBattle