The Runaway Train of Generational Anger

November 3, 2019 // Denise Boggs

The Runaway Train of Generational Anger

Anger can be like a fast moving train that runs on a track and expects everyone to get out of its way. The tracks may have been set miles back in another town, state or even in another generation. Wherever the tracks lead, the train will run and blow its steam as it whizzes by.  When you cross the tracks of someone who has built-up anger you can get run over and not even know what hit you! Their anger seems to come out of nowhere and knock the breath out of you. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. Like a train, the tracks that anger runs on can be traced miles back even to the previous generation.

I can relate to the train and the one who got hit by the train. As a little girl my dad would get so angry that I felt like i was run over by a train. The anger would come out so fast that you didn’t see it coming, and then like a train, it was gone. But I was left knocked flat on my back, wounded and reeling for days.

I judged my dad for his anger and vowed I would never explode on my kids that way. The Bible says judge not or you will be judged. (Matthew 7:1-2) The judgments I made as a child were soon forgotten but they were there. The judgment of my dad was all it took for the tracks to be set up within me. With the tracks set now all that was needed was the train. We don’t think about our childhood judgments until we have children and realize we are hurting them the same way we were hurt. I remember the day the train came. I didn’t realize until that day there was so much anger in me. The train came crashing through my home, breaking things and running over my children. My heart was broken as I realized all the damage my anger had caused. My anger was a runaway train, and I had to take responsibility for it. It took me forgiving my dad to be able to reach the pain I had caused my own children. I owned by sin and asked for their forgiveness.

But the story doesn’t end there. I now have grandchildren and I’m watching and walking through a very similar story with my daughter. However, because she has received these truths early on in her parenting journey, we are now seeing the generational implications of repentance, forgiveness and restoration take place right before our eyes. You see, she had her own track of anger from growing up getting plowed down by my runaway train. When she started having children, she saw this generational iniquity rearing its ugly head early on. You can read her part of our story here….


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