Have you ever wondered who in your family passed on the gene for your eye color, or freckles? Or where in the family line the musical ability started? Is your family known for business savvy? Where did that begin?
A number of years ago Craig and were at a Pastor and Spouses
retreat. The authors of a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality were there. It was an interesting weekend. I enjoyed watching how people responded to their ideas. At one point we were asked to do a geno-gram. Tracing our family trees back three generations and describing the people and relationships. Loads of people did not appreciate the exercise. It made them uncomfortable, or they thought it was ridiculous. I don’t know if it is because people instinctively want to ignore what is unpleasant. Perhaps people are uncomfortable with that level of introspection. Observing reactions was interesting to me.
These don’t have to be huge evil things. It can be as simple as how do the individuals in your family handle criticism, conflict, hurt? Is there an illness that sneaks into every generation, are their things that can be done to prevent it from continuing? Are there workaholics? Overachievers, underachievers? The challenge is to allow God to surface the patterns and prayerfully listen. What are his goals? What is his priority? Where does he want to bring healing and restoration?