Chapter 11: Leave your Father and Mother

Chapter Summary

You have to leave before you can cleave!  Understanding what needs went unmet in childhood (list of 30 needs on pgs 129-131) and of course, Genograms.

  • In Genesis 2:24 there seems to be an order mentioned in the process of establishing a marriage:  leaving parents, cleaving to spouse, becoming one flesh.
  • Becoming one flesh with a spouse would be difficult if I am not free to do so.
  • Many studies have shown that adults who have not “left home have trouble becoming one with a spouse.  Physical developed changed a child to an adult but soul development may be stunted leaving a child in an adult body.
  • Scripture is clear to teach us to have no other gods before us controlling our behavior, emotions, and thoughts.  Other gods may not be gold idols but may be other people.
  • When we allow others to control us, we are in a sense having “other gods.
  • Only God loves us unconditionally enough to assume and use the role of God for His glory and our good.  Others (even we ourselves) don’t make very good gods.
  • The genograms may be a bit confusing but the one of page 134 is a sample, the wife is to use the one on page 135 placing a line and a circle below the long line connecting her father and mother.  The top two sets of squares and circles are her grandparents.
  • The genogram on page 136 is for the husband to use as he maps the family history.
  • The genogram is a visual of the relationship styles in a family tree.
  • Note the diagram symbols shown in the legends:  divorce, death, etc.
  • On page 137, the paragraph may turn into a letter (not to be mailed) to express the pain you may have felt and/or the joy you may experience.  He wants you to honestly express either or both.  This is similar to “Four Questions for Two Lists suggested as a tool to help in Chapters 3 and 4.
  • As you read the directions for the Marriage Staff Meeting on page 138, please note the suggestions given to enhance your ability to comfort and encourage your spouse.
  • I admit that hearing about my spouse’s lack of intimate relationships as  a child hurt me and made me mad, but anger is not the best way to help…then or now.
  • Employ the skills from Chapter 8 – Proper Emotional Responding/Be Free for Emotional Closeness and help your spouse receive the comfort they need to deal with losses.
  • Extra Work on pages 138 focuses on Leadership and Happiness with practical suggestions, as time allows or you can use these “extra sessions as follow up after IE.
  • Scripture Memory:  Genesis 2:24 is excellent for this chapter.


Small Group Questions

(Will need a flip chart or white board for this exercise)

  • Celebrate progress in relationships:  Would you tell the group a story about progress you are making?
  • After doing the exercise on the 30 intimacy needs on pages 129-131, how did it make you feel and why?  (Ex: surprised, grateful, disappointed, etc.)
  • Name one of the intimacy needs that was met consistently, for which you are grateful.  Describe how one or both of your parents met it.  How does it make a difference in your marriage now?  Does it?
  • Give an example of one of the intimacy needs that was not met and is still important to you.
  • Share what your genogram looks like with the group.  Draw it and explain.
  • What did you learn about yourself from your genogram?
  • What did you learn about your family?
  • What did you learn about the family your parents grew up in?
  • What needs were met (or not met) in your parents lives when they were growing up?  What were the lines that connected them to your grandparents?  Any close, surface, enmeshed, conflict, or other types?
  • How did this probably influence their actions when raising you?
  • Respond to this statement:  Unmet needs don’t excuse a person’s sinful or harmful behavior but may explain which behaviors became habits in life.
  • If time allows, let a few people show their genograms to the group.
  • Understand that the issues unearthed in this chapter may require further attention.   See the church staff for recommendations of next steps.
  • Why do we need Jesus’ love so much in our personal life, married life, family life, and every other area of life?