Chapter 7: Study Your Family Tree

Chapter Summary

  • The destructive nature of growing up with pressure to perform in order to be loved may have shaped not only our view of relationships with people but also with God
  • If we are used to receiving love (demonstrations of care and attention) on the basis of our performance (athletics, academics, looks, etc) then believing God could love us unconditionally may be a stretch (difficult to believe)
  • For many, Jesus is the first one to show unconditional love
  • Experiencing Unconditional Love—understanding that our image of God may have been incorrectly shaped by our image of our parents.
  • If want to include scripture memory:  Lamentations 3:  22-23; page 69 in IE book
  • Extra Assignment:  May be too much: focus on Enjoyment and Exalting with practical suggestions


Small Group Questions

(Please refer to the Ten Intimacy Needs list on page 12 as you answer these questions.  Consider the answers to these questions relative to the first 16 years – or so – of your life.)

  1. In what ways did your family (particularly your parents) show that they accepted you even when you failed at something you were trying to do?
  2. How was affection shown in your family?  Lots of appropriate words and touch, or not?
  3. When you were hurt by a loss or disappointment, who comforted you?
  4. Did you feel secure at home during your childhood years?  Why or why not?
  5. Who really knew you and showed love in a way that helped you feel important and hopeful?
  6. What were some of your Dad’s strengths?  Your Mom’s strengths?
  7. We received a relationship heritage from our family.  How would you describe the relationship heritage passed down by your family of origin to you?  (Great, average, somewhat healthy, somewhat dysfunctional, nothing I would want to pass down, loving and full of happy times, etc.)
  8. Respond to this statement:  “Regardless of the relationship heritage a person received, he/she can heal from it, learn from it, and improve upon it by the grace of God.
  9. How important is it to you that marriage and parenting help and hope be offered to your community, your family, and yourself personally?

Note:  Due to the tsunami of pain in our modern relationship culture, many have deep wounds that have not yet been healed. Chapters 10-12 in this IE workbook are targeted to help in the identification and healing process.