A Rejection Mindset in the Family Tree

Certain patterns run in families and a rejection mindset can certainly be one of them. Everything from personality traits, belief systems and behaviors can run in the family tree. These areas keep steamrolling and repeating until someone stops and allows God to the heal the broken root system that keeps repeating.

There are many common rejection-based issues that run in families:

  • Fatherless homes
  • Performance-based relationships
  • Addictions
  • Families that ignore problems
  • Chronic division, strife and separation
  • Being ignored, overlooked, neglected
  • Repeated patterns of limitation and dysfunction

These are just a few of them. But if you recognize the works of a rejection mindset in your life, it has most likely been running in your family tree for some time.

When a certain pattern flows in a family tree, it easily becomes ingrained in the belief system and nuances of how people interact. Everyday perspectives and actions often line right up with the familiar flow, whether it is healthy or not. We often live by what we are familiar with without much objective assessment. It often takes an awakening of someone in the family to recognize, “there is a better way.”

The Snowball Effect

It is quite common for certain rejection patterns to be matched from generation to generation. For example, you may find yourself being ignored or overlooked when it comes to job openings or ministry opportunities. Most likely your parents had the same experience, often at the same time in life.

Rejection seeks to snowball in the family tree; infiltrating the relationships in the home to create a distorted lens on how to live life and have relationships. With rejection in the family, arguments and squabbles can exist that have no rhyme or reason. People in the family will slowly or drastically move apart from each other. At the end of the day, many will scratch their heads wondering what is happening to keep the family from experiencing true emotional health and unity.

Rejection and Children in the Home

A rejection mindset can have a great deal of influence on the battles that certain children face in the home. First off, children that are evaluated primarily by performance, will be conditioned to seek for love based on what they do and how well they do it. Being ignored and looked over will give rejection room to propel a child to look for attention through extreme behavior.

Rejection will also strike the children in specific patterns. The first child usually gets hit with the performance pressure that rejection brings. They often carry the weight of the parent’s first attempts at raising children. Firstborns often struggle with striving, perfectionism, drivenness, seeking to perform for the approval of Dad and Mom at each stage in life. They can become more easily stressed in life and carry the weight of this pressure on their shoulders. Their sense of responsibility often becomes false responsibilities and false burdens.

The second child in the family can face unique rejection battles of a unique fashion.  In this situation, comparison easily comes into play, as they are often evaluated in relation to their older sibling, either by others or even in their own thoughts.

In working with many parents, I have often observed that rejection will pitch a fit in the second child, refusing to let them feel loved and accepted. Even if the parents are loving and nurturing, there can still be a battle within the child to reject it. It takes wisdom and strategies to break down those walls, but its not to be done by pure force, but through humility and relationship cultivation.

Repeated Patterns in Children

When we see personal battles of insecurity and the inability to process love in healthy ways in our children, we can easily forget that they carry many of the battles that we faced as well. When you see stuff that is not of God going on in your child; first let the Holy Spirit examine you. Odds are you may be witnessing something that’s being repeated. Too often parents can forget the battles they struggled with as children and teens. With a humble heart, we can help our children, but also break the patterns that seek to divide and erode.

At the time of this writing, I have already seen many layers of battles manifest in my children that were carbon copies of struggles I faced. Some of them I am still working through. When it comes to correcting my children’s behavior, I always find more fruit when I let the Holy Spirit first examine me. I then approach my children with less accusation and more compassion, so we can break through these patterns that run in the family.

Rejection Wants to Be Rejected

Rejection will teach the child to have walls where they have an inability to receive love and acceptance from those around them. I have even observed where this child will behave in rebellion, stemming from rejection, causing the parents to react in a way that validates the mindset of rejection. “See, you are not loved.”

Remember, rejection wants to be rejected. That is why just being loving and having a loving home is not 100% of the solution. Love sets the foundation, but there needs to be helpful conversations, humility and repentance prayer opportunities that are needed to break the cycles.

Rejection Mindset and Limitation

Keep in mind that that there is an all out war to keep a rejection mindset intact in the family.

The biggest work of a rejection mindset is to create a sense of separation, which puts a cap on relationship potential. When the love, identity and relationship capacity of those in the family are separated, then cycles of limitations will keep occurring. It prevents relationship favor and blessing from having its God-intended work.

Why It is Hard to Break the Cycle

It would really help if families could sit down and have healing conversations that include repentant actions and movement into new directions. This is way easier said that done for a number of reasons:

  1. Families may have dysfunction, but it is all they know, so a lack of outside input or a simple lack of knowledge can keep the family ignorant of the transformation that is available.
  2. Touch the family dynamics and most family members get extremely defensive. Any time a family member seeks to walk into a more healed lifestyle, a lot of kick back occurs from the rest of the family.
  3. Conversations quickly turn into blame if people are not approaching one another with humility and a grace-filled perspective.
  4. Deeper discussions regarding hurt, pain and issues of the heart often get shut down. The subject gets changed in a nano-second because the family is uncomfortable.
  5. Anyone who attempts to encourage healthier living can run the risk of being cut off from certain family interactions or gatherings.
  6. We were not given tools on how to have productive and healing conversations that make room for mindset changes.
  7. Even though the family carries the dysfunction of familiar sins, they are comfortable living that way. So why rock the boat?

Healthy Generational Transfer

The question we have to ask is, “What are we handing off to the next generation?”  We cannot assume that generations to come will just figure everything out on their own. They need a blueprint to begin with that grants them momentum to move into greater health.

Everyone has rejection issues to deal with, so it would be so much healthier if we could have honest conversations about our journey and what brought us to where we are today. Creating safe places in our homes to have healing interactions can allow for the power of God’s cleansing work to take place:

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed… (James 5:16)


Father God, I recognize there are many areas of rejection that run in my family. They have influenced my thinking in many ways and have prevented me from experiencing the love You have for me and the powerful identity You have given me.

I see the thinking, patterns and decisions that come out of rejection based thinking and I want to engage the “new” that You have given to me. Help me to be more discerning to what seeks to interfere with fruitful relationships in my life.

Today, I break agreement with rejection and the ways it seeks to keep me locked into dysfunctional patterns. I give You my family tree and the ways of thinking that have kept the family in certain limitations.

I choose to cultivate a new legacy for my family and future generations by taking responsibility for my life.

The moment I became born again, I entered a new family with a new inheritance, so I receive that inheritance and choose to walk confidently in the fact that YOU love me, accept me and validate me.

I ask that the work of rejection in my family would be broken and removed from our family dynamic in the name of Jesus. Give me wisdom and strategy on how to cultivate a transformational culture, so that those who want to be free, can experience it.

I thank you Father. I receive it today. In Jesus name, amen.