Addressing Thought Patterns in Your Family Tree

“You sound just like your dad.”

“What can I say, I’m Irish!”

“This is the way we always did things.”

In the heart healing journey, it is important to know that many of the thought patterns, beliefs and ways of thinking that you battle have been inherited.

In fact, the most challenging thoughts you struggle with are the ones that have been running in your generations for a long time. 

Science is confirming this reality, as research is showing that even specific thoughts can be inherited on a genetic level. In my personal work with scores of people, the thoughts they struggle with the most are often carbon copy to what one or both of their parents battled. 

Even a casual observation of our genetic heritage can give us a great deal of insight into many of our spiritual battles. If you can, look at your family tree and take notice of patterns that people fell into. Many of those mindsets and struggles will seek to creep up in your own life. 

The Family Struggle

Even though we attempt through human strength to avoid the negative patterns of our family, we can find ourselves struggling with the very same issues, often manifesting at the same time period generations before us did. Those who push extra hard to avoid these family patterns often find themselves in opposite ditches. For example, the child raised with legalistic parents can swing into the danger of lawless and unbridled living.  

When you inherit a family thought pattern that is not of God, you become more vulnerable to listening to it. The reason these temptations are more troublesome is because you are not the first recipient. These particular strongholds have been in the family for generations and are now taking you on for size. The mission for these inherited patterns is to build momentum for a worsening effect in your current generation. It’s the enemy’s way of pushing a growing snowball down the hill. 

It’s More than Simply Learned Behavior

Some would say we carry the sinful traits of our family because we learned them. Although there is truth to this, there are many hidden battles that are never taught or even brought to discussion in the family, yet they run rampant through the lineage. We also need to consider that adopted children often mirror the battles of the biological parents they never grew up with. Secret battles and hidden pasts tend to repeat themselves, even though they are kept under the carpet.

Medicine and science know that diseases run in families. This is why they examine our family history when doing check-ups or physicals. Personality traits run in families as well. Patterns of anger, fear and addictions can be inherited in generations. Vulnerabilities to certain mental illnesses can travel down the genetic lineage. Patterns of lying or propensities towards sexual dysfunction can run in the family tree as well.

Remove or Repeat the Pattern?

As a part of our healing and freedom journey, we will each have to face those areas that run in our families with a new resolve to overcome. This cannot be done in bitterness, but with a heart to see healing and restoration. Grace must be seasoned on this strategy. 

The good news is that God has given us tools to help defeat these inherited battles, the greatest being the gift of repentance. You do not have to serve the sin patterns of your generations. But be aware that some of the thinking patterns will pitch a fit, as they have been wreaking havoc for generations before you. 

IMPORTANT:  It is important that we also not approach this subject as victims–that you are a certain way because of your family line and therefore, you cannot change. This is also not a license to blame and release judgment upon parents and our family trees. This is an opportunity for proper recognition, so that we can take our personal victory seriously, and release spiritual blessing for generations to come.

The question is, what kind of legacy will we leave for generations to come? 

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