Dealing with our Past: Genogram & Generational Sin – Week of 1/16-1/22

The goal of the Genogram Workbook is to review key events in your family history and identify generational sin, brokenness, relational patterns, and inherited values.

• Take out your Genogram Workbook. The first step is to fill out our Genograms, going back as far as we can (ideally 3-4 generations). For now, just fill in names, and we’ll add symbols next week.

• On page 2, there’s a list of questions to help you navigate the next few weeks of Practice. Don’t feel like you need to answer them all. Maybe tackle a few each week. Each week, you’ll start to have “aha” moments of revelation. When those come, write them down in a journal or your workbook, and share them with somebody in your Community.

• Once you have your genogram done, there are four exercises to do over the coming week.

Note: The following four exercises are found on pages 3 – 4 of your Genogram Workbook.


• Fill out the four boxes of key events:

• In “Trauma” write in any traumatic moments in your own life – the death of a parent or sibling, a divorce, growing up in poverty (or wealth), a childhood disease or accident, moving often, etc. You’re looking for key events that shaped you in ways you might not yet have realized.

• In “Redemptive Moments” write in any redemptive moments in your own life – getting saved in high school, getting into your dream college, your parents getting sober, moving to a new city or school where you discovered something you loved, a best friend, etc. You’re looking for key events that Jesus has used for good in your life.

• In the second column, do the exact same thing, but for your family going back 3-4 generations. Under “Trauma”, put things like the premature death of a grandparent, a family scandal, etc.

• Under redemptive moments, put things like an ancestor coming to follow Jesus, etc…

• Remember: you’re trying to identify key events that may have played a shaping influence on you who you are and who you have become.


• List out any generational sin in your life and in your family going back 3-4 generations. For example, things like alcoholism, fits of rage, adultery, abuse, etc.

• If you feel safe, this can be a healthy conversation to have with a sibling, parent, or grandparent.

• When you finish your list, before you move on, ask the Father, “Are there any generational sins I’m missing here?”

• Pause for a moment and remember the death of Jesus on your behalf, to “forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1v9)


• List out any generational brokenness in your life and in your family going back 3-4 generations.

• “Brokenness” is a much larger category that includes anything outside of what God intended in the beginning. These are not necessarily issues of morality or right and wrong. For example, things like premature death, disease, infertility, miscarriages, addiction, obesity, mental illness, eating disorders or unhealthy relationships with food, poverty, wealth,or cult practices such as Freemasonry or Scientology, etc.

• When you finish your list, before you move on, ask the Father, “Is there any generational brokenness I’m missing here?”

• Pause for a moment and remember this line from Paul’s letter to the Romans: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8v28)


• Now it’s time to put it all together.

• Look over your lists of generational sin and brokenness. Write down anything that you carry forward in your own life.

• Spend some time in prayer over each item on the list. Make time to confess these before the Father, asking God for forgiveness or asking for and receiving His grace.

• Ask the Father, “Is there anything you want to say about these sins in my life” Remember, conviction is from the Holy Spirit, but shame and guilt are never from God. Silence the voices of shame and guilt in your heart and mind.

• Pause for a moment and sit in this declaration of God’s name from Exodus: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Realize that the number one description of God’s character is “compassionate.” Sit in the reality that God’s baseline emotion toward you is mercy.

• If you’re up for it, share this list with your Community or a close friend that you trust. Don’t go on this journey alone!

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Additional resources (sample genogram, digital guide and workbook, relevant reading, list of local counselors, and coping skills), can be found at

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