Transgenerational patterns are characteristics, traits, mindsets, and beliefs generally found in families that transfer from one generation to the next. Typically, they are fixed styles of relating, thinking, and interacting that are difficult to dislodge because they've been around for a long time.
Families are interesting; they are a culture all their own. Not all are problematic. For example, when my husband and I first got married, we each brought our family traits and styles with us. It was very interesting to observe how his family operated and interacted as a distinct unit. Holiday dinners at his home were a more formal setting than holiday dinners at my family home, which were a more relaxed buffet-style. Neither was right or wrong or preferable over the other--they were just different.
But when fixed family patterns and traits inhibit our individual growth? When our promise for the abundant, prosperous, satisfying life (John 10:10) is compromised because of an unhealthy or skewed way of thinking that stems from our families of origin? What about the mindsets that we have embraced merely by virtue of the environment in which we have grown? What about the things that simply "land" on us atmospherically?
I recall a college classmate who specifically sought out boyfriends with financial means. She would manipulate these young men into buying her clothes, paying her bills, and giving her money when needed. She learned this from her mother and other women in her family. Yet, I'm also certain that in her early childhood years, no one took her by the hand and said, "Hey, listen little Susie, we use men to fund whatever we want, okay?" Sounds silly right? No, this was a learned behavior. She was a product of her environment and the things she observed.
So, how do we change or "renew" our minds when we are addressing transgenerational patterns? We employ the same scripture base that we use when we want to overcome a personal habit or mindset that is erroneous--Romans 12:2. This is a scripture that specifically speaks to what science identifies as NEUROPLASTICITY. Even when we are dealing with transgenerational patterns that are old, ancient, fixed methodologies change is still possible when we activate the word of God in our lives! We can build new neuropathways and change habits, patterns, and mindsets no matter how long they have been around. This is good news! You could be the change agent for your family that God is tapping on the shoulder. Yes, you! Why not you? Being a change agent to bring liberty and freedom to your family and future generations is quite a legacy. It does not matter if you come from a family line of alcoholics, manipulators, liars, avoiders, pessimists, etc. nothing is impossible or too hard for you to do when you have the power and the Spirit of God at work in your life!
Acknowledge the transgenerational pattern. Desire change. Renew your mind with the word of God. Put in the hard work and be the change you want to see in your family. Let it begin with you!
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