His Family Tree

By Anne Graham Lotz   •   July 2, 2013   •   Topics: , ,

The pace of Southern family life slows down in the summertime, making room for lazy days in the sun at the beach, or skipping rocks in a mountain creek, or catching fireflies in the twilight hours, or churning homemade ice cream on the back porch, or reading a good book during a thunderstorm, or chatting with friends on a balmy evening in a restaurant’s outside seating. Often it’s a time to get together with extended family over a backyard barbecue as cousins play games, siblings reconnect, aunts and uncles describe their vacation plans and grandparents smile at everyone, thankful that their hearing is impaired.

But those extended family times can also carry undercurrents, can’t they? Because families can have a dark side. Every family includes those who have been wounded. Even Christian families. Even church families. Sadly, the most painful wounds are often those inflicted by another family member.

Have you experienced those kinds of wounds? Have you been wounded by one or more people within your own family? Do you know of another person in your extended family who has been wounded?

God understands, because His family doesn’t always act like His family should, either. His extended family includes the wounded … and the wounders.
And so the Bible is full of stories about how God’s love is broad enough, deep enough, high enough and long enough to wrap around and heal the wounded heart. Some of the most poignant of these stories are highlighted by names of women that appear in the genealogy that begins Matthew’s Gospel–a list of names that make up the extended family of Jesus Christ. This is His Family Tree.

Give the names of the five women who are mentioned in His Family Tree, with verses.

His Extended Family Includes the Loveless

  • Give the main facts of Tamar’s story from Genesis 38:11-30.
  • How was Tamar wounded by her family?
  • If you have been wounded by the rejection of your family, how do the following verses comfort and encourage you? Give phrases from Psalm 31:12-17, Lamentations 3:19-24, Isaiah 54:6-8, Isaiah 60:15 and John 1:11-12.

His Extended Family Includes the Lost

  • Give the main facts of Rahab’s story from Joshua 2:1-24 and 6:12-25.
  • What evidence of the lost spiritual condition of Rahab’s family is given in Deuteronomy 20:16-18?
  • Using your imagination, how do you think Rahab was not only spiritually lost, but emotionally wounded, even before she met the spies?
  • Name those in your family who are spiritually lost. Give phrases from the following verses that encourage you in your prayers for them: John 3:16-17; Ezekiel 34:16; Ephesians 2:1-9; Luke 15:3-7, 8-10; and John 10:14-15.

His Extended Family Includes the Left-Out

  • Give the main facts of Ruth’s story from Ruth 1-4.
  • How had Ruth and her family been left out of God’s family for generations? Read Deuteronomy 23:3-6.
  • How had Ruth herself been wounded? See Ruth 1:3-5.
  • Who in your family has been wounded through death, disease or divorce while also being left out by God’s family? Which of the following verses could you share to encourage your family member? Genesis 28:15; Psalm 40:2; 1 Peter 2:4; Ephesians 2:11-13, 1:4-6; and Hebrews 13:12-14.

His Extended Family Includes the Lawbreaker

  • Who was Uriah the Hittite? Read 2 Samuel 23:8, 39.
  • Who was Uriah’s wife, according to 2 Samuel 11:3?
  • Give the main facts of her story in 2 Samuel 11:1-27.
  • How did Uriah’s wife break God’s law as expressed in Exodus 20:14?
  • List the wounds you can think of that were inflicted as a result of giving in to the pleasure of sin for a few moments.
  • If you or someone in your family has been immoral or in some other way has broken God’s law and wounded others, what instructions and promises do the following verses give? Hosea 14:1-2; John 8:1-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18-20; Psalm 32:1, 4-5; Psalm 103:12; 1 John 1:6-9; and ?2 Corinthians 5:21.

His Extended Family Includes the Lowly

  • Give the main facts of Mary’s story from Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-7, 21-24 and 39-40.
  • Give phrases from the following verses that imply Mary was young and poor: Luke 1:34, 48, 52; and John 1:46.
  • As an unmarried pregnant teenager, how might Mary have been wounded by her own family and by her own community?
  • How did God uniquely reveal His love to Mary? See Luke 1:46-55, 2:8-19 and 2:51-52.
  • If you and your family are young, poor, or lowly in some other way, how do the following verses encourage you? Micah 6:8, Isaiah 66:1-2, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, 1 Peter 2:23-24 and Philippians 2:5-11.

How is God’s power to redeem this dysfunctional, wounded Family Tree evident in Matthew 1:16? If God could transform these people–His extended family–into a testimony of His amazing grace so that ultimately Jesus Christ was revealed, why would you think He can’t do the same for you and your family?

©2013 BGEA

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  1. Mark says:

    I have been hurt by words of family members in the past; it seems that the people who are close to us can hurt us the most. I have prayed for healing and I also pray for others who have been hurt by others in their immediate family.

  2. Betty Jane says:

    With the death of my Mom, I am now an orphan. Through hatred and jealousy or anger I have also lost my siblings. All 10 of them! I have been accused of grand theft and causing Mom to give up and die. This newsletter was written directly to me

  3. Patti says:

    I'm asking for prayer to heal our family. Too many hurts only God can repair.God Bless all of you…

  4. Lola says:

    I have been having difficulties with a parent of mine. I never understood why this person treated me this way, nor will I ever understand it. I came to know that I have only One Father who stands by my side. It's comforting to know that.

  5. Elaine says:

    My husband of 23 years left me 3 years ago. He said he was no longer in love with me and that he had lived his life for everyone else and he wanted to live it for himself. I have never felt such heart wrenching pain deep down in my being. I'ts awful.

  6. Jack says says:

    So often a spouse will leave the family for some one else, A parent and children are devastated, The loss of love can turn to Hate, The BIBLE and PRAYER to GOD is next, JESUS CHRIST has all the ANSTERS, Forgiveness and Love will prevail.

  7. Lynne says:

    How amazing. Just this morning, my husband burst into tears because of the hurt my family has given him. Thank you so much for this…we will read the Bible verses together.

  8. mike says:

    my wife of 20 yrs that I loved passed away Iam 66 . she was not only my companion and best friend she was my helper we never called on our extended family for help. now that my helper is not here my family is to busy to help. me.I feel hurt by this.

  9. Oluyemi says:

    Thank God for the author of this article. It's healing tones and words of encouragement to pray for those who've hurt us in one way or the other .

  10. Julie says:

    We can only pray for our children that God will work to transform them and heal their wounds. God is faithful in giving His peace through the good times and the rough times.