Below are some additional interactions on the article: What is a Family?. Read it first.
What does Your DNA say?
Current science has now completed the structure of our human DNA (Human Genome Project), and what we are discovering is a genetic lineage that supports the family unit as described in the Scriptures, mainly, you are certainly a product of your biological mother and father in ways that determine much about who you are (nature) and how you might experience the world around you (nurture). If you are adopted, then you might recognize physical features that you have, which are completely different than your adoptive family. You may even be different racially, but you will reflect your biological parents! The characteristics you develop with you adoptive family will be a reflection of the nurture you’ve received.
Try Googling the words “Family DNA” and check out the websites that will, for a price, help you discover your family lineage through DNA testing. You might just be interested enough to know your family lineage in light of Jesus’ family heritage that you’ll want to discover more about the family God has placed you into!
Biblical Words About Families (by Michael Straessle, eHow Contributor)
The family is the most important group of people mentioned in the Bible. Mish-paw-khaw` is the phonetic spelling of the Hebrew word found in the Old Testament and means tribe. The New Testament counterpart is pat-ree-ah` and means lineage. The family unit is so important that both the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke list all the generations in the lineage of Jesus. Modern families would translate this into family reunions, where all the relatives, and in-laws connected by marriage, are included as part of a family. So, in the Bible, when you read that a family was blessed by the Lord, more than just husband, wife and children are blessed.
Family Tree: your family’s name and lineage
Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give a detailed lineage of Jesus. How much do you know about your own family lineage? If you are adopted, then you may choose to use your biological family if you know them or you can do this with your adoptive family… or BOTH! If you’ve ever traveled in Europe, or perhaps lived in Europe, you will know that family lineage is very important to royal families. Below is a picture of a family tree/lineage from a Royal English family. As detailed as you can be, draw your own family tree and fill in as many names as possible. Some people do this as a hobby while others are much more serious about it. It’s called genealogy. Give it a shot, and see how far and how detailed you can get. It might just tell you something about who you are as you find yourself in a military family.
The 2010 military families lifestyle survey results
Did you know that in the 2010 military family lifestyle survey results of top military life issues recorded that the top five issues for military families are the following:
- Pay & benefits
- Effects of Deployment on kids
- Operational tempo OPTEMPO
- Kids’ education
- Spouse employment
How do you think your family would rate these issues?
Assuming these would not be your same five issues, what would you put on the list as your top five issues and in what order?
What is a Family – Full Version
Small group guide:
I’m My Own Grandpa
Ok, it’s a ridiculous song about broken, blended and extended family, which creates a relational dynamic that actually makes the title possible. It’s meant to be a lighthearted look at fractured and blended families. If you come from a family like that, you just might understand how some of the dynamics get a little strange.
Large group guide:
- Make a list of some character traits (good or bad) that you think you have gotten from your family (things like perseverance, humility, kindness, inner strength, or fearfulness, procrastination, apathy). Decide which trait you’d like to work on (either building up or eliminating), and who in your family it would be best to talk to for help in doing that. Make a point to discuss this with them this week.
- It’s always easy to pick out some physical feature that you don’t like about yourself (there’s a whole industry geared toward making you feel inadequate so you’ll buy their beautifying products), BUT this time, notice some physical characteristics that you’ve gotten from your biological parents that you believe are real assets (like strong legs, great eyebrows, engaging smile, ability to run, strong fingernails, etc., etc,). Take a few moments today or tomorrow to go to them, if it’s possible, look at the similarities (like matching your engaging smiles in the mirror), and thank them for passing that on to you as a part of their family. If you’re adopted, then thank God for the ‘good’ physical features that he has given you through your birth parents!
- See if you can find any other Scriptures about God’s design for families. There are over 400 passages that have the word “family/families” in them. You might also look up ‘father,’ ‘mother,’ ‘children,’ ‘generation,’ ‘covenant (or promise). A good resource for this activity is a Bible Concordance.
Here’s two legendary country artists, singing about the personal meaning behind the family Bible. Does your family have anything that seems central to its experience, like Willie describes his family Bible? Why do you think he has good memories around that tradition?