4.1. Study Material

Précis:     To emphasize the powerful influence genetics and conditioning play in personality development.

Text:       Exodus 20:5-6


The importance of one’s genetic heritage cannot be overstated. Before issuing a life or health insurance policy to a prospective client, the insurance company takes an extensive family background and medical history. This is done to reduce the company’s risk of liability. It is an established fact that certain weaknesses, predisposition and likelihood for contracting specified diseases are genetically transmitted. The medical profession relies heavily on family case histories. 

During ancient times, and still practiced among some cultures, marriages are arranged. The family pedigree plays a significant role in choosing a prospective mate for the child. Old Testament genealogies are well documented, which only attests to genetic importance. The office of the priest was passed on genetically from one generation to another.

Rebecca was about to deliver twins. Before they were born, an angel announced that contrary to tradition, the elder would serve the younger. (Gen. 25:19-26) Exiled into the wilderness by Sarah, Hagar was told that she and her son Ishmael would live and that he would become prosperous and the father of many  nations. However, she was warned with these words:

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. – Gen. 16:12

Genetically carried though countless generations, the senseless international terrorism, inter-family unrest and the political disarray of the Arab Oil Cartel is ample evidence attesting the enormous influence heredity plays in personal growth and development. Indeed, we are born fully dressed in family genes!

Born fully dressed in family genes!

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them (other gods): for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandment.  (Exodus 20:5-6)


Lesson:               The Family Tree

16.1 Hereditary Factors – {Hereditum – Heir-ship} 

1.  Descriptions and definitions

2.  Ethnic characteristics – physical features

3.  Character dispositions – personality characteristics

4.  Biological predisposition – potential and limitations

16.2 Parental Modeling – {Home and family}

1.  Behavioral AND Personality traits – Bold, shy, confronting, obliging

2.  Attitudes and emotions – Positive, negative, happy-go-lucky

3.  Modus operandi – Task oriented, relationship oriented

4.  Self image – Confident, inadequate

16.3   Personal Root System {Life support systems}

1.  Ethnic origins – ancestry

2.  Parents – Mother and father

3.  Grandparents, great grandparents

4.  Predecessors – forefathers

   German: Blond, tall Slavic: Broad, robust Italian: Short, curly hair

   Asian: Brown; dark eyes Oriental: Sallow, fine African: Black, flat nose

   English: Sharp features NA Natives: Red, broad Native Bushman: Slight

16.4  Effects On Personal Bearing

1.  Gender and physical stature 6.  Ideals and values

2.  Appearance and kind 7.  Traditions and beliefs

3.  Characteristics and traits 8.  Convictions and ethics

4.  Abilities and limitations 9.  Tastes and preferences

5.  Aptitudes and potential 10. Experiences and memories

Fruits of the flesh

16.5  Influences On  Life Styles  {Fruit bearing}

1.  Affects how I see myself – Self perception – Luke 6:39-45

2.  Affects how I feel – 2 Tim. 1:7

3.  Affects how I behave – 1 Cor. 9:27

4.  Affects how I relate to others – Col. 3:1-24

5.  Affects how I succeed or fail – Galatians 5:16-25 

6.  Affects how I relate to God – Proverbs 22:6

Because a Christian is a Child of God, he/she possesses

divine attributes and carries His characteristics.