Family Trees & Olive Branches: Creating a Culture of Grace in Your Family
Families are equal parts blood, duty, history, fights, and future. Families are beautiful, complicated, and infuriating. Pastors' doors revolve with families looking for healing from one another. Siblings hold grudges for years. Parents stop speaking to their kids. People want to escape their families and fix them, celebrate them, and never speak to them again.
But what can break our generational curses? What can shine bright light into our dark hearts? What can change everything - even our ugliest family feuds?
God's grace and His forgiveness.
Family Trees and Olive Branches points readers to the authority and comfort of Scripture as they seek to repair and improve their family relationships.
Inspired by Matthew 18:22, Family Trees and Olive Branches is a conversation about grace, the oil that unsticks fighting families. No matter how black the sheep of your family is, how hurtful your parents can be, or how long it has been since you've spoken to your brother, God's answer to family fallouts is always grace.
In this book, readers will look at the different types of olive branches in the Bible with the purpose of opening their hearts and minds to spiritual transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit. Each chapter offers lessons of forgiveness, tips on reflecting God's grace in our toughest relationships, journal and prayer prompts, and discussion starters.
What people are saying:
“Will give you comfort and encouragement in the midst of your own family struggles.”
—Alice Rosenhagen, Bible study leader
“Does not shy away from the tough topics and instead draws the reader into God’s gracious will.”
“Christina tackles the very complex subject of relational family drama, with respect, wit, and self-deprecation.”
—Janet Mueller, M.A., L.P.C., Christian Therapist
“A beautiful, in-depth study of how God works through every family to bring us closer to the center of His will.”
—Rebekah House, counselor for families and children
“If you desire to create new life, mend broken relationships, train your children, honor your parents, and bring Glory to God through your family, Family Trees and Olive Branches is an instrumental book.”
“Incredible! In Family Trees and Olive Branches, we learn that we can give our families what God first gave us: His unending grace in Christ! It can permeate our family relationships, enabling us to see one another as God sees us, through the love and the lens of His Son, our Savior. Christina Hergenrader has crafted a grace-rich resource for today's families, filled with real-life stories that will resonate with every reader, along with wisdom and discernment for a Christ-like response in each unique family situation. Likening family to a tree, with its deep roots and many branches and buds, Christina shares, "the roots of your tree always influence the buds that are developing now". Encouragement and hope flow across the pages of this book, along with practical steps to creating a culture and legacy of grace in our families. "49 Olive Branches" are found in the final session, hands-on ideas and tools for families' use in building and nurturing a culture of grace. (I love the title of one portion: "Fertilize the Seeds of Faith - Root Your Family in the Holy Ground of God's Word and Love!") Christina writes with conversational warmth and gentle humor, encouraging us to love one another well, as our heavenly Father loves us and transforms us, by His grace. I cannot wait to share this outstanding resource with my own family, with the families I meet in my ministry travels, and with several friends who are raising godly families of their own (all by God's grace!). I found myself giggling at times, and at others, swallowing a lump in my throat as I received comfort, hope, and renewed zeal for the relationships in my own extended family. By God's grace in Christ, every family can work to restore what may be broken; they're able to connect deeply, mend wounds, and love with abandon! This resource is perfect for individual, family, or small-group study. Thank you for this family treasure, Christina!”
—Deb Burma, author
“Reading Family Trees and Olive Branches has caused me to rethink not only my relationship with my parents and sister, but also for the first time I'm thinking about what I'm teaching my own kids about family, about how we give grace to those people who are closest in our lives. I've never read a book that touches on this subject quite like it. I love the stories, the insight, and how everything always comes back to God's "radical and ridiculous grace for all" (Section 2, pg 48). I think this book is a fantastic read for anyone who wants to see how God sees families and how we as His children can follow his example in loving our families despite our differences.”
“In the book, Family Trees and Olive Branches, the focus is on families and grace. Looking at the families in the Bible and seeing their victories and victims was most insightful as Christina looked at those various stories from different perspectives. We, too, all come from families and our stories are from very different perspectives. Family Trees and Olive Branches gives us a new look at what our direction, hope, and future can be as we learn about the blessings of God's abundant grace in our lives.”
—Virginia Krinke Buehring, Retired Christian Educator
"Family Trees and Olive Branches is an excellent book that has inspired me to take a deeper look at the culture of grace within my own family. The real life stories that Hergenrader provides, give a sense of hope that God's grace can abound, even in the darkest of situations. This book reminds me the importance of teaching my children how to bring glory to God through the ways in which our family extends grace to one another.”