The family you grew up in is your family of origin. And from your family of origin you learn how to see yourself, others, and God. Your early experiences, daily routines, and unique family structure shape your relating patterns and beliefs about how life and relationships work. These formative early years shape and mold our answers to critical questions like: Is the world a safe place? Are people basically trustworthy? Am I loved for who I am or for what I do? Can I make a mistake and still experience being valued? Will someone be there for me when I call? These and many similar critical questions get answered by your family of origin. The answers to these questions then shape your personality, your view of relationships, your insecurities, how you experience love, and how you approach life.
In addition to shaping our relational landscape, your family of origin also created a role for you to play. The roles you played in your family of origin always show up and influence your relationships today—especially your marriage relationship. Your family of origin has a powerful influence on your development!
Because God understands how powerfully your family of origin influenced you, he designed marriage in part to confront and address those early messages, patterns of relating, and beliefs we carry into adulthood. And regardless of whether you think your family of origin was fantastic, just okay, or horrible, your first job as a married adult is to leave it.1