Creating Conditions and Environments for Parent-Child Healing and Flourishing Through Trauma-Informed Discipleship

Abstract by Jasmine J. Fraser

Amidst the nuances of cultural maxims and shifts toward post-Christianity, the church is tasked to be the catalyst of God-centered morals and values even as it seeks to be relevant to the needs of its members and society. Various factors contribute to the effectiveness and stability of the church being a significant agent of change in individuals’ lives and society. Such factors include equipping leaders for specialized discipleship ministries (e.g., children, youth, women, men, singles) to congregants and society. Specialized ministries are effective in helping individuals find hope amidst the depravities and misfortunes of life. Still, many who have experienced relief through the initial experience of salvation (justification1) remain trapped and perplexed, failing to experience the freedom engendered by a life hidden in Christ (sanctification2). Many individuals and families who have sought to follow Christ find themselves wrestling with dysfunctional legacies passed down from generation to generation and often struggle to grasp the freedom of a life hidden in Christ. This study discusses the prevailing negative implications of generational traumas and dysfunctions on parents and children and suggests best practices on how the church can create conditions and environments where parents and children can heal. Creating conditions for children’s healing involves intentional awareness and thoughtful responses to trauma through trauma-informed discipleship and empowerment of parent-child relationships that contribute to the healing of traumas and engender resilience in children.


1 At the foundation of our understanding of salvation in Christ is justification, a process through which God declares an individual righteous and acceptable (despite his/her sinful propensity) through their belief, acceptance and confession of faith in Christ. See John 3:16; Romans 3:23–26; 6:23; 5:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9.

2 Sanctification is the process through which individuals grow daily in relationship with Christ, becoming like Him through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:7–16) in community with other believers. Known also as the process of discipleship, sanctification leads to an individual becoming transformed more and more in the likeness of God’s image. See also 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:5–17; Romans 12: 1, 2.