“Not her! Never. She's got to realize what she did to me.”
Why is it that the closest people to us often cause the deepest, most wrenching pain?
Family can either provide restful refuge or prompt you to find it elsewhere. A quick channel-surf through daytime television illustrates that! From the petty irritation to the grievous wrong, forgiving is one of the hardest tasks families face.
The gospel calls us to love and forgive others. Ironically, the closer the people are, the harder it is to forgive them. After all, you count on these people to love and accept you — unconditionally. But family behavior is far from flawless: spouses quarrel, siblings pout, grandparents criticize, cousins judge.
When the last nerve frays, look out: A house of love quickly turns into a house of pain.
“Family experiences are a mixture of beauty and tragedy,” writes Fischer. “When we grasp this truth, we understand why forgiveness is such an essential part of family life and Jesus' message. The gospel reminds us that redemption happens right here in the give-and-take of ordinary family life.”
Each chapter of Forgiving Your Family contains real-life stories, practical strategies, and encouragement to help you move toward forgiveness. Better communication (while critical) isn't enough, according to Fischer: Forgiveness takes faith and prayer.
Combining psychological, practical, and theological insight, Fischer will lead you to discover
* the true meaning of forgiveness (rather than the myths)
* why you need to forgive
* ways to deal with anger and avoid revenge
* how to protect yourself while easing into forgiveness
* the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation
* how to let go of hurts and live
Whether you need to forgive someone in your family or you counsel families as a part of your work, Forgiving Your Family is an indispensable tool.
Kathleen Fischer holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and an MSW from the University of Washington. She is the author of numerous articles and books and has been a teacher, counselor, and spiritual director in Seattle, Washington, for more than twenty-five years. and is Currently she is engaged in consulting, giving workshops, and writing.