It’s not too late to grab a copy of Family: How to Love Yours and Help Them Like You Back and join us in the Summer Book Club!
In “Ouch! (Learning to Forgive),” I divulged my weird “sympathy pains” thing, and we discovered some myths about forgiveness and healthy ways to cope with family pain.
So how can we handle and cope with the pain we experience within our families? Are we allowing the pain to be a tool that pushes us toward growth? Or are we handling the pain in destructive ways?
I’m here to chat about these ideas with you this week:
Whether you’ve been ignored, belittled, abused, or abandoned, family pain can cut really, really deep.
But Christ makes forgiveness possible.
In this chapter, I discuss five myths about forgiveness. Often, some of the “truths” we attach to forgiveness are just plain lies. Let’s set the record straight about five popular myths. (You can find these on pages 43–44 in chapter three.)
Myth #1: Forgiveness means you agree with or support the person’s actions.
Truth: I can forgive someone even when what he or she did was 100 percent wrong.
Myth #2: Forgiveness makes you a doormat because you can never stand up for yourself.
Truth: Jesus taught that true strength is found in humility (Matt. 5:5). You can forgive and still set clear boundaries.
Myth #3: If you’ve really forgiven someone, you won’t feel hurt anymore.
Truth: Forgiveness doesn’t always erase pain, especially not at first.
Myth #4: It’s fine to wait indefinitely for the person to apologize before you forgive him or her.
Truth: You can forgive someone even if he or she never admits to being wrong or never apologizes.
Myth #5: Forgiving means forgetting.
Truth: You might never forget what happened, even when you’ve truly forgiven someone. God is all-knowing, so He’s well aware of all the sins we’ve ever committed, but He has chosen to forgive and not hold them against us.
(Taken from Family: How to Love Them (and Help Them Like You Back) by Jessie Minassian Copyright © 2017.
Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
Time to discuss! Answer one (or all!) of these chapter three discussion questions:
- Think about the ways your family members have hurt you. Have you forgiven them for what they’ve done?
- When someone in your family hurts you, how do you usually cope with the pain you feel?
- When life hurts most, do you turn to God or to other people? How can turning to other people, especially to guys, be dangerous?
- If you have the book, look back at the healthy ways to cope with pain on pages 47–50. Which do you do already? Which do you want to try?
Keep turning those pages in Family: How to Love Yours (and Help Them Like You Back)! We’re moving into chapter four, “Ditching the Attitude,” this week. I’ll see you again next Monday for the next installment of our Summer Book Club!
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