Summer Book Club: Ouch! Learning to Forgive

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.

That’s why for our comments section discussion today, I’d love to hear which of the healthy ways to cope with pain (including forgiveness!) from this chapter you already utilize, and if you have any of your own recommendations for the rest of us.

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!

Giveaway! Log on to the giveaway widget below, and join the discussion for a chance to win a copy of Family!

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About Author

Jessie Minassian

Jessie Minassian is a speaker, blogger, and the author of ten books and Bible studies, including Crushed, Unashamed, and Backwards Beauty. She is the "resident big sis" at, a Q&A website for teen girls. Her work for teens and their parents has been featured internationally through outlets such as Focus on the Family, Parenting Today’s Teens, She Reads Truth, Axis, Revive Our Hearts and YouthWorker Journal. She and her husband live and serve at Hume Lake Christian Camps in California, and have two daughters.

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  • hannah

    thanks jesse this helps alot with my family your a big family so it is hard sometimes to not feel left out.

    • I had never thought of that! Goes to show there are pros and cons of every size family. Praying you can take that pain to God this summer and look for ways to include your siblings, leading by example. xo!

  • T

    I love these posts! I’ve felt hurt a lot! But before I turn to others for comfort or encouragement I’ve learned to look to Christ! Read his word or remember his word! Then I might go to one of my family/friend for encouragement/prayer…… its easy to feel left out upset about something but I need to remember somebody Greater and way more Powerful hasn’t left me out! He sent his only Son to die and has called me to receive HIS perfect gift and that’s all I need! ❤

  • Rachel Lee

    I definitely want to try letting God’s Word rock me when dealing with pain 🙂

  • hannah

    who won the book for last week?

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Just commented on those posts for you. 🙂 Thanks for your patience!

  • Nicole

    I’ve felt hurt for a long time from my sister. A couple years ago I started struggling with mental illnesses. I myself did not really know how to take care of myself, but all I knew was that I felt very misunderstood and judged by her. I feel like ever since I was traumatized by getting bullied by a fellow church members when I was nine years old, I don’t respond to pain properly anymore, so, as usual, I responded by isolating myself from her. Now I know that her ignorant comments are usually not from a place in her heart that wants to hurt me but just due to her lack of experience and understanding. But by now I’m so used to immediately cutting people out if I feel the danger of getting hurt that it’s so, so hard to spend time with her. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

    • I’m proud of your for recognizing the ways you’re responding to that pain in unhelpful/hurtful ways. If you’re following along in the book, I hope this chapter has helped you extend grace to your sister, and given you some alternative ways to cope with (and release!) that hurt. Praying for you right now! xo

  • Annie

    I appreciate the clarification about forgiveness not necessarily healing the hurt right away. I often think that if I still hurt that I haven’t actually forgiven my family member yet. I think it is important to know what forgiveness can and can’t do and then trust God with the rest. As for dealing with pain, I often go to others instead of God first. Sometimes it is hard to know what that looks like but is certainly something I should ask for God’s help. Thank you for such a thoughtful post!

  • Claire Bear

    This was a good gut check because the second to last question really got to me. I usually go to people when I’m hurt not God and that needs to change. But Its so hard when he feals so far away! Any thoughts? Thanks!

    <3 Claire Bear

    • I totally get it! No easy three-step solution, unfortunately. I’ve been working on choosing to take a few minutes to pray and ask God to soften my heart before even talking about “the hurt” with anyone else. As you deepen your relationship with God overall, in time it does come easier I’ve found. 😉

  • Loved

    I’ve been struggling with forgiving my sister for so long, this post really spoke to me. I really need to work on forgiving her. I tend to run to God but I sometimes don’t listen to what he tells me. I also tend to want to be angry and not just forgive even if there is no need for being angry.

    • Thanks for your honesty! Praying this week you’ll be able to live out the character you truly want to, through the power of the Spirit!

  • Brenda

    Forgiving family is so much harder, for some reason, than forgiving other people. Family is suppose to have our backs and want our best. I try to turn to God first before other people.

  • Erika

    I know how easy it is to get really mad at your family but forgiving and asking for forgiveness seems to be too hard and we just “forget”.
    “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:25-27

  • Rachel Ward

    This is definitely an important thing to remember! Thank you for showing us ways to get along with our families!

  • Sarah K.

    I loved this blog post! Thanks Jessie! I have been hurt by both my family and extended family, it seem like it’s almost a continuous pattern, time after time. It is really hard not to be upset and mad at them, but I know that I need to forgive them and trust that God take care of the rest. I have always struggled with forgiving others, especially if it is a family member, it’s something that I need to ask God to help me with continuously. I just need to forgive and love them, as Christ loves and forgives us, time and time again.

  • hannah

    who won the book?