New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Forgiving Your Family

A Journey to Healing

Kathleen Fischer • April 2005

BUY Print $13.99

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $9.99

Why is it that the people closest 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 we are to people, the harder it is to forgive them. After all, we count on these people to love and accept us 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.

Categories: Healing & Wholeness
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.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-9802-7

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1233-7

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1236-8

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: April 2005

Trim Size: 5.25 in (w) x 8.375 in (h) x in (d)

Page Count: 128

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Spiritual Growth

BISAC1: REL012120

BISAC2: REL012030


"There is nothing easy about forgiveness. It is messy work that is often done in small increments, but forgiveness holds the power for personal peace and healing. Forgiving Your Family will help people on this difficult but rewarding journey through powerful stories, practical applications, and scriptural inspiration."
— Terry D. Hargrave, PhD Professor of Counseling, West Texas A&M University Author of Families and Forgiveness: Healing Wounds in the Intergenerational Family

"A prayer that Kathleen Fischer offers in Forgiving Your Family sums up the longing at the heart of family life: 'Show us your face with one another.'

Weaving together psychological insight gained from years of counseling practice with insights from scripture, theology, and experience, Forgiving Your Family helps readers discern the presence of God working in the process of family forgiveness. As Fischer gently yet surely guides us, we come to see that forgiveness is a process, a series of choices to which we can open ourselves."
— Wendy M. Wright Professor of Theology, Creighton University Author of Sacred Swelling and Seasons of a Family's Life