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Book Review: Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers

I chose to read Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields because I loved her other book: Parenting Is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt. I like her approach, the way she brings Bible stories to life in order to help us accurately apply their truths to our lives. I was curious to see what insights she had to share about forgiving others. I found great value in what she had to say. And, though she’s specifically writing about forgiving parents who’ve hurt or neglected their children, her wisdom is applicable to any relationship requiring forgiveness: grandparents, children, siblings, friends.

Along with Bible stories (which include Jonah, The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and Joseph), Fields shares her own journey toward forgiving her neglectful father and the experiences of other people she’s met along the way. Some learned to forgive and grew through it; others refused to forgive and suffered for that choice. Fields gently helps readers understand why. Each chapter of the book closes with an afterword by Dr. Jill Hubbard who adds her thoughts to Fields’s. Study questions help readers dig more deeply into both the text and God’s Word.

On page 189, Fields says, “We began this journey to ease our burdens, to set ourselves free, yet along the way we discovered even greater freedoms: the freedom to love the unlovely, to risk hurt and betrayal by others, and to forgive, seventy times seven . . . Forgiveness, in its fullest state, leads us to love . . .The more we forgive, the less offense we take from others, the less we need to forgive. We become people of peace.” If holding a grudge is keeping you from this, I recommend you read this book. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

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Janet Benlien Reeves

Reader, Writer, Runner, Flower Hunter, Child of God, Prince Charming's Wife, Mom Prone to Cheer
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