chapter  14
32 Pages

Promoting Forgiveness and Reconciliation Within Society

Much of the unforgiveness we experience, unfortunately, occurs with people we know the best. It stands to reason. Those are the people with whom we most often interact. So, those are the people we most often offend and are offended by. Living in a family situation that is laced with unforgiveness is stressful for all. People come to therapy in large part because they are having difficulties dealing with family relations, and it is often couples therapy and therapy with alcohol and substance abuse that are the least effective. Because of the prevalence of transgressions within the family and the accompanying pain, parents want not only to heal the wounds in the family, but also to immunize their children from similar wounds. They thus want their childen to develop into forgiving people. I will look first at how to help parents teach forgiveness to their children by considering how forgiveness develops in children and how it often is needed within the family.