Home for the Holidays When Home Isn’t Safe (Part 2)

| January 13, 2015

Yesterday I began this two-part article by describing a dangerous home and offering five short suggestions about returning to such a home. Today I want to focus on two things: forgiving dangerous family members and setting a course for future relationships. I speak as a theologian and pastor, but also as a man who grew up in a violent home. I'm not attempting a full theology of forgiveness in this blog—others have done that. I hope to connect aspects of the biblical teaching of forgiveness to some hard questions: Should I go home as an adult when home was dangerous and may still be? What should I expect if I do go home? Let's begin with the basics of forgiveness and move from there.

First, we must forgive our families for their sins against us.

Those who receive God's grace extend that grace to others. The forgiven forgive. Paul said disciples must forgive one another “as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). In Jesus's parable of the unforgiving servant, the king (who represents God) says we should show mercy to others, just as he has mercy on us (Matt. 18:33–35). Jesus also said, “If your brother sins, rebuke…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/home-for-the-holidays-when-home-isnt-safe.