Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships is a comprehensive Christian overview of forgiveness, which is essential to Christian life. When asked how many times we should forgive, Jesus Christ advised, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” In other words, forgiveness should not end – it should continue so long as it is needed. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation – that’s a different matter and does not have to follow forgiveness, except in Christian marriage relationships.
Title: Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships
Author: John W. Nieder and Thomas M. Thompson
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR
Year of Publication: 1991
My Source: A paperback I purchased from Amazon
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door to our peace, healing, and ability to love again.” – quoted from chapter one of the book.
Chapters in Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships
1. Hope for the Wounded Heart
Part One – Choosing to Forgive
2. When Your Heart Screams No
3. Accept No Substitutes
4. The Dangers of Unforgiveness
5. The Model of True Forgiveness
6. The Essentials of True Forgiveness
7. Where Do You Go to Forgive?
8. Let Yourself Off the Hook
9. Do You Need to Forgive God?
Part Two – Learning to Love Again
10. Maintaining a Forgiving Heart
11. Healing Emotionally
12. When Does Love Confront?
13. How Love Confronts
14. The Realities of Reconciliation
15. The Unique Demands of Marriage
First Paragraph of Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships
Holly sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a blank sheet of stationery. Brian had left for work, and the kids were off to school. She was alone. It was time to write the letter. It will be difficult, she reminded herself, but she knew she had to do it.
(She needed to write a forgiveness letter to her father. The book is full of stories like this, along with clear, practical information about forgiveness from a Biblical viewpoint.)
This book is easy to read – so long as you’re a Christian and want to learn about forgiveness. I appreciated the many stories of forgiveness, and the way information was organized. There are many Bible references.
My YouTube Playlist About Forgiveness
There are a lot of good ideas in this playlist – a lot of differing opinions too. Lots to think about! The videos are both Christian and secular.
My experience of reading Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships
I originally got this book in 2013 when I was a new Christian who recently left a very difficult and painful relationship. I felt a need to forgive, and especially to explore forgiveness from a Christian viewpoint, as Jesus taught it.
One evening after a church Bible study I asked my pastor about a passage from the Gospel of Luke.
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” – Luke 17:3-4
I thought that was fine and good, but the person who hurt me was never going to ask me to forgive him. Even when we were together his response was, “That’s just the way I am; you should be used to it by now.” No requests for forgiveness. I was just to bear with harsh treatment. He seemed to have a problem with admitting to any faults, and never apologized for his verbal and emotional abuse of me. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.
At the point where I became a Christian, I’d left that person, and my intention was never to see him or talk to him again. It was that bad. I thought, from listening to Luke 17:3-4, it was strange that Christians would forgive only if asked. My opinion of Christian forgiveness was that it was pretty much an automatic need no matter whether you’re asked or not.
From the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
In response to my question, my pastor told me that if I’m not asked, to forgive anyway. That matched what I was thinking about it so I went home happy, but still confused about how to forgive the trauma I’d been put through by a selfish, angry man. Trauma of the type I’d endured does not easily go away.
There is another passage about forgiveness, which I quoted at the beginning of this book review.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21-22
In 2013 I started attending a women’s Bible study group where we read this book together: As We Forgive Those: How to Forgive Others, Ourselves, and God. There’s a great forgiveness prayer in there — one that I use in my personal forgiveness project.
When we finished that, I wanted to know more, and that’s when I bought Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships. I must have been reading another book at the time because it took me a while to get started. I decided to take myself out to dinner one night, and took the book with me, and started reading it there. Then I set it aside again. I finally read part one, “Choosing to Forgive,” in 2015 while I was convalescing from a foot injury and couldn’t get out much. However, I could not move along to the second half of the book which is titled “Learning to Love Again” … because I was not ready, and had no intention of reconciliation or starting something new. I set the book aside again for a few years.
This year, 2017 – I finally decided to read the second part of the book, not because I want to “love again” but more because I just wanted to finish the book! I’m like that – I don’t like having half-finished books – it is like an unfinished project with mysteries yet to unfold. I need to finish a book so I can say – “I conquered this mountain” and be done with it.
The second half of the book was actually pretty good – except I didn’t relate to the last chapter which is about the unique needs of marriage, for reconciliation. Well, I am not married but I’m sure for those who are, that chapter will be helpful. There’s a comment on Amazon from a woman who says the book saved her marriage. For me, I read the chapter only because it was the last chapter and I wanted to finish the book. I do not even like to think about marriage. I enjoy being single and at this point can’t even imagine wanting to change that. After what happened to me in my last relationship I don’t think I could trust anyone that much again, but praise the Lord, I don’t need to, because He provides for all my needs and I guess at this point you could say I’m set for life and can manage well by myself, with God’s help.
In the Bible it says that in the kingdom of heaven we will not marry or be given in marriage. I’m up for that. God’s will, not my will.
An inexpensive paperback version of Forgive and Love Again
This is the exact copy of the book I bought.
My opinion of Forgive and Love Again
This is an awesome book, because it encourages people to forgive. I don’t really know how much of it sank into my heart, or how much it affected me, but I loved what I read. I especially appreciated the chapter on healing emotionally. I have an ongoing forgiveness project which consists of a notebook where I write things I resent, and then pray over them. Over the months and years since 2013 I’ve been able to overcome much of the anger I felt, not only toward my former partner, but also toward a few others whose selfishness created a lot of unhappiness in my life.
Of course I had to forgive myself as well, for my part in placing myself in those difficult situations. As for forgiving God, there’s a chapter for that, but it wasn’t a need of mine. I’ve never blamed God for my bad situations. I take all that blame on myself for having lived so many years without turning to Jesus for help. I got myself into a lot of trouble by being so self-willed and wayward. There’s a chapter for self-forgiveness. I think that starts in recognizing my own fault in bringing the situations on myself.
When a person becomes a Christian the Lord places the Holy Spirit in their heart, to teach and train us from within. The process of becoming more forgiving happens as we gradually become more Christ-like through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. That’s a natural process. The reading of a book about forgiveness may help, but it isn’t all there is. Still, this was an awesome book to read and I would read it again if I thought I needed more help with forgiveness.
For the marrieds among us: There’s a wonderful prayer for Christian marriage at the end of the book. Too late for me, but if you’re seeking to strengthen your Christian marriage, it is a great prayer you might want to use or adapt for your marriage needs.
As for me, I am taking Paul’s advice:
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called. . . . she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment—and I think I also have the Spirit of God.” – 1 Corinthians 7:23-24, 40
Amen to that! And as a good friend of mine once said, “Books are our friends.”
About the Authors of Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships
There are two authors for this book: John W. Nieder and Thomas M. Thompson.
John W. Nieder graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is co-founder of a syndicated radio program: The Art of Family Living. He and his wife are Texans! His website is JohnOnline.org.
Thomas M. Thompson attended, and graduated from Wheaton College, Boston State College, Trinity International University, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in Colorado.
Author John W. Nieder Videos
I found some videos of author John W. Nieder on a variety of topics. He hosts a radio show, and speaks about Bible prophecy, among other things. Here’s a playlist I created with 19 John W. Nieder videos.