All relationships take a momentous amount of work; whether it is a relationship with our spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends or coworkers. These connections are blessings and can affect how we thrive in our lives.
They can also become so mentally and emotional draining that they sap the energy or life out of us. Then causing us to ask the question, Is this relationship truly worth it?
Every relationship will have its ups and downs. There will be disappointments that damage us to the point that we feel completely broken. But when we are forced to assess the relationship’s value to us, we must also consider how healthy or toxic it is.
Every relationship can be salvaged. But both parties must determine if it is worth it.
I don’t mind confessing that I have dealt with internal brokenness from nearly all of the kinds of relationships previously mentioned. They caused me to experience a hurricane of emotions that centered me around calamity instead of calmness. When one is in the eye of a hurricane, they experience a period of peace. But what happens when there seems to be constant chaos in your relationships?
There are many factors that causes a relationship to become distant or disconnected. But what really keeps restoration from occurring?
Spouses not wanting to take ownership of problems, siblings avoiding to deal with jealousy rooted from childhood, or coworkers insisting on placing a capital “i” in the word “team” are barriers that hinder relationships from being restored.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT).
These verses are normally used for marital relationships, which is a great foundational resource for marriages. Even though the passage talks about love it can also be utilized for all relationships. There are different forms of love. And as Christians, we are to exercise God’s love in all of our relationships.
But do not these highlighted verses convict us in every area of our relationships with others? Can we honestly say that we have been patient with our spouses? Have we not been jealous of our siblings? Have we not kept a record of wrong doings with our children? Have we sincerely not rejoiced when a coworker we disliked was reprimanded or fired?
When we do the opposite of what God has outlined in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, we handle our relationships our way instead of God’s way. And this makes the difference!
But in order to restore broken relationships and maintain healthy relationships, we must be willing to humble ourselves and do it God’s way. We must do it God’s way even when we are hurting inside, when we want to validate our emotions, when others want to interfere with their own agendas and definitely when we don’t understand why we are receiving the short end of the love stick.
So how does one start to restore a relationship?
Patience and kindness.
Just think back how patient God has been with us, with you. Even when we have found ourselves guilty of being distant from God, that did not keep Him from still taking care of us. He didn’t get angry with us or hold back His blessings because we were slow to admit our disobedience towards Him.
Allow your spouse, mother, father, child, brother, sister or friend time to acknowledge their part in causing your relationship to become unhealthy or even broken. It doesn’t mean you have to permit them to hurt you or disrespect you. But it means that you will not intentionally reciprocate the actions that they gave or continue to give you.
You will choose to exercise kindness and the other love characteristics listed.
You will not be held hostage by bitterness or brokenness.
You will be restored by God during your season of long-suffering and see God work in your relationships.
Claim restoration in your relationships God’s Way!