Start Fresh: Repairing Fractured Relationships - Encouragement for Today - April 3, 2019

Blythe Daniel

April 3, 2019

Start Fresh: Repairing Fractured Relationships
BLYTHE DANIEL

“Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.” Isaiah 61:4 (NASB)

My mother, Helen, didn’t have the luxury of many loving moments with her mother. Throughout Mom’s childhood and adult years, my grandmother was battling the effects of anger, alcoholism and anxiety. When something didn’t go right, her anger went over the top. You can never do anything right. You’re so stupid. My mother walked on eggshells, trying to avoid the constant verbal and emotional abuse.

Perhaps you, too, have experienced fracture in your family. And the closer the relationship, the greater the damage. Sometimes getting along with a neighbor or co-worker seems easier than with a sibling, parent or child. The most tender relationships are the easiest to tear.

In these strained relationships, many of us ask, “How do I even start the repair? What do I say?” If I could be privileged enough to sit with you, coffee in hand, and answer such a personal question, I’d join you in asking the Lord to give us His words and ideas for repair. He has those answers. I am still learning to lean in and listen, but I think He might say something like this:

  1. Recognize the pattern. My grandmother operated out of a brokenness that had come to her from a previous generation. No one taught her how to fight for the things she loved rather than fall into the pattern of past sins and heartbreak. Previous generations often produce patterns that need to be recognized, changed and restored in the next generation.
  2. Take responsibility. It’s easy to point the finger at someone else’s sin and harder to recognize our own. Galatians 6:5 reminds us, “Each person must be responsible for himself” (NCV). Examine your heart and prayerfully discern the areas where you need to ask for forgiveness.
  3. Establish boundaries. Sometimes you’ll need space to allow anger to settle before you say something you’ll wish you could retract, or to protect yourself from further hurt. It’s okay to extend a boundary to protect your heart and your relationship. Some land mines are better kept in the distance and not addressed until the relationship is stronger and healthier.
  4. Dedicate your communication to God. Consecrate your own lips for God’s repairs and purposes in your everyday interactions. Ask Him for the words He wants you to hear. When we step out in faithfulness rather than fear, God will meet us there and show us how to move toward repair and redemption in our relationships.
  5. Initiate healing. Tell your loved one that you choose a relationship and you’re ready for a new start. A focus on commonalities and a shared desire for closeness can overcome so many differences.

 

We can’t muscle our way through any of these steps, but we receive the ability to love outside our own means by taking hold of what Jesus gives us — the ability to deeply care for another because of how He cares for us. Living your present like you did your past limits the joy and freedom that is ours through the work of Jesus Christ.

In our key verse, the prophet Isaiah spoke of rebuilding: “Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4)Raising up, repairing what has been broken and caring for the generations is a worthy assignment. You can start fresh and use the passion God has put in your heart to bring hope to your family and to onlookers. Is there a part of your own heart that longs to rise up, repair and restore those in your own sphere of influence? Can you sense the relief and rest it will bring?

Somewhere along the way, an intentional shift has to take place if you want a restored relationship with your mom, your daughter, your sister or any other person in your life. Restoration won’t come without choosing to lay down what did or didn’t happen, how it was expressed to you and how it left you feeling. But God is a waymaker. He made the way for my mother to forgive and initiate a restored relationship even when it wasn’t always reciprocated, and He can do the same in your life.

Lord, I bow before You and ask for Your Presence. I ask that You anoint me to bring repair to my family’s relationships and generational patterns. Show me how to begin. Show me where I am to wait to speak. Show me where I am to move forward in Your power. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 31:26, “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (NIV)

1 Peter 2:24, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you wish to speak life into your relationship with your mother or daughter, discover powerful words that usher in healing for wounded hearts, and rebuild, restore and reconcile your relationship, then check out Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters by Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Mended. To celebrate this book, Harvest House is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one in the comments section by Monday, April 8, 2019.}

To hear more about the story of Blythe Daniel, her mother, Dr. Helen McIntosh, and renew your hope for relationships, click here.

CONNECT:
Blythe would love to hear from you! Connect with her at Our Mended Hearts.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is God leading you to make a relationship repair? What might that restored relationship look like?

We understand starting the restoration process of a relationship can feel daunting. Share with us your beginning steps in our comments so we can pray alongside you.

© 2019 by Blythe Daniel & Dr. Helen McIntosh. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org


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