Hopefully, by the time we’ve processed the situation with Jesus and truly listened to our mother or daughter, we’ve gained insight into the situation and our loved one’s heart. We should begin to see ourselves in their struggle, and this should soften our words with grace. That said, many of us haven’t learned to communicate well. This often takes learning, growth and practice to understand the impact of our word choices. Phrases like, “You never,” or “You always,” tend to shut others down and trigger fear-based responses. Honestly expressing our feelings, however, helps us reach one another’s hearts.
Counselors suggest using this formula: “I feel ________ when you _________ because.” Then encourage your mom or daughter to rephrase what you said in their own words to ensure they understood you.
Our moms and daughters love us and don’t want to cause us pain. They truly do want a close and healthy relationship with us—as much as we do with them. When we remember this, we’re less apt to respond with defensiveness.
8. Pray Together
God longs for us to experience increased relational health and closeness with one another even more than we do. Colossians 1:19-20 says, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”
Biblical peace isn’t necessarily the absence of conflict but rather a state of wholeness, or when things are as they should be. In other words, through grace, Jesus is actively restoring all things, His followers’ interactions included. Discussing this process, Tim Keller states, “As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty, and freedom.”
Health. Beauty. Freedom. That’s God’s heart for us. Therefore, we can pray for our relationships with confidence, knowing God hears us and is actively fighting for our relational, emotional, and spiritual health. What’s more, something miraculous and beautiful occurs when we bow our heads and approach God’s throne together. God’s Spirit gains influence within us, speaking truth to our souls and softening our hearts toward one another.
The mother-daughter relationship can be challenging, confusing, frustrating, and sometimes even painful. But it’s worth holding on to and fighting for. Self-protection might tempt us to withdraw or accept the tension growing between us. But Christ invites us to join His ministry of reconciliation, following His lead, and relying on His power.
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