February 12, 2019

How to Heal Hurting Relationships

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 12, 2019

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

There have been times in my life, as I imagine there have been in yours, when I have experienced relational discord or conflict. There were times when someone mistreated me. There have been other times when I was the one at fault. And, finally, there were still other occasions when both I and another person hurt one another.

Regardless of what happened, God always wants to bring healing to hurting relationships. Certainly, you can’t control how another person responds during a relational crisis, but you can do your part to move toward relational healing by following biblical principles.

Here are 2 things you can do to help heal your hurting relationships:

Surrender the right to be offended. Oh, boy. This can be a tough one, right? When our ego gets bruised, or when the other person is offended because of something we did or that they perceive we did, it’s easy to respond with offense. But this isn’t God’s plan because offense breeds offense.

To live in obedience to Christ means you lay down the right to be offended. This doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge you have been mistreated. It just means you keep your heart free from bitterness and you embrace humility.

This attitude will help you think clearly about what is really happening in the relationship; you’ll experience greater peace, and your actions and words will reveal the condition of your heart. Both go a long way toward making peace with the other person.

“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

Humbly assess the condition of your own heart. When offense becomes a part of any relationship, finger pointing and blaming can begin to define us. Don’t become this person. It’s unwise. A better response is to ask the Lord if there is anything in your own heart or actions that needs to change. Then make a sincere effort to repent and do what He says.

Just as offense breeds offense, humility and tenderness can breed humility and tenderness. Again, there’s no guarantee that the other person will respond in a godly way when you do. (And there are times when someone is physically or emotionally unsafe. These are extreme situations.) But, one thing is certain: biting and fighting will never heal a relationship. Let relational healing begin with you by humbly assessing the condition of your own heart.

Are you experiencing relational discord? Choose God’s way of relating and see what He will do.

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”  (Romans 12:17-18).

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you have a plan for relational discord and you want to bring healing into my relationships. Let me be a relational change maker by stewarding my own actions and heart in a godly way. Amen.


Application

Take a look back at the relational strife and conflict you have had in your life. Could there have been anything you could have done to live in greater peace with the other person? If so, talk with the Lord about it, receive His forgiveness, then put the above principles into practice in the future.


Related Reading

Matthew 18:15-17; Matthew 5:9; Philippians 2:4


Post/Tweet today

Fighting will never heal a relationship, so let relational healing begin by humbly assessing the condition of your own heart. #WisdomHunters #healing


Worship Resource

3 minute video- Ellie Holcomb: 


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Comments

  1. BBB says:

    Hi Shana,
    I am a daily Wisdom Hunters reader. I ♥ these devo’s.

    Since Valentines day is in 2 more days, I take it, this mostly is about partners/relationships/marriages.

    Most “Relational Crisis” as I understand the word crisis, it means disaster, calamity or catastrophe. So, in other words, the offenses haven’t been dealt with at all—ie:crisis! YES! It does exist in relationships/marriages.

    The first thing that ran through my mind while reading today: Does she understand the avoidance of pain, is the beginning of all hurting and unhealthy relationships?

    As followers of Jesus and being His disciples, of His Word. I agree with you, we must always … “Humbly assess (examine) the condition of your own heart!!” Self examine. If your wrong, feeling convicted of sin (a rare thing spoken in the church—these days). Repent, change direction and apologize. Forgive, offer grace.

    However, working through the offense, is the essential part of getting to resolution—that is the heart of GOD—Truth, in Love. Not avoiding it.

    Seems as if burying the offense/issue works for you?

    I don’t see how that works for any relationship. If anything, it will 100% of the time, lead to unresolved issues creating pain, hurt, offense and bitterness!

    With all due respect Ms. Shutte, when you say, “surrender/give up your right to be offended”… this is 100% denial of your true feelings (very dangerous!). When in a “Relational Crisis” … Just bury it and move forward, is the common thread in your devo. Just for the sake of peace?

    I have personally observed, that giving up your right –which truly is ignoring/avoiding/denying— created far more damage to the relationship, and has hurt not helped relationships. Because as His people, with God given emotions…the hurt will come out in other unhealthy behaviors!! Proven over and over, creating a hardened heart ♥— It is the precursor to divorce 🙁

    The Church—Not GOD and His Word, has gotten this WRONG for years. Plain and simple it is ‘conflict avoidance’. It creates a burden to heavy to bear and prevents any resolution, or truth to be told. We know Truth sets you both on the path to freedom from the issue/offense. Matt 18:

    I have seen these same buried offenses in a ‘relational crisis’ ignored, in relationships for years . It is an inevitable consequence and will always resurface, again and again, in the event the offense, isn’t resolved, creating conflict …and it’s never pretty! We can and should never let it get that far!! Because the offense was never resolved –Not Good Shana!

    Most especially in this age of entitlement and narcissistic mindsets, where denial is the #1 offense !

    Happened at the Church in Corinth. Read Paul’s relief in the 2nd book chapter 8 (TM). After Titus in his repeated excitement told Paul about the resolve from his honesty.
    It’s definitely painful as it was with Paul and hard to tell the truth. BUT essential for the health of the relationship and the health of the Church!

    I am so passionate about this!
    Truth is healthy.
    Avoidance is harmful!

    Relational Honesty leads to intimacy (more connected-ness), denial is the doorway to relational death!

    I caution anyone who is denying and avoiding an offense, by giving up your right to be offended; you are unfortunately setting yourself up for another “relational crisis”!

    I encourage you to listen to this sound and truthful advice, from a seasoned therapist:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpBYZZOCu-Y&t=3s

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear “BBB”,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to us with your sincere and very thought-provoking comments. I read over your email a few different times and each time found some powerful insight. I will forward on these comments directly to Shana and I know she will also appreciate the passion from which you speak. Again, I thank you so much.

      If I could just offer one thought about what may be mistakenly defined as “denial” when Shana speaks of a surrender (Surrendering the right to be offended). She goes on to say “This does’t mean you don’t acknowledge you’ve been mistreated”. For so long, many in the church have misuse the words of submission in the marriage and women have been indeed, hurt. But we know as lovers of Christ that He only means submission with love. I recently read an wonderful quote on biblical submission that I think really summed it up “Biblical submission is a voluntary choice. Submission is the willing and loving acceptance of a husband’s authority and leadership. Yet, it is not the passive acceptance of physical, mental or verbal abuse. Such behavior is oppressive, dangerous and contemptible to God.”(Christian Standard Bible, The Study Bible for Women Colossians, pg.1514).

      With all of that being said, I know the passion and concern behind your feelings and comments. Again, I think you for shedding a light on this important topic. We (the staff of Wisdom Hunter’s) never take this topic lightly and we are always willing to (and appreciate) what our family of Wisdom Hunter’s readers has to say about all of these issues. Thank you again. My heart tells me you are working hard in this much needed area and I rejoice in the fact you are a believer and read the Word.
      May God bless you as you serve Him by serving others,
      Gwynne
      “You are the sal of the earth.” Matt.5:13
      “You are the light of the world.” Matt. 5:14
      “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:16


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