How I often wish that we were living in an ideal world where a sorry note or a box of chocolates and some flowers could mend any relationship. But we know that in the real world it takes more than that to experience emotional and relational healing.
Relationships can be messy and hard to fix, but that's only because they are truly valuable and made up of fragile things—such as trust, respect, and communication—that were meant to be taken good care of. Healing a broken relationship can be tough, but it always proves to be worth it in the end.
Hebrews 12:14 tells us, "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."
Holiness and peace come hand in hand. It is often our sinful nature that destroys our earthly relationships. For healing to come, Jesus' righteousness must come.
You might have a broken relationship right now (and if you're human you probably do). Here are four ways we can ask God to help us heal a broken relationship.
1. Surrender Your Hurts to God
When pain is there, it's hard to move in virtually any way. For healing to happen, pain must first be removed. Our human tendency is to throw that pain at other people, but we only end up hurting others. Our pain is best surrendered and given to Jesus who took our hurts to the cross. Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."
2. Accept Your Mistakes and Forgive Yourself
When we experience relational hurts, it's not just fully the fault of the other party. We probably made our own mistakes, too. Realising that, it's important to process and reflect on our own mistakes and start releasing forgiveness upon ourselves for the things we may have done wrong.
3. Forgive the Other Person
The secret to forgiving others is realising that you yourself have been forgiven of assaulting your own relationship with God. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
As Jesus has released forgiveness upon us, we, too, have now been empowered by His Spirit to walk in love, peace and forgiveness with others.
4. Give It Time
The truth of the matter is that relational healing rarely happens overnight. Sometimes the things we might have done were too grave to be able to settle things quickly. That's why we need patience and perseverance when pursuing relational healing. In God's perfect timing, things will come together right. It might take days, weeks, months or maybe even years. But what's worth dying for is worth restoring, and Jesus died for us to experience relational healing with others.