HEALING OUR BROKENNESS

There's a Better Way To Live

How to Embrace the Thorns in Your Life

How to embrace the thorns Individuals carry into their adult relationships, defective ways of interacting with their partner, children, family, friends, peers, and superiors. They bring forward what they have been taught in their home environments, adult/child relationships, and peer experiences. So, how do you embrace the thorns  

Living in a broken world where offenses and hurt feelings are commonplace, chances are you know someone you were once close to, whom you no longer associate with. Maybe it was someone you worked with or served with on a committee. Possibly it was a neighbor, close friend, parent, or sibling. Perhaps it is one of your children.

The very thought of the wedge between the two of you brings an ache to your heart and tears to your eyes. Yet you are at a loss to know how to fix the relationship. So, you pray that God will bring about healing and change.

Embrace the Thorns in your life and Put Prayer into action.

Giving and receiving forgiveness is the first step to restoring relationships, but it can’t end there; otherwise, there will be continued offenses, frustration, hurt, and division.

Putting a bandage over cancer does not take it away; it only covers it and allows continued damage beneath the surface. The key to restoring relationships is figuring out what went wrong in the first place and then making changes to prevent reoccurrence.

Individuals involved will need to discuss what they need for the relationship to continue to grow. They will be required to agree together to work toward restoration.

Boundaries can then be set in place to protect the delicate development of trust. Over time, with continued patience and vigilance by everyone, the relationship can be restored.

Some relationships are more difficult to restore than others. If there has been extensive damage and trust has been lost, it will likely take a while to prove that you are trustworthy. Old habits and character flaws are hard to correct so the road to re-establishing trust may be two steps forward and one back and then gradually it becomes three steps forward and one back.

 As you persevere in trying to change negative character traits, you will slowly make progress. Eventually, you discover that regression is less frequent and less severe.

It is very important that you apologize each time you slip in your attempts to modify how you react to circumstances. Asking for forgiveness shows that you are sincere in rebuilding the relationship. Swallowing your pride also tends to break down walls of self-protection, resulting in a growing sense of trust.

 Don’t worry about the other person’s behavior, let God correct them. Your responsibility is to do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18 New Living Translation NLT) You are not answerable for the other person’s conduct, you are only accountable for how you respond.

There are numerous reasons for the breakdown in relationships, between parents and children, marriage partners, family members, co-workers, and friendships. 

The root causes may be the combination of several issues; old emotional wounds that parallel present situations, temperament types, birth order, dysfunctions such as perfectionism, co-dependency, lack of boundaries, and human nature in general. Whatever the origin, we are instructed in Scripture to make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy… (Hebrews 12:14 New International Version NIV).

When we have done all that we know to do and still there is no reconciliation we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be discouraged. God alone, is the changer of hearts.

We should persevere in demonstrating love to those who oppose us and continue to pray for them. We can pray for wisdom in how to handle situations concerning the other person so that we are not acting on our limited insight. We need heavenly wisdom to navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Scripture says,

The wisdom that comes from heaven is, first of all, pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17-18 New International Version NIV)

When you test your heart to make sure you are doing what is right and fervently pray specifically about the issue in question, change will come. Possibly the transformation will be more in your heart than in the object of your prayers, but God will bring good out of your anguish. He promises–

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. (Isaiah 33:6 New International Version NIV)

In closing our discussion on restoring relationships, please enjoy my poem entitled, Embrace the Thorns in Your Life, an excerpt from my book Healing Emotional Wounds, Subtitle, Restoring Relationships, by Grace Gayle

How to embrace the thorns Embrace the Thorns in Your Life I love long-stemmed roses, they remind me of people. When the rose is immature you see only the stem, leaves, and thorns. But as it is nurtured in rich dark soil, bathed in the life-giving drops of rain, and kissed by the golden rays of sunlight, the bud gathers the strength to press through. In the dawning of a new day, stands the long-stemmed rose, confident, beautiful, fragrant, and appealing.  Embrace the thorns . With a little compassion, patience, and affirmation, they may very soon be, the most beautiful rose in your garden.

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How to Embrace the Thorns in Your Life