Got a Broken Relationship? -- Fixing it has a lot to do with you. By Debra Torres
I woke up early and started my usual stretching routine that morning -- twisting and turning a bit so I’d be limber for the day.
During one of my stretches, I hit the floor and read from my little daily prayer calendar.
In it, there was a powerful message about maintaining good family relationships and a scripture reference to the phrase: “Repairer of the Breach” stuck with me throughout the week.
My calendar, “The Power of a Praying Parent,” based on the book by Stormie Omartian, said this: “God tells of all the wonderful things that will happen when we fast and pray. He says, ‘You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach’ (Isaiah 58:12).
"God wants us to restore unity, to maintain the family bonds in the Lord, and to leave a spiritual inheritance of solidarity that can last for generations.”
Looking up the word “breach,” on Dictionary.com, I found it to mean: “an infraction or violation, as of a law, trust, faith, or promise and a severance of friendly relations.”
If you’ve lived a few years relating to others on this planet, I’m guessing you know, just like me, exactly what a breach is.
I remember when I was a very little girl and my mom and dad were having a conversation in the front of the car while we drove home from what I think was a family reunion.
My mom was asking my dad why certain extended family members hadn’t attended and my dad explained that they weren’t speaking to each other any more. He said that something had happened that had caused a separation or a rift in the family.
Breaches happen don’t they? If we’re honest with ourselves, we may have one or two going on in our own lives right now.
The woman who used to own our house walked with God for many years before she died. She and I went to the same church and since she had also raised a large number of kids, she would give me some mothering advise from time to time.
I remember one particular Sunday after church she was showing me a photo of all her six adult children, and she said, “One of my deepest prayers for my kids is that they will always be best friends.”
That struck me as an interesting prayer. But it makes perfect sense.
There’s strength in a family that has good relationships isn’t there?
In Stormie Omartian’s book, “The Power of a Praying Parent,” she talks about a breach that took place between her and her sister that lasted over two years. At the end of it, she says that they both realized that it was over a simple misunderstanding.
But two years of their relationship were still wasted, weren’t they?
Omartian stresses the importance of praying for our family relationships saying: “One of the things the Enemy of our soul likes to do is get into the middle of God-ordained relationships and cause them to misfire, miscommunicate, short-circuit, fracture, or disconnect. The more a family can be splintered apart, the weaker and more ineffectual they become and the more the Enemy has control of their lives.”
This makes perfect sense to me.
There is a strong sense of belonging and purpose within the family unit and when that’s severed, I’m sure Satan dances with glee.
Omartian encourages us to cover our family relationships in prayer in order to avoid the strain of broken relationships.
But how do we get over our current breaches? Remember the definition of breach? It’s “an infraction or violation, as of a law, trust, faith, or promise and a severance of friendly relations.”
That stuff hurts doesn’t it? And can be hard to get past.
Our pastor spoke about authentic love this past Sunday. And I think in his message there was an answer to our question. You see among the many different kinds of love there is something called “agape love.”
Our pastor defined it as a kind of love that is unselfish, sacrificial, unconditional and based upon willed choice rather than on emotion.
In a nutshell our pastor told us that using agape love in our relationships will help bring healing and restoration.
It’s difficult to offer any kind of love to people that have hurt us, I know. But when we understand that God’s love for us is also unconditional -- maybe we’d be more willing to offer it on to others.
The little Beaumont girl stood proudly among her friends in church many Sundays ago. I watched her as she invited them to her family’s soup and bread dinner that was taking place later that afternoon. Eyes shining, she said something like this: “It’s at my house, I know – because I’m a Beaumont.”
She was proud and sure of where she belonged was wasn’t she?
What kind of shape is your family in today? Have you got strong relationships that are rooted in the principles of unconditional love? Or – maybe things are strained and you’ve got some broken relationships that need mended.
If so, I encourage you to go for it and be a “repairer of the breach”!