Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to guard our hearts, but constructing healthy boundaries among the family God has placed us with is extremely challenging. In the gap between fresh hurt and restored peace, the words with which we choose to express our emotions can be critically wounding, or soul restoring. To process emotion as our Savior would, it’s best to talk out our conflicts with Him in prayer.
Father, praise You for family. You tell us that it’s not good for us to be alone, and therefore have placed people around us that impact our lives and move us away from the loneliness of solitude. “The Lord is my strength and my song,” Exodus 15:2 reminds. We must remember that the family we live with is not responsible for our happiness. They are not charged with the status of our hearts and souls. And they cannot control how we feel, nor leap into our minds in an effort to understand the depth of our emotions.
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When we are misunderstood, or a family member misunderstands us, we feel hopeless to plead our case. Help us to hold onto Exodus 15:2. You are our strength. The inability to filter our thoughts is a cue to hand them over to You. In the moments when silence is Your answer, help us to be patient. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, inspire us to recall who You say we are. Loved. Forgiven. Saved. Purposed. Unique.
Thank You for the comfort of family. The warm embrace of a mother and father, siblings, and extended family. There is something about being related that earns our trust easier other relationships. When and if that trust is broken through abuse and/or abandonment, we pray for your protection physically, and Your guardianship of our hearts and minds. Empower us to seek help and counsel from You, and from others trained to help us remove ourselves from danger and harm. Anyone intending to harm us or treat us abusively is never someone You intend us to linger with.
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We confess all of the words we wish we could take back. Because of Adam and Eve’s mistake in the garden, our sinful nature can lead us down paths that we know are wrong, and into mistakes that we had no intention of making. Yet because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are forgiven over and over again when we confess to You in our Savior’s name. Help us to pass the same compassion on to others who wear on our hearts and patience. Bless us to be patient and wise, to seek You first, and speak kindness. Convict us when we are wrong, and strengthen our resolve to apologize.
Hurt within families can destroy relationships permanently. But with Your guidance, anything, and anyone, can be restored. You are our Healer. In You, we find peace. Our hope lies in You. And our faith can pull us across any divide when we let go and let You determine the way. Luke tells us “when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near” (Luke 21:5-28). Jesus is coming. There’s no doubt about that. We want to follow Him fast and focused until He returns to take us home, or we arrive home in heaven to Him.
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In the midst of conflict and hurt, it’s easy to be bitter. Misunderstanding can breed justification for cutting off a relationship like a dead tree branch. Payback and comebacks replay in our minds. Vindication runs on repeat. But God, You tell us to focus on You (Colossians 2:19). Let the world explain away, but let us listen to You first.
God, You are there in the pain we cannot bear, do not understand, and want to run from. Hold us and help us. Help us to endure long silences until we are sure You have inspired our choice of words. Quicken our hearts to forgive, and to pray for those on the other side of disagreements. Bless those who hurt us, and help us to be a blessing that shines bright in Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org. “Mom” is the most important calling on her life, next to encouraging others to seek Him first… authentically. A dance mom, occasional substitute teacher, and youth worship leader, she can often be found having some kind of an adventure in the small little lake town she resides in with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their doodle-dog.
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