Know: All of us will experience broken relationships at some point in our lives.
Think: Following God’s guidelines for dealing with broken relationships offers the best course for reconciliation.
Do: Follow the biblical guidelines and examples for how to appropriately handle and cope with broken relationships.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Matthew 18:15-20; Luke 15:11-19. Conflict is inevitable, and we will all be impacted by the pain of broken relationships. We experience conflict with others in our community, at work, at school, at church, and in our family. Jesus has given us important instructions about how the Christian is called upon to address conflict.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Follow biblical guidelines when dealing with broken relationships. Pray that you and your family will seek biblical wisdom over worldly wisdom when dealing with broken relationships.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: Relationships are a huge part of our daily lives, whether they are with family, friends, significant others, or mentors. Since we are imperfect people, our relationships will also be imperfect. The Bible is full of imperfect relationships that we can look at to navigate through our own relationship issues. Talk with your child about a favorite toy of his that broke or imagine if one did break. Would he want to try to fix the toy or just throw it away? If he loves the toy, he would want to do anything to fix it before he threw it away. He would want to fix it the right way. Explain to him that he should put that same effort into broken relationships.
OPTION 2: Help your family think about broken relationships by asking these questions.
• Over the course of your life, which have you found to be more painful, broken bones or broken relationships? (In many ways the old children’s rhyme does not hold true as we look back over our lives. For example, a divorce is far more painful and debilitating than a broken leg.)
• Why do you think that is the case? (We typically recover from broken bones in a matter of months while it can take decades to recover from a broken relationship.)
Today your child learned some people didn’t like Paul sharing about Jesus. They had him arrested and put in prison. He was then moved so he could speak with the Emperor in Rome. While on the ship, a bad storm blew up. Paul kept on trusting God because he knew He was still with him. God Is With Us All the Time.
Today your student studied two examples of broken relationships from the Bible. He or she learned how two brothers, Jacob and Esau, reconciled. He or she also learned about the relationship between a father and son that was restored. In both examples, grace, mercy, and forgiveness were demonstrated. Your student was challenged to choose responses of humility over pride in his or her relationships.
Your teens looked at biblical principles for working out problems with others. To privately confront with truth in a loving manner is the first step in resolving problems. If this is not successful, you involve others to come to a resolution. Teens also looked at four scriptural examples of broken relationships: Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers; and Paul and Barnabas. Families and friends are so important to us but so hard to get along with! Ask your teen which of these biblical examples seemed to touch most closely the broken relationships she is dealing with. Is there comfort in seeing that our struggles are not unique? Are there strategies from the principles she learned today that will help her in those relationships? If your teen finds it difficult to confront a problem, suggest that she write down the issues she is dealing with, perhaps as a letter. Perhaps you can work together to review the best way to lovingly present the truth and work for solutions.