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Christian Living

Family

Mommy and the Joyful Three 09/08/15

Ending a Friendship with Grace

Friends in serious chat

What do our interpersonal relationships teach our children about getting along, kindness, and God’s grace?

I’ve had my share of friendships that have gone bad and ended. It’s always sad. It always leaves me wondering and wishing I knew how to fix it or what really went wrong. It took me years to realize that my reactions were, to put it kindly, ridiculous.

My actions taught my kids that if a friendship goes sour it’s the end of the world. I didn’t hold back on my negativity and children pick up on that.

One day as I was talking on the phone, giving another friend the verbal outlay of the relationship’s demise, I caught my oldest daughter listening. I told her to not eavesdrop, but what she said next caught me off guard.

“Mommy, I thought you liked (insert name here). Does this mean she hates me too?” My heart broke, really shattered. I felt guilty about putting my problems out in the open. As a result, my daughter felt the impact of that negative relationship because of my mouth and my need to prove I was right.

I’ve learned three things since that experience and I’d like to encourage you to take these to heart if you’re going through a rough patch in one of your relationships.

1. Do not dwell. Letting it go allows you more time for the healthy relationships in your life.

2. Be a witness. Your children will see your maturity, love, and grace when you hold your head up and walk with the Lord.

3. Seek God, not validation. The Bible doesn’t tell us to prove our points at the expense of others. God only tells us to love and forgive.

People hurt. I’ve been hurt often. But since I began to walk away rather than set up camp in the midst of the dysfunction, I’ve gained some beautiful friendships and ground.

I now teach my daughters and my son to respond the way God would. Tenth Avenue North’s song “Losing” speaks to this:

 

This is love, this is hate...
We all have a choice to make

Oh, Father won't You forgive them?
They don't know what they've been doin'
Oh, Father, give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losin'


Strength is shown in the positive way we react to the negative in our lives and relationships.

How do you handle a relationship that has taken a wrong turn? What do you teach your kids to do when someone they love and care for hurts them?

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