When good relationships break, unwanted feelings of wariness, bitterness, anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness can root in the heart and cause further damage. The Bible teaches many ways to avoid these additional injuries. Surprisingly, when biblical methods are applied, restoration can happen and sometimes quicker than expected, but it takes hard work and commitment to carry through. In the end, after the damage is attended to, the entire painful experience can lead to fresh discovery and a stronger foundation. The “dark night of the soul” can turn into a new dawn of living.
All this is possible, but not without God.
Here are some scriptures that contain clues to God’s aids for “dark nights.”
“….put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Col. 3:12-13
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.…. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:18-21
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount…. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give and it will be given to you….For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:32, 36, 37
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer…” Romans 12:9-12
Question: If God, who is perfect, can forgive my offenses, then why can’t I, the one who is not perfect, forgive my fellow man?
“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM.” He then says, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” Hebrews 10:16-17
Observation: In perspectives where I hold vehemently to a different opinion than another I must be careful not to judge because…..
“Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord….not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, WE ARE THE LORD’S.” Romans 14:4-8
Observation: If I think I have “arrived” or that my ideas are smarter or more spiritual than my brother’s ideas, then I need to get humble and remember these words….
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (this alone will take a lifetime of work!) SO THAT you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:2, 3
Question: Have I demonstrated love “to the death” yet? Then I shouldn’t give up or consider my sacrifices futile. God did (demonstrate love to the death) and didn’t (give up on us)!
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Question: Regarding my sadness and worry over a broken relationship and the work it takes to fix….Is it worth it?
Know these things…..
“ Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:4-9
Question: Should I do the work to fix the broken relationship? Yes! It’s a command of Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Question: WHEN should I get started on the work it takes to fix a good relationship that is now broken?
“BE ANGRY, (or angry/sad) AND yet…… DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:26-27
The longer I wait, the more “bad stuff” can creep into my “dark night” and take root!!!!
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
The Bible has A LOT to say about fixing a broken relationship.
The work is hard but the reward is great!
The “dark night of the soul” turns into a new dawn of living!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; (BUT) I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The “abundance” arrives when I obey Him and follow His ways!