Four Keys to Restoring a Broken Relationship

Restoring a Broken Relationship

How do you restore a broken  relationship? Many of us have a relationship that has died. You didn’t plan it. You don’t like it. You wish things were different. It just is.

This broken relationship haunts you like the garden you planted with so much hope but now lies dormant with stunted plants and choked by weeds. It started with so much hope but is now an embarrassment. The best remedy you have is to ignore it…avoid walking by it so you won’t feel so bad.  But deep down you know there  is more you could have done…maybe even more you can do right now. You just don’t know what and you are not so sure  it’s even worth your time if you did.

How to Restore a Broken Relationship

Thankfully God gives us a perfect model for how to restore a broken relationship. Maybe you’ve never thought about it this way but Jesus didn’t rise from the dead so we could live forever. Jesus rose from the dead so God could be in relationship with us forever. The resurrection was the last step in God providing a solution to the broken relationship that existed between God and humanity.

Here are four keys to restoring a broken relationship that God  modeled for us;

  1. Great Love – You can’t seek to restore a broken relationship half heartily any more than you can restore a garden half heartily. You have to be “all-in” from the start if you want to have a chance. The Bible tells us that God “SO LOVED” the world that he sent his Son. (John 3:16). God’s love was the driving force to restoration. You need that as well.
  2. Deliberate Action – Love isn’t passive. It acts. Love isn’t an emotion. It’s something you do. God DEMONSTRATED his love for us by moving toward us, not away from us (Romans 5:8). Many people hope for the best but never do anything to make the best happen. You need a plan of action.
  3. Servant Humility – I don’t like humbling myself when I’m wrong. And I don’t think I should have to humble myself when I’m right. The person in the wrong needs to take action, not me. Thankfully God didn’t have that attitude. The Bible tells us that Jesus emptied himself of his right to being God (Philippians 2:5-8), humbled himself like a servant, and willingly died to put things right between us. If you really want to repair a relationship you’ll need to lay down your pride and your rights. You’ve got to do whatever it takes.
  4. Amazing Power – One of the main reasons people don’t restore a broken relationship is because it’s dead. There is no life. There is no hope.  There is nothing in them that motivates them to move toward the other. That’s why we need God. In fact, we need him for all four of these keys; great love, deliberate action, servant humility and now power. He’s got what  we need. Reconciliation is a divine act. So don’t give up on a broken relationship just because it’s dead. Give God a chance to breathe his resurrection life into it. You might be amazed at what rises from the dead.
Stuck broken relationships

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Question: What are the biggest issues that keep you from restoring a broken relationship? Have you ever seen  God resurrect a relationship for you? I’d love to hear back.

To learn more about broken relationship check out my new book, STUCK…how to mend and move on from broken relationships.

 Download the message (audio/text) Restoring Broken Relationships here.


7 thoughts on “Four Keys to Restoring a Broken Relationship

  1. Cathy

    When I did my “making amends” step in my 12 step program, I gave my list to my sponsor. I was very proud of my list. She looked at and told me to go back and add the two people who had caused the most pain in my life. I was angry. I told her that THEY need to make amends to me. I didn’t have anything to make amends for. She quickly pointed out things I did in the process. She told me I needed to make the amends for me not them. I needed to make amends for my part. It was God’s business to take care of the wrongs they had done. I went back and did it. Neither of them ever made amends to me or accepted mine. But once done I was free of the bitterness.
    I had a strained relationship with my son. I left home when he was 14. I got sober shortly after that. We really struggled. At his wedding I was seated behind the family with the “regular” people. It was painful. But we kept working on it. I told him the truth about everything and about how I felt. I kept praying and trying. Today I have an amazing relationship with my son. For my birthday a few years ago, he took me to Charlotte for the weekend and we enjoyed a Panthers Football game. I can’t image having a better relationship. I also have some amazing grandchildren. 🙂 I am continual amazed.

      1. candysthoughts

        What if your whole life has been about ‘broken relationships’? Incestuous father, domestic violence, manipulative mother.. doesn’t exactly set the stage for my sister & I to have a healthy relationship either! Sister left the house at 18 & drew the line on all of us not to mention ALL extended family members as well (she resented the fact that none of them ever cared enough to ‘save us’)!

        My whole life has been about ‘rejection’.. NOTHING I EVER DO is GOOD ENOUGH! I stayed around my toxic parents until my early 30’s.. ‘bent over backwards’ trying to please them & overlook all the pain they were CONTINUALLY causing until FINALLY I had to ‘break free’ for my own SANITY! It was the BEST thing I have ever done!

        But it still affected my children.. my oldest became bitter about not having ‘family’. Once she became a teenager, she was increasingly difficult to deal with, rebellious, didn’t listen to our rules about boyfriends & in the past year has chosen a ‘boyfriend’ that we have NOT approved of for 5 years.. over our family & left 2 months before graduation! Her graduation day was the MOST disappointing day of my life!

        Once again.. rejection, blame, denial, betrayal.. once again my heart is ripped to shreds! How many times does my heart need to get ripped out in one lifetime?! I didn’t ask to be born to toxic, incestuous, abusive, druggie parents.. I didn’t ask to be rejected by my sister, I didn’t ask for any of this for my children but it happened none the less! With our daughter betraying us by telling lies to family & friends, lashing out on posts on FB, & leaving us the way she did (crappy note that said ‘hope someday you’ll forgive me’).. it’s like we’re BEYOND UPSET!!

        I’ve been hurt so many times in my life.. I’m honestly NUMB now!

        It’s so hard to see our SWEET youngest daughter (thankfully NOTHING like her older sister) going thru the PAIN I did of feeling the REJECTION of a sister. Our oldest says she’s marrying that boyfriend we don’t approve of in June & we are already NOT invited. The barrage of firey darts from the enemy thru these loved ones has got to STOP!

        We cannot handle ANYMORE insults, hate, pain, hurt.. when does the madness end?!

        I’ve reached out to all of them many times, for the better part of 10 years I sent my sister cards & not ONCE did she respond back. I’ve sent my parents a chrsitmas card w/ pics of all the grandkids about 4 years ago.. even sent pics of my sister’s kids that they’ve NEVER seen.. WHAT DID THEY DO?? They just sent the whole thing back w/ REFUSED on the envelope.. I have NOT sent a christmas card since!

        This whole year we’ve tried working things out w/ our oldest.. had several family meetings, texts, calls, etc.. each time she gave ‘half hearted apologies’ then would do 10 more things to hurt & upset us! It was like she claimed she was sorry for the lines she’s crossed, sorry for saying ugly things to us, sorry for falsely accusing us, then CANCEL it all out by doing MORE stuff to stab us in the back or rip our hearts out again & again! How on earth do we deal with that?!

        The best thing I choose to do is PRAY. That’s all we can do when there’s nothing left to do is PRAY & give it ALL to GOD! ALL the PAIN, HURT, BETRAYAL, BROKEN HEARTS.. everything to HIM!

        We believe her boyfriend is a NEGATIVE influence.. his whole family are atheists.. we believe she allowed the devil in her life (thru her facination w/ vampires, the underworld, killing, hatefulness, bullying others) & is now ‘oppressed’.. the things she’s said & done this past year is NOTHING like the person she used to be!

        The 4 of us were a very close knit family.. we tried to give our children the lives we never had (family vacations, family oriented activities, big christmases, theme birthdays, love, respect, boundaries, most of all THE LORD).. we did right by our children.. they never had to witness the things I’ve had to witness growing up.. all that said.. I would have NEVER treated my parents the way she has treated us & we were good parents!

        Oh the IRONY!

        But also must tell you.. I refuse to stand for even an ounce of disrespect or rudeness! Because my whole life I was my parent’s ‘doormat’.. I NOW refuse to be anyone’s door mat anymore!

        Our oldest & I would ‘butt heads’ because she was stubborn & rebellious.. I had to be stricter w/ her.. never had I have to resort to the means I had to w/ her w/ my youngest.. our youngest is not a liar, bully, mean spirited person.. she is totally the opposite & for that we are BLESSED!

        The oldest resented anyone telling her what to do.. she’s like a spoiled brat I guess. Being a parent & trying to set rules means you’re ‘mommy dearest’ in her eyes.


      2. F. Remy Diederich

        That’s quite the comment. I think you might find some help in my new book, STUCK. I walk people through a process to deal with the things you mentioned. You don’t want to get STUCK in your past but create a better future.

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