Do you have a strained relationship in your life? If so, you’re not alone. Most people do. The toll it can take on your life can be significant, even if it is someone you don’t see every day.
So if you find yourself in a strained relationship and are seeking peace, you have three options:
Build a Bridge
This is the most ideal way to repair a strained relationship, but it is not always possible. It requires that both parties are willing to rebuild whatever has been broken, but often takes one person humbling himself first to start a dialogue.
If possible, talk to an impartial third party, like a counselor, about the issues and how to best handle rebuilding. Ideally, you could go into counseling with that person and work out your differences.
If this is your heart’s desire, pray that God blesses you both with peace and patience. Be willing to see the other person’s side.
Let it Breathe
Sometimes a strained relationship just needs a little space and time. Particularly if there was a heated discussion, or even a full out fight, each party may feel better after a little time to cool off. Don’t be in a rush to fix things right away if that won’t help.
While it is not helpful to just ignore someone or to block them, what would be helpful would be to communicate that you’re having a hard time and that you think you both need a little space. Set a defined amount of time to revisit your conversation at a future date.
Pray that God will work on both of you hearts during your time apart.
While this is not a rational first reaction to dealing with a strained relationship, sometimes it’s the best option. If you decide that your differences are too great and that you will not be able to repair that relationship, let that person know that you wish them well and that you still value them as a child of God, but that you don’t think a relationships is possible at this time.
Pray that God brings peace and healing for this difficult situation. Always be prepared for God to change your heart or the heart of the other party.
But no matter what you choose, be kind in your words and actions. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Remember that God wants for us to have our issues with each other settled, so ask him to help cleanse your heart of any anger or pain.