Because of our global society, family encompasses more than relatives. Often, as Bach alluded to, family becomes those you share common ideals, goals, and daily life experiences.
Biological families are unique. Though squabbling amongst the members is not uncommon, they rally against outside attacks. You can usually rely on family to “have your back” in a tough situation.
But why does it take a tough situation for this to occur? Despite our differences in personalities, life choices, and goals, why do we allow conflict to enter what should be treasured relationships? The simple answer is we’re human. We won’t have perfect relationships this side of heaven.
I was saddened after reading an article about singer Robin Gibb’s funeral. This excerpt from his brother Barry’s eulogy was particularly poignant.
"Life is too short. In Robin's case, absolutely too short. We should have had 20 years, 30 years of his magnificent mind and his beautiful heart. We were laughing all the way. Sometimes crying. God knows how much we argued. Even right up to the end we found conflict with each other, which now means nothing. It just means nothing. If there's conflict in your lives - get rid of it." Barry Gibb (last surviving member of BeeGees)
If there’s conflict in your lives – get rid of it. Those words should resound like a gong in our minds and hearts, if we’re in conflict with a friend or loved one. Embracing the simple excuse of humanity doesn’t lead to resolution. Instead, would you take a moment to lift up that person in prayer? That’s the first step toward forgiveness and reconciliation.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…If you love those who love you, what reward will you get…And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the pagans do that?” Matthew 5:43-47
Pray for those who persecute you. Ask God to help you love difficult people with His love.Pray for your own shortcomings. Sometimes conflict is a simple clash of personalities or perspective on life. Respect those differences and try to find common ground. Ask God to show you positive steps toward eliminating your part in the conflict.
Resolving conflict doesn’t ensure reconciliation. Sometimes prayer is the first and final step—for now.
You might scratch your head and say, “What?”
God created us as unique individuals. Even the most harmonious relationships will hit rough patches. At times, we have to agree to disagree, depending on the gravity of the situation. This is especially true in unhealthy relationships. Sometimes we have to walk away. God will reopen the door, if the circumstances change.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, seek help and find a safe way to leave. Your safety trumps salvaging the relationship.
Still, even the most difficult person and situation can be prayed for.
As we go to the Lord in prayer, I encourage you to do the impossible. That person who hurt you, the one you’re at odds with, the one you feel you’ll never reconcile with—lift them up to the Lord. Ask God to bless them. Email me confidentially, if you’d like me to pray with you.
Please share any prayer requests in the comments section below that you’d like others to pray about. Remember past requests for health, employment, mental health issues, and unstable housing situations. You may access the archives for the specific requests.
Our song this week is “Who Am I?” by Casting Crowns. Join me in worshipping Our Father as we go to Him in prayer.