Bringing Healing to a Difficult Relationship

In my previous post, I cited Proverbs 12:18 (NIV); “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” I mentioned that wisdom in the Bible is the ability to see all of our circumstances and relationships in life in the context of the reality of the gospel—the reality of all that God is for us and promises us in Christ. And so wise and healing words are words spoken with all the realities of the gospel in mind—all the realities of God’s promises for us in Christ brought into every circumstance and relationship in our lives.

The most difficult arenas in our lives to apply this vital truth of words of healing is in our own families—especially the words we speak in our marriages and relationships with our kids. It is precisely in our own families where our words of healing rather than words that pierce like a sword have the biggest effect.
Today I just want to let God’s word describe in detail the kinds of words that bring healing to our families’ lives. To our marriages. To our children. And even to our most important relationships beyond our families. When things in our marriage get really difficult, here’s how God tells us to heal with our words—when things with our kids get really exasperating, here’s how God tells us to heal with our words…
Ephesians 4:32-5:2 (TNIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us….
Ephesians 4:2 TNIV
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Titus 3:1-8 (TNIV)
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.
Romans 12:10–21 TNIV
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, …for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. …Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When you apply these wise instructions from God to you specifically in your marriage and family relationships—in the wisdom of your words and actions even in a difficult marriage or relationship with a teenage child—you’re bringing the healing power of the gospel into their lives and yours. And the only reason why you would NOT heal with your words in this wise way is out of unbelief in the gospel.

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