Relating

Recovering from a Broken Romance

Apply the Word of God to Heal Your Heart

Perhaps you’ve seen it or experienced it: A romantic relationship between a woman and man dissolves. It ends in heartache—even divorce.

Thankfully, a network of friends and relatives lend their aid. Counselors spring into action. Churches offer support groups. The individuals involved allow extra time for self-care.

All of these strategies are useful. But sometimes they don’t seem to be enough.

Why do men and women continue to carry battle scars after a relationship folds? Months or even years later, the vestiges of a severed relationship may still hold fast.

The Word of God has some answers for us. The Bible tells us, “He sent His word, and healed them” (Psalm 107:20).

Posture of Forgiveness

Jesus preached a message of forgiveness—70 times 7 times when someone wrongs us (Matthew 18:22). The Lord’s Prayer echoes this: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6: 12).”

“How can I forgive this man or woman?!” our flesh cries out in the aftermath of a broken relationship.

“Grace,” is God’s answer.

Forgiveness is a choice, which grace enables us to make. Forgiveness does not mean the person did not hurt us. It does not erase the past. It does not compel us to reengage in a relationship that is harmful.

What it means is this: We choose to let go of our right to seek revenge, retaliation, and recompense. Instead, we trust that God will act on our behalf.

According to Psalm 146:7, the Lord secures justice for the oppressed. We don’t need to carry the sword; He does. Our anger, bitterness, resentment, regret, disappointment, rejection, and loss from damaged relationships all melt away when we decide to forgive the other party.

Here is a surprising point: They don’t even have to “deserve” it. (After all, Christ forgave us.) It is more about ridding our souls of any judgments against others. That makes us spiritually healthy again!

Conversely, when we don’t forgive, we’re choosing to hold on to toxic thoughts. Science has demonstrated that toxic thoughts create chemical messages in the body. These messages raise levels of neurotransmitters that prepare us for danger, suppress our immune system, and raise our risk of disease. Worse, this unhealthy response literally gets wired into our body as it produces new cells. The only fix: reprogramming our thoughts, in this case through forgiveness.

We may even need to repent and then forgive ourselves for relational mistakes. Perhaps we were selfish, failed to exercise wisdom, or hid ourselves rather than facing truth. The blood of Jesus wipes that all away.

Forgiveness may happen swiftly—all at once, we feel free! In many cases, it is a process to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5),” as we recover in layers from the broken relationship. Either way, we will feel lighter!

It starts with forgiveness. You can invite the Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer now.

Pray: God, I know that you are calling me to let go of the past. I forgive _______ for words and deeds that wounded me and damaged our relationship. I also repent for my shortcomings in this relationship and forgive myself. I trust you to heal my soul and body, so these experiences no longer hurt. Bitterness, regret, anger, loss, and other painful emotions do not have a hold on me. I even ask you to bless _______! I want healing and wholeness for him/her too. Thank you for hearing my prayer, in Jesus’ name.

One Flesh

Life is full of mysteries, and the physical union of a man and woman is one of them. It happens in relationships, within and outside of marriage.

We “leave and cleave,” as the Bible says. “And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh (Mark 10:8).” Imagine layers of skin, woven together intimately. It is the tearing of that bond that causes physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Yet the God who knit us together in our mother’s womb is capable of knitting us back together yet again. Abba says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11).”

Pray: Jesus, my soul has been linked to _______’s soul. I am asking you to untie this bond so that each of us can fully heal. We have both given parts of ourselves to the other. Will you return those parts and make us whole again? Thank you for this restoration, which will bring us both peace. Amen

A Time to Mourn

The end of a relationship—even a challenging one—can bring us a sense of loss and grief.

Thankfully, God provides for those who grieve. He will “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).”

“The Lord is near to the broken hearted,” Psalm 34 reminds us. And in His sermon on the mount, Jesus reassured the people: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).”

We come to expect a period of recuperation after a broken arm or bout with the flu. The same is true for emotional traumas. God can heal in an instant! But sometimes He wants to walk with us in a process—healing the aftermath of our relationship, but also restoring the deeper parts of us so the unhealthy relational patterns will not recur.

Let go. He will catch you.

Pray: God, I recognize that the end of my relationship with _______ was like a death. I am grieving. I invite you in to heal my mind, will, and emotions. Reach into my mind to heal painful memories associated with events and seasons. Remove all trauma. Also heal my physical body, which also feels the effects of loss. I want to partner with you as you restore me in all areas. I receive your peace, which surpasses my human understanding. Thank you for your love, in the name of my Savior, Jesus.

 

Back to Life

Like a defibrillator interrupting the heart’s chaotic rhythm and restoring it to normal, God’s Word breathes life back into our hearts. We can forgive. We can be made whole again. We can walk forward with joy.

When we pray in agreement with His Word, we are set free.

Read More:
Thoughts, Neurotransmitters, Body-Mind Connection
How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes

Editor

Abundant Home is designed to highlight God's love for us through family relationships. Our first relationship is with Jesus Christ, who promises, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

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