How often do we find ourselves obsessing over thoughts of how a family member or friend "just doesn't get it!"? What good is that doing for ourselves or the ones of whom we think are so clueless? Meanwhile, we also think, "There is no way this relationship will get better, because S/HE won't change! I am either stuck, or I have to leave!" Really, now?! Hmmm! When we think like that, we are basically saying that another flawed human being, like ourselves, determines whether or not we have peace and joy.
Don't get me wrong, as a professional therapist, I know that there are times when a relationship has to end, even marriage that is intended for life, if one person continues in a path of destruction without seeking God for transformation. However, cases like that should be rare. The decision to leave a toxic relationship should be after much time in prayer and seeking God for healing, guidance, and direction.
Most people know the story of Job in the Bible, how he lost everything including his wife, children, health, and possessions. (If not, read the book of Job in the Old Testament.) At a time when he needed support of friends the most, his friends were not helping him with their flippant advice. However, rather than dwelling on how they were not meeting his needs, Job chose to pray for them instead, and look what happened next! "And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before." Job 42:10 (NKJV) WOW! Think about what that just said!
So, maybe it is time to pray for our friends and loved ones! Before we pray, we need to ask God to show us our motives in praying. Are we praying selfishly so that our needs will be met and things will be more comfortable for us? Are we praying so that the other person realizes that s/he is wrong and we are right? Or, are we praying because we love the other person and want to see him/her set free from the enemy's clutches so that s/he can be free to walk out God's divine purposes for his/her life?
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil
desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill
to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and
wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because
you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your
motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:1-3 (NLT)
As we seek God, our only source for true peace and joy, we will be healed of inner wounds that rob us of the right perspective of others. Then we will be able to pray the prayers God stirs us to pray for our loves ones and see them and our relationships transformed! Remember, nothing is impossible with God!
With over thirty years of experience as an educator, minister, and licensed professional counselor, Tammy Melton, LPC holds ministerial credentials with Harvest Network International and is the founder of Legacy Ministries for Christ, Incorporated and Legacy Freedom, LLC. Tammy desires to see people set free with tools of inner healing and relational unity. Tammy and Bill, her husband of 36 years, live in Fayetteville, GA and have two adult daughters.