A broken friendship hurts. You may feel torn apart. Lonely. Sad.
In high school my two closest friends and I lunched together, shared inside jokes, and went to movies and parties on the weekends. We had each other’s backs and hearts … until our senior year. That summer they met boys.
While the two couples had fun, I felt forgotten, hurt, and cast aside. My heart hurt.
Has a friend hurt you? Did she turn her back on you, leaving you confused and feeling devalued?
How do you fix your friendship? Should you?
God has tender words from the hurting.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18, NIV.
With God’s wisdom and direction, you can mend a broken friendship by at least two ways. (In a third case, the wise choice may be ending the friendship while loving the former friend through prayer.)
1. Cover the Broken Friendship with Love
If the wound is not deep cover an offense with love.
I was able to do this with my two high school friends. They didn’t mean to hurt me, and I had other friends to hang with. But I still missed them and the way it used to be.
Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8, ESV
As the Holy Spirit empowers you, let the hurt go. Let love cover the offense. Letting go can lead to restoration. My two close friends and I still ate lunch together and called once in a while. Their weekends were filled with double dates, however.
2. Mend a Broken Friendship by Speaking the Truth in Love
Years ago, the women’s ministry team at my church decided to switch the day of the morning Bible study for several good reasons.
However, a woman in the Bible study became angry with our decision and phoned each person in the study, complaining about the day change and me. (I was the ministry director at the time.) I felt hurt and angry. I learned of these phone calls second-hand. The personal attack, gossip, or the bubbling disunity among the women all unnerved me.
A few days later, the angry woman and I talked privately. I hoped to speak the truth in love, come to an pleasant understanding, and mend our broken friendship. The Bible champions this type of talk.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15,16, ESV
I asked for her forgiveness that the change took her by surprise and that I should have handled communication about the Bible study day change with greater sensitivity. She asked for forgiveness for gossiping.
While our friendship was never quite the same, we worked toward mending it.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love,” and “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Proverbs 27:5,6, NIV
3. Some Broken Friendships. . .End
Let’s say an offense was Grand-Canyon huge, and you no longer trust your friend.
Perhaps she lied to you again and again, and you lovingly confronted her but she does not repent and continues her lying. Or, perhaps she bedded your husband.
Without repentance, rebuilding trust is all but impossible. Here’s a helpful download on repentance.
When a friendship turns destructive, it may be wise to end it. Fleeing a destructive friendship still leaves lots of room for forgiveness. Jesus forgave you and me, didn’t he?
“As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Colossians 3:13, ESV
Question: How have you tried to fix a broken friendship?
Did you get your repentance download? Click here to download it.
photo credit: Flower Power. via photopin (license)