Restoring may be harder than forgiving. Forgiveness is hard enough, restoration can feel like we are inviting heartbreak all over again.
Sin always causes a great divide. Jesus came to heal the pain and bridge the divide. So when someone in our family fails and we find ourselves on different sides of a canyon, we must build a bridge.
Restore means to “to repair, to complete thoroughly, mend, perfect, perfectly joined together.” [i] If the family unit is to endure and relationships to last, we must restore each relationship. One side offers repentance the other forgiveness and the bridge between is restoration. We must seek ways to mend the relationship returning it to being perfectly joined together again.
Restoration begins once repentance is made. Encourage the family to find ways to restore the person back to their place. A person needs a way back to their original relationship, responsibility and role. We cannot demote and belittle in an effort to punish. We restore. We build bridges.
Faith, Hope and Love entwine to invite God’s ability to restore the family. When we work through our issues and find restoration we develop a stronger bond that is seasoned and refined by fire.
As parents and grandparents we are tasked with helping our young children grow in this healing process. When our kids and grandkids grow to adults it becomes harder as the wounds go deeper and the divide larger. Establish this process now. Teach them to find a way back. To build the bridge.
Pay close attention to relational cues between siblings and even parent-child relationships. Red flags include avoidance, shaming, name calling, exclusion, anger and silence. Some arguments can resolve themselves, but for the most part the process of restoration does not come naturally. It is taught and it is hands on so roll up those sleeves my friend.
Read 2 Corinthians 2:6-11, James 5:16, John 21:15-19 and pray Galatians 6:1.
Father, “if someone [in our family] is caught in a sin,” help us to, “live by the Spirit [and] …restore that person gently.” Teach us to, “watch [ourselves], or [we] also may be tempted.”
[i] Strongs’ Exhaustive Concordance