9 Ways to Restore Broken Relationships
The fruit of the Spirit is a byproduct of having the Holy Spirit dwell inside us. These are nine of the qualities that are evident and increasing in our lives as we nurture the Spirit’s presence and influence within us.
Having said that, we can further excel in these areas when we focus on them intentionally. In addition to being the natural result of spending time in the Spirit, when we seek to increase these qualities by living in the Spirit, this is one of the ways we are transformed into the image of Yeshua.
Yeshua is the ultimate picture of these nine qualities. In a previous post, I looked at examples from Yeshua’s life that display each of these. In his life he exuded all of these in their most perfect form. Although we see Yeshua debating and arguing and correcting those who would twist the Word and lead others astray, the way he drew people to himself was through these nine qualities. Indeed, when he comes to us in these ways, we, too, are drawn to him.
Think about the times in your own life when the Lord has come to you with gentleness in his correction, with peacefulness in the midst of your chaos, with joy when you needed it, or kindness beyond what was needed. These are the times when our hearts are moved, our faith restored, our walls broken down, our perspective changed and aligned with his, and healing made possible. How many times has he been patient with you when you didn’t deserve it? How often have you felt unlovable or unloved, only for him to reassure you that you will never be separated from his love? Have you noticed how he is faithful even when we aren’t? Think about the times when he showed you how to do the right thing, an act of goodness in a hard situation, or gave you self-control beyond your own power. Were you not brought to your knees in gratitude, or maybe drawn deeper in love with him?
This constant outpouring of the Spirit is transformative, healing, life-changing, relationship-changing. We see it and experience it in our relationship with Yeshua. It has the same effect with those around us as we walk in that same Spirit. I believe these nine qualities can be transformative and healing in our relationships with each other.
What if we were to focus on these qualities in those relationships that need healing or restoration or strengthening? Could our hearts be moved, our faith restored, our walls broken down, and our perspectives changed and aligned with God’s? Could healing be made possible?
Our natural inclination is to meet strength with strength and kindness with kindness. What if we were to respond to strife and division and disunity with these nine qualities, instead? It feels risky. We think it gives the other person the upper hand, and it may at first. But what if we continued to respond in these ways instead of our natural inclination of fighting back or defending ourselves or reacting in like manner? Would it not change the whole dynamic between you? Would it not diffuse the emotions and create a space for the other person to respond to you in like manner?
It takes humility and courage and time. It takes a desire to see the relationship reconciled beyond your own desire to be right or win an argument or have your own way. Yeshua was right, and he could have settled the argument and had things his way. But he didn’t, because transformation is only lasting if we choose to change, not when we are forced to or argued into it. This post looks at the fact that God’s whole plan of restoring relationship with us is based on giving us that choice. Yehovah himself, our Creator, does not try to win us over by strength, but by humility.
But what if the other person isn’t walking in the Spirit? That’s why you have to start it. You have to lay down your will first in order to bring this spirit into the environment. This is what Yeshua did. He didn’t wait for people to believe he was the Messiah before he fed them and healed them and transformed their lives. He didn’t point out their sins before he blessed them. He brought the Spirit to them and let them respond. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Yeshua died for us.” Romans 5:8
The fruit of the Spirit can be a path to true reconciliation, where the climate and the temperature of the relationship can be transformed into a place of peace and mutual understanding, and eventually giving of ourselves to each other. I encourage you to examine how Yeshua displayed these qualities during his life on Earth and how he has shown them to you in your life. Spend time waiting on the Spirit, and ask him to teach you how you can use these qualities to transform relationships where reconciliation or healing is needed. This is a prayer he wants to answer.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Yeshua the Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.