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To Mend or Not To Mend?


“What will you do to mend a broken relationship?” This captured my attention when I saw the question posted on a Facebook page. My immediate reaction was “Who says the broken relationship should be mended?!”

I did not take the time out to try to understand the question. So yes, the question has continued to linger in my mind. What are some things that come to your mind when you hear the word “mend?” I think about clothing. A shirt or skirt that has a rip that needs to be put back together. In this case, the goal is to mend the shirt or skirt so that I can wear it again.

But I thought about the question again and decided to look the word up. According to my on-line dictionary, “mend” is a verb that means to repair (something that is broken or damaged). The link went on to provide synonyms.  Those synonyms included: repair · fix · put back together · piece together · restore. So if my elementary school brain reviews the original question again, then I find that the question is really asking what action I will take to put a broken relationship back together. And so my answer remains, “Who says the broken relationship should be mended?!”

It can be easy for us to hold onto people and things in life. We grow accustomed to a certain way of living. We fear the change of letting things go. We ponder the ‘what-if’ that the future might hold. I don’t intend to devalue the difficult situations that come upon us. Those situations that are tests to draw people closer together. The things that make marriage and families stronger. However, there is a true struggle that many people face in knowing when to walk away. Consider the emotionally and/or physically battered man or woman. Consider the emotionally, physically, and/or sexually abused child. There is a discernment of knowing when God has ordained a thing versus when we are walking in our own will.

We must understand that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5-7.

Perhaps a better response to the original question should be “I will pray and seek God’s guidance on his timing.”

And so I prayed.

How are you handling broken relationships?

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