Relationships: Troubled and Broken (Friends and Relatives)

by Challenging Relationships, Friendship0 comments


Unwise Counsel

I was devastated.  My sister, who had been one of my best friends, and I had had a falling out.  Despite my efforts to mend the situation she would not speak to me.

A certain circumstance compelled me to share my heartache with a friend.  I briefly spoke of the root of the problem, of my hurt.  I expected support and comfort, I certainly did not anticipate the counsel I received.  “Well, you know what the Bible says,” she snapped.  “Forgive 70 times 7.”  And then she sanctimoniously hurled, “And turn the other cheek.”

I was offended; I was furious!  I didn’t need her sermon.  What I needed was her care.  A simple “I’m sorry, it must hurt” would have lightened my burdened heart.  Instead I felt mistreated.  She undoubtedly thought she was God’s mouthpiece that gray day.  I have filed her remark in my mental folder entitled “What not to say when you friend is hurting.”

Wisdom for the Caregiver

  • Seek to understand your friend’s feelings.
  • Say, “It must hurt.”
  • Offer to pray for peace and reconciliation.
  • Give a hug.
  • Refrain from sharing your own stories of broken relationships.  Focus all your attention on the hurting friend.
  • Remember that it is best not to quote Scripture.

For additional caregiving advice, refer to the following categories on this website: “Caregiving Basics.”

The above advice is from  The Compassionate Congregation, pages 185-187.

Photo credit: Dani Alvarez