Monday, December 16, 2013

Three Healing Truths When Friends Don’t Understand


photo credit: x1klima via photopin cc


Well-meant but ignorant comments about single moms can really sting. I’m thankful God doesn’t leave us there. His word heals us.

God Is Our Judge
"So then each of us will give an account of himself to God" Romans 14:12 tells us (ESV). When judgmental comments sting we can turn to God, the righteous Judge, to whom everyone will ultimately answer. In Christ, God does not condemn us. He understands what we go through. He knows the truth about our situation, how much is our responsibility and how much was done to us by others. He offers forgiveness when we fail, and he believes in us. Thoughtless comments prompt us to live by God’s grace.

We’re Not Alone
Unless a woman has been a single mom, she cannot understand what a single mom goes through. It helps to remember that the same is true for many life situations. Raising an autistic child, living with an incurable disease, dealing with racial prejudice, surviving a natural disaster, and many other life traumas can put us in a lonely corner, where others just don’t get what we’re going through. Ironically, feeling alone in our trials is a common life experience.

Feeling isolated makes us vulnerable to doubt and fear. We imagine no one else has suffered the same way, and perhaps this is a new brand of catastrophe that even God can’t handle.

But we are not alone. The Bible tells us that when we suffer we can stand firm in our faith, “knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by (our) brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9 ESV). Right now, single moms are overcoming the same struggles we face, by faith. They’re asking God to guide their children into truth, open doors of opportunity, provide their needs, and give them courage. God is bringing them through, and he will do the same for us.

Thoughtless Comments Are an Invitation to Grow
Instead of resenting those who speak thoughtlessly, we can deliver grace. “Put on then… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another… as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And… put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV).

When we respond with grace, by God’s enabling, we act like Jesus. This has a powerful, positive influence on our children, and positions us for deeper love in our friendships. We’re doing our part to “preserve the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 ESV).

Hebrews 5:8 tells us that even Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (ESV). Choosing to overlook hurtful comments develops noble, Christ-like character. Anyone can spew sarcastic anger. It takes real grit and character to forgive and extend grace.


Do you think these truths will help you deal with problem input from friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts!




14 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! While I'm not a single mom, this applies to all aspects of life and when others are intent on bringing us down with their thoughtless words and criticism...this is handy advice to keep in the front of our minds. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from VB MTR

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  2. I'm sure you get lots of inappropriate comments. I like the responding with grace one. That will work universally, and just try to remember that people probably just aren't thinking when they speak, and don't mean to be hurtful.

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    1. Yes, I've said some stupid things myself, so I know from personal experience that people aren't trying to be mean. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I remember how difficult it was when I was a single mom. Everything rested on my shoulders and it was quite stressful. Mom's in this situation need to know there is hope for their future and that they aren't alone in their journey.

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    1. There is so much hope in Jesus! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. These are wonderful suggestions. I'm not a single mom, but these can be helpful whenever someone says something hurtful. I try to remember that oftentimes they're not trying to say something mean; it mostly comes out of ignorance.

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    1. Yes. We don't always know what is in a person's heart. Giving the benefit of the doubt can be very helpful.

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  5. Oh, Lisa, what an inspired piece you've blessed me with here. I'm not a single mom now, but was one for a little while. I didn't experience as much of the isolation and loneliness that many other single moms do, but I have experienced all of those things in other areas of my life.

    I've come to realize that there's no escaping hurtful or spiteful comments from others no matter what your situation. For some people, nothing you do will ever measure up. It's the job they've (seemingly) chosen in life to tear down, not to build up.

    Even worse (almost) are those who apologize profusely, claiming they never meant to hurt...that the person took their words "the wrong way"; yet, they continue to deliver these swords of tiny deaths to those in their path.

    Your insight and the scriptures you offer with them are steeped in wisdom. Thank you. I'm going to print this out and keep it in my "inspiration" folder.

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    1. I heard an excellent sermon a few months back on critical people. You're right, there's nothing we can do to change them, they're bent on their miserable path. Fortunately, we don't have to follow them. :) I'm glad this was helpful! Great to hear from you, Samantha!

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  6. yaak.. I've come to realize that there's no escaping hurtful or spiteful and try to remember that oftentimes they're not trying to say something that is weird..

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    1. There's a fine line between trying to understand and making excuses for someone's bad behavior. The latter drives our anger deeper. I wrote about forgiveness a while back. Forgiveness means choosing to let something go, when we know it was ill-intended. Our healing is in God's love and reassurance. He believes in us when no one else does. Blessings!

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  7. I love the post and bible references. It's hard to let everything roll off your back. I have a hard time with that. But remembering these versus should help.

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  8. I remember how difficult it was when I was a single mom. Everything rested on my shoulders and it was quite stressful.

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