When a Loved One Walks Away

“It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.” Psalm 55:12–14 (NLT). Bold and italics mine.

Most of us have dealt with this gut wrenching pain—a brother or sister in Christ, a friend or family member—turns against you or worse, turns away from their faith, which leads them to turn against you. Something inside us agonizes. We feel devastated and hopeless. What could I have done differently to prevent this? I invested so much time and effort in them, encouraging them! Why? How can they do this?

I don’t know about you, but I want a quick fix—I want my loved one back. I search for answers, for anything that will explain this behavior. Instead of praying, I fall apart. How can we deal with this kind of disappointment, this broken trust?

Look to Jesus. He modeled what it means to hold on to loved ones who let Him down, betrayed Him and He died and rose again to be the joyful bond of broken and restored relationships.

Put your confidence in Him! Remember, despite the choices of your loved one, God will never leave His children. Never. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Do not fear. God has a plan. Many times we react out of fear instead of trusting God and His plan (Romans 11:33–36). Remember Jesus’ words, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27, NLT)

Think grace! If you don’t know what to do or what to say, think grace. Grace breaks down walls and builds love, trust and protection.

Pray! Pour out your heart to Him about everything. Tell Him your fears and ask Him to guide you as you seek reconciliation in your relationship with your loved one (Hebrews 4:16).

Forgive. Once we acknowledge the hurt and have cried out to God, we can let go of anger and bitterness and open the door to God’s healing. God commands us to forgive others. When we forgive, we are conformed to the image of Christ in attitude and behavior. He forgave and we must follow His example (Ephesians 4:31–32).

Feeling betrayed can feel devastating. It produces feelings of hopelessness and sorrow. It promotes anger, sadness and depression. And it raises questions about our time and efforts in our relationships.So whatever you do, don’t let this keep you away from Jesus. Don’t turn away from the one Friend who never fails. Run to Him, He’s waiting for you.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Cor. 13:7–8)

What do you do when a loved one walks away from God, which leads them to turn against you?


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