Estranged Relationship…

Estranged Relationships…

“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any…”

Colossians 3:13

It may seem strange, even a little odd, for me to be writing about “Estranged Relationships” on Good Friday, 2012.  Nevertheless, since God sent His own Son into the world to die for the world that the world might be saved and reconciled back unto God (John 3:16),  it just might be the perfect time to write about relationships.  I believe God is all about promoting, maintaining, and protecting positive relationships within our lives!

In today’s world, I believe people, even those professing to be Christians, fail to recognize and understand the true value, worth, and importance of familial relationships.  But, at times immediate family relationships can be the most challenging to promote, protect, and maintain.  Interacting with close relatives, especially adult children – parent relationships, can be quite difficult, but to be completely submissive and obedient to God’s teachings, we need to make every effort and attempt to promote, protect, and maintain such relationships within our lives in a positive manner.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colosse, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people (followers of Christ Jesus), holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forbearing one another and forgiving whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you…” (Colossians 3:12-14 NIV).   Possessing and nurturing a judgemental spirit of malice that refuses to “forgive,” “forget,” and “love” those closest to you does not bring honor or glory unto God; nor does it allow God’s grace and mercy to have free reign within your life. Sadly, there is a very serious Biblical and Spiritual problem involved when a person refuses to “love” those that God has ordained and placed into their lives as family.  We can “choose” our friends, but God “chooses” our family! We don’t always have to agree on everything, every circumstance, or every situation, but to promote the love of God within our hearts and lives, we need to learn how to “disagree” while maintaining both peace and harmony; promoting a spirit of love rather than a spirit of division and “self-centeredness.”

I firmly believe in order to build, support, and maintain healthy relationships (family, friends, or peers) all parties involved must put forth effort to keep an honest line of communication opened at all times.  This type of positive effort will help the relationship through “bumpier” times in life when “communicating” is NOT always positive, supportive, or even encouraging.  Yet; by keeping communication lines opened between all parties involved it places “worth” and “value” on the relationship. Therefore, the relationship can continue to thrive, grow, and mature in the face of adversities…This shows our true desire to please God in all things.

However, what happens to those relationships that become so strained and estranged that no efforts, by either party involved, are put forth to resolve natural, human conflict?  Instead of promoting “love” and reconciliation, there is a total and complete lack of communication, eventual silence, and long absences with cold indifference. In this type of estranged relationship one or both parties have determined that it’s just NOT worth the effort to invest time, energies, or attention to resolve even the slightest disagreement …Over time, even the smallest gesture of kindness is seen as being “too much” to ask or receive as both parties settle into their own designated guarded territories and boundaries.

In the New Testament book of James, we read, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something, but don’t get it.” (James 4:1-2 NIV).   Many times what one or the other party actually “wants” in the relationship is “perfectionism” based upon Pride. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches, “There is NONE righteous (perfect); no not one…For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”  (Romans 10).  Putting it in plain English, all parents sin and fall short of the Glory of God. All children sin. All adult children sin. All siblings sin. All cousins sin. Aunts and uncles sin. Even grandparents and great-grandparents sin…There is just no way to avoid it…We will ALL disappoint, upset, and “let down” those that we love or those who love us at one time or another…

But, as Believers and followers of Christ, we must be “willing” to submit unto the Lord and dedicate ourselves in “choosing” rather to forgive, forget, and demonstrate kindness towards those whom we love; especially our brothers and sisters in Christ (including those within our own family!). The Bible clearly teaches to forgive those who misuse and mistreat us; and to pray for our enemies….So, even if you consider a family member your enemy; you are without excuse to pray for them!

Often when an “estranged” relationship occurs between a husband and wife, it tends to  end up in divorce unless some sort of intervention can be properly applied. But, what happens when the “estranged” relationship is between a parent and their adult child? Or, between two or more adult siblings?  The fact that the two or more parties involved are physically related by “blood” genetics heightens the intensities of emotional pain and duress.  In other words, you just can’t divorce a child or sibling and “move on” with your life when one or both parties involved have decided to “remove” and distance themselves from the genetic relationship…The two blood  “related” parties are interwoven into the very existing fabrics of each other’s lives…When this type of estranged separation occurs the emotional wounds are often extremely deep and intensely painful; and can often be felt for a lifetime…

It is a fact, even found within the Bible, that with both time and distance wounds of the heart can be repaired thus repairing an “estranged” relationship.  This is certainly what we should hope for. Nevertheless, what does a person do while they are waiting for the “other” party to reach a place of reconciliation?  It is my opinion that we should Pray…Pray…Pray…and Pray more! In all sincerity, pray for that person’s eyes to be opened unto the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray for their eyes to be opened to any and all deception that may be in their life. Pray for the other party’s heart to be tender and softened in the place of bitterness, malice, and unforgiveness.  Pray that they will rebuke pride in their life and show forth love, kindness, and forgiveness…And, pray for them to possess a spirit of forgiveness just as God has forgiven them of their transgressions. And, with true forgiveness comes total reconciliation.

Sadly, there are way too many estranged relationships that never successfully move forward and repair themselves. My husband who is a retired minister and now works in a funeral home sees this far too often.  He shares stories of loved ones who have not spoken in years or perhaps even decades to one another.  Suddenly, time runs out and it is far too late to make amends.  The estranged relationship travels right to the grave. The circle has been broken…And, nothing on this Earth can put it back together again. But, my dear friend, while there is still life; while there is breath; while there is still day…God’s loving reconciliation can come. Peace can prevail.

My friend, you may find yourself in an “estranged” family relationship that breaks your heart into. If so, don’t give up…God is in the business of changing hearts and changing lives.  That was His purpose for coming to Earth and dying on an Old Rugged Cross for sinners like me…To bring reconciliation. I want to encourage you that while you “wait” on God to mend all the broken fences in your life, ask God to protect your own heart from becoming hardened and bitter…Ask God to keep your heart tender and loving towards the other party or parties involved…In doing so, you will be honoring Christ Jesus and promoting peace within your own heart and life. Just remember, God is well able…what is impossible with man is possible with God…AMEN…

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author


21 thoughts on “Estranged Relationship…

  1. Pingback: maturing beyond sinfulness « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

  2. Pingback: Understanding Borderline Family Estrangement - Dowell Publications

  3. Thank you for this. During an argument summer of 2011, i have since been estranged from my Mother, and older sister. I made a mistake and have not been forgiven. They dont call on Christmas or holidays. My dad still talks to me. Last time i talked to him, i asked him if my sister even thinks about our estrangement. He said that she doesnt even have time to think about me. She has 4 kids and a family of her own and does not think about her little sister. I cry everytime i think about her. I myself have been trying to have a baby for 8 years now. Between the loss of ever having my own family, and the loss of my sister and mothers love and moral support, i am extremely hurt. I have been mourning the loss of the living. God it hurts. This is the worst pain i have ever felt. The loss of time together and memories that could be made. I feel like they have forgotten about me, i am not worth reconciling.
    I tried reaching out after the first year of estrangement, and it only seemed to push them further away. The worst part is, my sister is always going around preaching to everyone, and thinks shes an amazing christian, but she has yet to forgive her own little sister.

    • I hear you on this one. My sister goes to church I hear which is fine but she too has not even forgiven her own sister. I would tell you this. Trust in the fact that God knows you are estranged. It maybe His will for the time being you are estranged. Get closer to God and allow yourself to love friends like family. Jesus said his mother and brothers were those who love Him not necessarily blood. If she doesn’t have time for you or think you are worth reconciling with that is HER problem. You are worth it 100 percent! God reconciled with you when He died on the cross for you so yes you are totally worth it. It isn’t fair, it hurts an it’s not right. However… have a good God that loves you.

    • Susanne, we will remember to pray for you, that by the power of His precious shed Blood, your relationship with your sister and mom will be restored.

  4. My ES was the love of my life. Not a day went by when I did not tell him I loved him or that God had special plans for him. So now that he is all grown up, his dad has managed to brainwash him into pushing me away. Hearing our son talk bad about me is music to my ex husbands ears, I’m sure (even knowing I was an awesome mother and always there for our son). And my ex and his wife are always proclaiming how much they pray and love Christ and are the first to adorn the church doors every Sunday. How can someone continually cause someone else so much pain by telling out right lies and be so cruel to another human being and then proclaim to love Christ . . . just baffles me.

    • So sorry to hear this. That is such a great question you asked. How is it that people who cause so much Payne in others lives be sitting in the front of church on Sunday morning. Remember this, God wins. God knows your Payne and he knows your heart. So first of all rise above worrying about where they are at with God and take time to remember who you are. You have been an Amazing mom and God knows this. You have done nothing wrong. It is what it is right now so you need to find a diversion in your life and not worry what your child is doing and start living. Spend some time volunteering for a group that is important to you. Spend some time with people who love you. I know your heart is breaking but you must start focusing on how to be you and not what this situation tries to make you. You are a strong women and so many people need you. God has plans for you. This will pass. Maybe not today or tomorrow but it will pass because God will not leave you. Remember who you are, rise above this, take care of you. Your son and your relationship is just on hold for now. You need to live your life and step forward from the pain. Don’t waste your time anymore worrying about tomorrow, enjoy today it is the present. It is a gift. It is your time. I know where you are at with this because I am there too. Hang on. This will pass. God wins.

  5. I have suffered unbearable heartache through 5 separate estrangements by my two sons for many years at a time. I have read so many posts on sites regarding this subject over the years, but I thought I must surely be the only Believer who has had to walk through this dark valley. I have felt so alienated from the church where I see other young men and women honoring and loving their moms and appreciative of the sacrifices their parents made to give them a good life. I have been so terribly lonely and I placed myself in a “prison of shame.” This is not supposed to happen to Christian moms who love their children and teach them about The Lord. I was just on another site that suggested that forgiveness does not require reconciliation, and so the Lord would approve of their choice to remove their “toxic” parents from their lives as long as they “forgive” them! Thank you for your posting that reveals what I believe is Gods heart in this matter. You have encouraged a heartbroken Christian mother. If there are resources that you recommend where I could know or communicate with other Believers experiencing this heartbreak I would be deeply grateful.

  6. This is a hard one. However, at this moment, the Spirit reminded me that Jesus, even though he was perfect, still suffered from the rejection of his brothers and sisters until after his death and resurrection. He also suffered the rejection of his own home town. So He knows and He understands. It’s easy for someone not experiencing this kind of pain, to say that God will take care of it. However, that is the only answer. Only God can change hearts. As a matter of fact, the more we try to “fix” a thing ourselves, the worse it generally becomes. God can bring beauty for ashes. So, while we wait, we trust.

  7. Yes, only God can change hearts. But, how can I keep trusting when I feel so rejected and so much pain. My ED has made this a pattern since early in life. We are disposable, and she disposes of us whenever she chooses, and how often she chooses. We have held on and tried to keep peace for years, but we are losing hope of it ever changing, and we are tired and discouraged. Everybody speaks the same language, ” give it time, be strong, keep praying, give it to God, etc”. Nothing has changed, and we do not expect it to. It is hard to see God anymore in this situation, He is silent.

  8. How beautiful – and poignant. One of the first things I did when I realized our es had completely cut us off was run to God the Father and ask how He could understand how I felt since He promises He does identify with the feeling of our infirmities. His answer was heartbreaking: “I had to estrange Myself from My Son on the cross and turn away from Him as He agonizingly screamed, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me????’ I endured this estrangement for you, did it on purpose for you, so you would never, never be estranged from me. I will never forsake you – I purposefully forsook Jesus in your place.” Yes, God understands.


  10. These open and sincere testimonies are very helpful, especially because of the feeling of isolation. That seems to be the tactic of every enemy, to isolate you. Mine and my husbands anguish is that there are 3 Grandchildren that are also the casualties of an estranged daughter. It’s been 7 years, and those children don’t know us anymore, nor do they know their uncles, aunts, cousins or Greatgrand parents, as they have shut out everyone. Not only does our daughter and husband profess their Christianity, she writes a blog! There is obviously some eronious information out there that is trying to override the Bible and mission of Christ. Our son studied a book on boundaries in his church group,and thought maybe our daughter had gotten ahold of something like that, and taken it too far. I totally understand healthy boundaries, but it seems it’s being misdirected, similar to separation of church and state. The difficult part is the church seems to close its eyes to another area where the enemy is trespassing and that not only affects our homes, but also our churches, communities and nation.

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