Over the past few years, I have unfortunately witnessed and been a part of many broken relationships between people who profess a faith in Jesus. Through my heartache and prayer, this is what I have learned. My hope is that by sharing, others' marriage, friendships, and family relationships might be saved by calling on the name of God.
Satan tries his hardest to sneak into the greatest of relationships, especially the ones that stand to do the greatest damage to his evil plans by glorifying God the most. Satan rejoices with every divorce, since the bible says that marriage is the greatest example we have of what man's relationship with God should look like. And Satan rejoices whenever two Christian friends end a friendship, especially when it results in sadness, resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness. He knows the beauty of unconditional love and will stop at nothing to destroy it…nothing save the name of Jesus.
It starts when Satan plants seeds (ie. seeds of doubt, fear, insecurity, annoyance, etc.) in these relationships and if we are not careful to take every thought and every feeling captive and lay it at the feet of God, these seeds become full grown sin. We let jealousy, selfishness, anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness replace the love we feel for the person. These feelings are exactly what we try to avoid in our Christian life, so we take every action we can to stop feeling them. We build up a shell around us so we cannot be affected by them anymore and we turn a cold shoulder to the person we once loved. We try to carve that person out of our life, quietly so as not to alert God to our intentions. We may even try to distract God by doing longer, more consistent quiet times, serving in ministry more often, or intentionally pouring more into our other relationships. We hope that by painstakingly painting a beautiful portrait of ourselves, God will not see the hole that has been burned in the canvas. What we forget is that God is all-knowing. Not only does he know what is in our heart towards that person, but he knows AND loves that person as well. The pain we have caused, or continue to cause by turning our back on that person, He hears every night in their prayers. We pretend their loneliness and their sadness does not exist, but God has seen every tear they have cried. Just as Satan rejoices in this destroyed relationship, God’s anger burns. His anger burns against us for the way we sin against others. His anger burns for us because of the sin that has been committed against us. This is precisely why He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross, paying the penalty for our sin. There is no sin so great for which his blood cannot atone. There is nothing that cannot be forgiven. Once again, we see the beauty of unconditional love; the very thing that Satan sought out to destroy. When we shout the great name of Jesus, Satan has no footing any longer in our relationship. When we say his name, we stand in the shadow of his cross and suddenly no transgression seems too big to forgive. There is no place for Satan in that relationship because God now stands between the two people, just as he stood between David and Jonathan (I Samuel 20: 42).
If there is a relationship in your life that is struggling, dying, or already dead, perhaps God is calling you to lay it down at his feet and proclaim the victory that Jesus has over sin. Perhaps there is a specific sin for which you need to ask forgiveness. If so, get on your knees and pray to God, thanking Him that He sent Jesus so that we can be forgiven for our mistakes. Then, with a penitent heart and God's leading, go to the person you have hurt or who has hurt you, and apologize and commit your efforts to restore the relationship.