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Relationship Repair

(12)

Sermon shared by Brian Atwood

May 2009
Summary: Three clear precepts for repairing relationships.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
We’re in the series "Recession-Proof Relationships." Today we’re going to consider "Relationship Repair -Mending the Messes We Make."

We all make mistakes in relationships. We all mess up. We mess up in our friendships, we mess up before marriage, during marriage, in parenting, in church relationships, with our neighbors, on the job.

But do you realize that it is NOT messing up that destroys our relationships? It is failing to handle oour missteps so that our relationships can grow stronger and deeper that destroys them!

Good, solid relationships are not ones where we’ve never sinned against one another. That’s impossible!

Good relationships come from how we handle our failures. How do we deal with one another when we sin?

Strong marriages, good parent-child relationships, happy church families, productive work environments - are all built on people properly handling one another’s mess-ups!

We’re human, so we’re all going to fail. We’re going to fail in our relationships. But what are we going to do with those failures? Even in the church? What do we do when we fail one another or when someone in the body of Christ has a relationship failure? Sadly, quite often the church shoots their wounded. I’m being plain spoken but we need this. What do we do when a marriage in the church family is on the skids? What do we do when a teen or young adult messes up? What do we do when someone has an affair? How do we mend our messes even as a church family?

We need to know what to do, so that’s why we’re going to talk today about "Relationship Repair, Mending the Messes We Make."

We’re not giving attention to this so that we can excuse our sin, but so that we can grow from the mistakes we’ve made. Repairing relationship mess-ups isn’t about getting away with stuff. It’s about doing the right thing once we’ve messed up. Not sweeping our mess-ups under the rug or ignoring them and hoping that the results of our mess-ups will somehow magically disappear. They won’t go away on their own. We’ve got to be proactive when we fail one another in our relationships.

We talked several weeks ago about how we need authenticity in our relationships, about how that is the foundation of good relationships. That never changes. So, even though we do mess up in our relationships, we’re not saying that messing up is something we take lightly. It’s very serious. But the point is - we don’t have to give up on relationships simply because we’ve messed up.

This is one of many good news threads in the Bible! God allows for and encourages restoration and repair in our relationships! He doesn’t want us to be miserable. He wants us to have joy and peace in life - amazingly, He wants this for us even after we’ve messed up! This is part of God’s amazing grace and what we’re considering today!

Our need and goal is to know HOW to repair our relationships so that they are better relationships.

We’re going to use a seldom-mentioned story in the book of Genesis to discover Three Precepts of Relationship Repair. This is a story about a King named Abimelech and the famous man of faith, Abraham.

22 Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do.23 So make a promise to me here before God that you will be fair with me and my children and my
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