On my blog entry entitled Does Forgiveness Require Reconciliation, Sonja posted the following comment:
hi there, I have a dilemma where my child’s best friend rejected her and ended their 3 year friendship and now expect us to just carry on as nothing happened I do not want my child to be friends again is this wrong?”
I have been in a similar situation as Sonja. In my case, not only did the best friend end the friendship with my son, but he also bullied him and led other children to do so as well. I understand the “Mama Bear” instinct that arises when someone hurts your “cub.” This was my first big test after forgiving my childhood abusers, and I did not know what to do.
While the bullying was going on, my spiritual mentor advised me to pray for the ex-friend. I should have already known to do this as this was the same process I used for forgiving my abusers, but when I was in the midst of seeing my child hurt, I “forgot” what I needed to do. Nothing hurts more than seeing my child hurt, and when I’m in pain, it’s easy to take my eyes off God and place them onto myself. So, step one was to pray for the ex-friend daily.
It’s not easy to pray for someone who is hurting (or has hurt) your child, but that’s the most important thing you can do. Joyce Meyer gave some good advice on her television program, Enjoying Everyday Life: she said to pray for God to reveal the height, depth, width, and breadth of His love for the person who has wronged you. She pointed out that if the offender truly understood the depth of God’s love for her, then she would not feel the need to engage in the hurtful behavior. When I am very angry about someone’s bad behavior, this is one prayer that I can always pray in sincerity.
I also recommend Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, which I pray out of every morning. When I am struggling with unforgiveness, I pray the “fill in the blank” prayers on the last five pages of the chapter entitled Overcoming Unforgiveness. As I pray for the offender morning after morning, I gradually release my anger or bitterness and invite God’s healing into the situation.
[Graphic: Cover of Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds. Courtesy Amazon.]