How to Heal a Broken Heart

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (NLT)

Let’s face it, waiting sucks. Especially when it is for something that you know you were created for, something that brings true value and meaning to your life. Take love for instance. Why is it so elusive, and often so exceedingly painful? Can waiting help us prevent, and possibly heal, a broken heart?

We are not merely flesh and bones. In this body God has planted a heart. This heart gives us an immense capacity to love and be loved. It allows us to experience both moments of passion and a lifetime of commitment. Our lives thrive when we find this sort of love and especially when it is lasting. This is because it is a fundamental truth about the human condition that we were created to be interconnected, and in relationship with one another.

It is a fundamental truth about the human condition that we were created to be interconnected, and in relationship with one another.

This is what makes the hurt we experience as a result of a broken heart so crushingly painful. It is not natural. It is the complete antithesis of what we are supposed to experience. It drains our hope, and it drains our passion because we have lost something that was supposed to be life-giving. It is an innate part of our design and when it is taken away we are left disconnected from ourselves and it is easy to lose sight of our mission, value, and worth.

This is why there is such a huge responsibility to be found in the way that we handle our relationships. When did we get away from understanding the impact that we have on one another? Isolation, depression, and loneliness is killing our world. It’s sweeping through contagiously infecting all of those found in its path. It seems overwhelming and unconquerable. The solution to this problem starts with us, and it needs to start today.

The hard part about this solution is that ultimately we can only control our own behavior and our own choices. We can be the best witnesses to others and influence them in powerful ways, but when it comes down to it they will choose how they behave. The cure for a broken heart comes down to balancing two things: being preventative and being proactive.

Being preventative simply means loving deeply, but loving the right person. We always need to be giving in a relationship, yes, but there is a time when you can be too giving. Think about it like this: if you and the other person are not in the place where you have been able to make the lifelong commitment of marriage to each other, than why would you be so giving to the point where you will lose so much that you can never regain if they leave? Giving of that intensity should come from a place of deep commitment and lifelong love. Think twice before giving what you can never take back. Again, waiting sucks, I get it, but that’s what God is trying to tell us in Proverbs 4:23.

Giving of that intensity should come from a place of deep commitment and lifelong love. Think twice before giving what you can never take back.

Being proactive is making the decision to choose God as your number one relationship no matter what stage in life you find yourself in. Single or married, never stop pursuing God. Is the love we find in Him different than the kind of love we find in another? It sure is. But it is irreplaceable nonetheless and will fill you with hope, patience, and value far above what you can find anywhere else.

Waiting sucks, but it is worth it. Waiting for the right time and person helps us to find love that lasts. Seeking and waiting for God’s healing gives us the space to heal. If God has placed a desire on your heart that is honorable and faithful to His Word, He will surely deliver on His promises. The joy you will receive on that day will far exceed the pain of this moment. Cling tight to that truth and “guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

Does True Love Exist?

Why Marriage Matters: Part 2

Song of Solomon 6:3

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine (NIV)

I’m going to flip the script here and ditch the clever opening story in order to get right to the answer poised in the title of this reflection: does true love exist? The answer is a resounding YES! True love DOES exist, but perhaps it isn’t what we expected it to be.

We live in a culture that promotes radical individuality. It is encouraged to spend a great deal of our lives focused on defining ourselves and making sure that we have a distinct identity separate from others. I fear that it has grown to a point in which we are beginning to worship this individuality to the degree that we are teetering awfully close to the ledge of idolatry.

True love DOES exist, but perhaps it isn’t what we expected it to be.

The message of the Gospel is counter-culture and radically opposed to the ways of the world around us. This holds true in marriage as well. God doesn’t call us to seek individuality in marriage, He calls us to seek oneness. Radical individuality makes oneness very difficult, hence the struggles we see in the statistics on marriage, even Christian marriage. How do we find this oneness?

Find a Biblical Definition of Self, but Prepare to be Redefined in Marriage:Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25, NIV).

Our sense of self needs to be primarily rooted in our understanding of our role as children of God, not in our particular interests, hobbies, or work. For example, I am very passionate about writing, but I don’t cease to be myself if such an artistic medium no longer existed. It’s something I enjoy, but it doesn’t define me. Also, in marriage I’ve become more myself than I was before marriage. I didn’t lose myself. Despite what many say, even in the Christian community, don’t be afraid of your identity changing in the midst of your marriage: welcome it! Holding on too tightly to what we thought we were will just create isolation, strife, and misunderstanding. Jesus didn’t cling to any earthly conception of anything, rather He was willing to give away His life itself in service to those He loved! If Christ can give His very life, why do we cling to such little things that divide us?

Make the Needs of Your Spouse Your Own:Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10, NIV).

Making the needs of your spouse your own cultivates the intimacy, trust, and oneness that so many marriages are missing today. Don’t worry, your needs won’t go unmet, because serving your spouse in this way will help to inspire them to do the same for you. Truly rejoice in their highs, grieve with them in their lows, and ALWAYS take the time to listen. Invest in your spouse richly and do everything you can to help them thrive.

Create and Pursue Dreams Together:Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIV).

Be willing to put your marriage before your personal dreams. Controversial, I know, but I believe it’s important. There are dreams I’ve sacrificed in order to become one with my wife and now, years later, I’m glad I did! The dreams we’ve created, pursued, and conquered together are far greater than the ones I had myself. And through it all, we’ve attained a oneness we could have never imagined.

The dreams we’ve created, pursued, and conquered together are far greater than the ones I had myself.

Of course, these steps only work when pursued in unison with your partner, and I’m not claiming it will happen overnight. Rather, it is an overall mindset worth considering and cultivating within your own life and marriage. Pray and ask God to lead you in this, as you would in any area of your life.