god reconciliation

Don’t Burn the Bridge: Let God Reconcile Broken Relationships in His Time

Father’s Day has not always been a happy day for me. My dad and I have had a rocky relationship, but God is faithful. This year I didn’t dread looking for a Father’s Day card. God is restoring, and reconciling.

But five years ago I wanted to light the match to burn the dilapidated bridge between us. After I grew up and married, my dad slipped out of our lives. No visits. No calls. No birthday gifts.

My kids barely knew him.

However, he had given me hope that he might attend my daughter’s wedding.

As the wedding day approached, I kept waiting for his RSVP. Finally, I received an email with one sentence: “We will not be at the wedding.”

No apology. No excuse. Nothing.


Snow Cones and Hugs Help

I ran upstairs to my husband’s office to tell him the news, hot tears streaming down my face. All Mike could do was hold me for awhile and then offer to buy me a snow cone. (Which was a really good move on his part.)

The mango-coconut treat helped, but it would take weeks to simmer down and find the right words for my response. I was tired of being hurt. Weary from disappointment, and I could feel armor growing over my heart.

Yet, something in me knew I didn’t want to say or do anything I’d regret. I’ve done that before. So, I prayed for grace, journalled all my hurts and frustrations, and went for long walks asking God to show me what to do. Then one morning as I sat with my coffee and Bible, the words popped in my mind.

“I’m sorry you won’t be coming. We will miss you.”

I can honestly say those words were free of anger and hurt. The Lord supernaturally healed my wound and gave me kind words.

You never know

My sisters, you never know what life has in store. We can’t see beyond the present, but we can be assured by His Word that He is faithful. My story is an example. I had no idea that in three short years God would restore our relationship.

I won’t get into all the details, but now we talk once a week. We see each other twice a year. (I’m in North Carolina and he’s in Oklahoma.) And he attended my second child’s wedding.

You never know when the tide is going to change, when circumstances redirect the course. We can’t fathom what God sees ahead.

So, don’t burn the bridge. Somebody reading this needed those words. Your hurt. Angry. Your heart armored.

Trust God’s faithfulness. He will reconcile you. It may be thirty years down the road, but it can happen. Don’t try to change the person or manipulate the situation.

3 P’s: What to do when you want to burn the bridge

Because we aren’t puppets on a string, and different personalities and faith levels affect the healing process, reconciliation takes time. If you find yourself in this waiting room of reconciliation here are three things you can do:

  1. Pray. Ask for eyes to see the person as God does. Pray for them.
  2. Pause. Don’t punch back with the first words you want to say. Pray for God’s grace before you respond to an email or text.
  3. Pen the pain. Write your hurt in a journal then find a scripture to put next to that pain. Work on your relationship with God. Ask Him to heal you.
bible reading plan

Bible Reading Plan on Reconciliation (Printable)

Staying grounded in the Word, constantly letting scripture seep through to our weary souls, prepares us for those difficult encounters. It also prepares us for that day of reconciling. Grab this Bite of Bread reading plan with scriptures to read everyday and prompts to help you apply them.

2 Corinthians 5: 18-19

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Prompt: The word “reconcile” in the Greek is katallasso which means to change mutually or reconcile. Honestly, reconciliation involves a change in both parties. Reconcile means to restore friendly relations between or cause to coexist in harmony. God did this for us through the sacrifice of His Son. He has restored our relationship with Him. That is His heart. Write a prayer to have a heart like God’s, a heart willing to do what is needed to be done for harmony to be restored.

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Prompt: It takes two to tango and two to be at peace. However, we are only called to do our part. We cannot change the other person. Be relieved of that load you are carrying. During your quiet time, ask the Lord to reveal who you’ve been trying to help change. Spend some time talking to the Lord about this.

Matthew 5: 23-24

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Prompt: The context of this passage is crucial. Jesus is preaching his famous sermon on the mount, and He is talking about murder and anger. He says, “But I say to you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment (just as the one who murdered is liable.) Ya’ll, we are not right with God until we are at peace with men. God knows our hearts. The scripture above proves that. He knows when we’ve extended peace and it was not accepted. Do some heart inventory today. Is there anyone you’re angry with today? Write a prayer asking God to help you forgive and grant grace.

Grab the free Printable!

1 Peter 3:9 

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Prompt: Who will you bless today who is normally a difficult part of your day? (Don’t do it expecting your kindness to be reciprocated. Do it for Jesus.)

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Prompt: Have you kept any records of wrongs? Write the name Jesus over their names.

Reconciling with Difficult People

Please don’t read this post and feel burdened to reconcile with those in your life who steal your peace and joy . You can’t do it. Only God Himself, the Way-Maker, healer of hearts can do the impossible. Our part is to be open to change, ears listening, hearts searching for His response, His grace. I have an article on dealing with difficult people. It’s probably a good addition to this post. I’ve also placed a link below to an author, Alison Cook, PHD, whose blogs and books are packed with wisdom concerning boundaries.

Let’s pray. Hold my hand.

“Father, It makes you sad when we don’t get along. Help us yield our broken relationships to you. Draw us closer to you, help us love and forgive. We can’t do this without you. Please restore and reconcile. Amen.

See you Wednesday! Just follow me on FB and show up at 7:30 PM ET!

Great site on boundaries: Alison Cook, PHD


  1. Neyda

    I was so happy to find this site. I have been estranged from my daughter for over a year now. This estrangement extends to my two granddaughters who are 5 and 3. I had been a very present grandmother in their lives until the day my daughter removed herself and her girls from my life. This has been the hardest journey of my life. But God!! I appreciate your practical ways of reframing the situation and recognizing that God is the God of the impossible. And no person or situation is too far gone for Him. I desire reconciliation and in the past year the Lord had to remind me of Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, while you keep silent.” I remain hopeful for my situation and for many others who are going through broken relationships. Thank you!

    1. Hi Neyda, I am so sorry for this broken relationship with your daughter and grandbabies. That would break my heart too. I’m so thankful my experience and my story has given you tools and hope. We just never know what God is going to do. He is faithful. I will keep you in my prayers! -Andy

    2. Rick

      Dear Nyda,
      God bless you and your daughter and Grandchildren, I will pray for your reconciliation.

    3. Dawn

      I really needed this one..my daughter and my relationship is also broke into…with grandkids..I can hardly get over this…in the name of Jesus I pray all day everyday to restore this….Amen

      1. Dear Dawn, I’m so sorry. Burn no bridges. Boundaries are okay. Praying for complete restoration and healing soon. -Andy

  2. DeDe

    What happens if you already burned the bridge?

    1. Hi DeDe, God is the God who can breathe life into dead bones. He is the God of reconciliation and hope. If you’ve burned the bridge, pray for God to redeem those words or the action that sparked the fire. Pray for grace, His enabling grace to know when and what to say to begin building that bridge back. Trust His timing. Pray for the person. Pray for his or her heart and relationship with Jesus. Remember that boundaries are good. I will be praying for you.

  3. Cameron M Benecki

    sadly, I have a list of relationships that are in need of reconciliation and restoration… yes, I know, I am the one that each relationship has in common! Oh Jesus, forgive me for looking within to find solutions ahead of looking up. I know that, after looking up, I can then, look within my fragile heart to find Your Spirit; the power to help and change. Thank you Andy for these encouraging words!

    1. Dear Cameron,

      Pray for grace. A lot of grace! That’s how the Lord has helped me with difficult relationships, and then I could pray to love them more. He is so faithful. May the Lord bless you richly for your faithfulness. XO-Andy

    2. Michelle

      Luv this word

      1. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jose

    I was recently delicately ill and, as a result of the emotional effects of my illness on me, I pushed my girlfriend away by being too needy and demanding. I essentially overwhelmed her and broke one of the most important relationships in my life. We tried to reconcile once, a couple of weeks after the incident, but her trust in me being self-assured and secure was too far gone, and we are currently not on speaking terms. Before my illness, I was a self-confident and independent young professional, but after being hit with bedrest for weeks and getting painful surgery, I became the opposite. I prayed for weeks for God to restore my strength of character and now I only ask for your help in praying for God to mend this broken relationship.

    1. Jose, I’m so sorry for your illness and broken relationship with your girlfriend. One of my favorite prayers is for God to redeem a situation where I made a mistake or didn’t act in the best way. Journal that prayer and focus on worshiping Him and loving Him. He is so faithful to us. I will be praying for you. -Andy

  5. Ashley Lockett

    Thank you so much for this Article. Going through a tough time with my brother, with whom we got into a really heated discussion and I said some things I can’t take back. I’m praying the Lord will see me through and have mercy on me. I really miss my brother and have been praying non-stop for reconciliation with him and me. I know the Lord will continue to comfort me during this hard time.

    1. Ashley, I will be praying! The Lord is so faithful. Pray for him to redeem those words. He will. I pray your relationship will be restored. So glad you found me! And thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. […] match to burn the bridge, but Jesus wants to help. If you’re tempted to burn a bridge today, read this article on reconciliation first. God is a Father of reconciliation because we can’t be right with Him until we are right with […]

  7. Allison

    Thank you!! I’ve been searching for answers in my broken engagement. I’m heartbroken because we were spiritual soul mates but I nit-picked over things that didn’t matter. Basically because I had already lost my family all but and moving miles away from home and all I knew to be with him just terrified me. I let fear rule over faith.
    What I struggle with is should I pray for reconciliation or leave it all up to God in case He in His wisdom brought it to an end?

    1. Dear Allison, I’m so sorry for your broken heart. The Lord is faithful. When things like this happen, I pray for God to redeem it. This prayer totally gives it to God and let’s Him turn it into something beautiful. He will use it for His glory. Trust Him. Pray for your man and what God wants for him. If it is meant to be, He will reconcile. If not, trust He has something better for both of you. Work on your relationship with the Father. I’ll be praying for you. -Andy

    2. Amanda Salgado

      Same here. I went through a broken engagement 5 months ago. He ended it in a very hurtful way but he has not sought forgiveness. I honestly don’t think he’s aware of his sin that hurt me. He did the silent treatment as I tried seeking forgiveness on my end. The pain is still there and I’m struggling in how I can be at peace with my offender when he hasn’t sought reconciliation and when I should just give this to the Lord.

  8. Kitty Courtney

    I love you! God is using you in BIG ways❤️ Thank you for being so devoted!

    1. Thank you, Kitty! I cherish you. Your faith has always been a strong testimony to me. Thank you for stopping by!

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