Relationship Goals: Breaking Out of Heartbreak

Today is the final message in our Relationship Goals collection. We never enter a relationship expecting it to fall apart but we’ve all experienced brokenness and dysfunction. This series is meant to help us avoid painful pitfalls in our relationships with those we love. We’re studying Abraham to learn what is needed. Are you living with heartbreak? Matthew Lieberman is a neuroscientist who found that the language of physical pain was being used by people when they were describing emotional pain. As he studied this phenomenon, his research proved there was no difference between the two types of pain. Brain scans compared side by side were the same for physical pain and emotional pain.  

Of course, this isn’t news to anyone who has been through heartbreak. To love is to be caught in a great irony. You can’t love without opening your heart, but by opening your heart you risk pain because we cannot control outcomes. However, after enough pain, we tend to guard ourselves from future pain, usually in unhealthy ways. Some get a hard or stoney heart. We become closed off which in turn hurts your spouse. It’s an isolation. Some get a poisoned heart and become cynical. Others get a half-hearted heart, never giving full effort, lacking commitment, and eventually giving up. They just don’t care and this fosters a loveless marriage. They can’t ever do enough so they just say forget it. 

No matter what type of heartbreak you may have, all of these break the Lord's heart. “Sozo” is God's plan for you. He wants you to have a whole heart. He did the work on the cross for your mind and heart, to make you whole. A broken heart is not His will. His will is for your healing. 

To heal, you need a Heartbreak Buddy, someone to help you process the pain. Some may use chocolate or snuggling up in a blanket watching a rom com. But, what you need is God's word. Most of us remember the supernatural moments of Abraham’s life. But today, we’re going to look at Abraham’s heartbreak. In Genesis 23, we find him experiencing Sarah’s death. Sarah was 127 when she died. Abraham mourned and wept for her. At the time of her death, he was a stranger and foreigner in the land where he was living. He and Sarah had been through much in their lives, married most of their lives, with ups and downs, struggles and victories. Let’s look at his response. What did he do at the loss of Sarah?

He had a funeral. We may not have a literal funeral, but set aside time to grieve. You need to have intentional time to mourn. It’s OK to be sad but it’s not OK to become sad. Sadness is a warning sign. Pay attention to the warning signs. If you don’t you will have a breakdown. Feeling the pain is the first step to healing the pain. Don’t numb, ignore, or avoid. These lead to breakdown not breakthrough. We need one another. Connect with people. Meet with people. Spend time with community. Mourn the loss and don’t rush through it. 

Abraham honored Sarah’s memory. The people of the land offered him a fine tomb. Abraham had a different thought. He thanked them but asked to buy a tomb on specific land because he wanted to own the place and have a permanent burial location for his family. In the wake of loss we tend to drift toward regret. We focus on all that’s wrong but we’re not to put our minds there. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Php 4:8). It’s easy to meditate on the wrong. But we need to take the high road. Avoid dishonor. Don’t assassinate their character, reminding them of the bad they did. You’ll never find God's blessing by cursing them. Don’t linger on the worst moments. It only tortures you. They may not even be aware of what you’re thinking about. Find the positive. Understand the good that came from the situation. 

Abraham returned to his first love. He focused on God. God had called Sarah and him together and he recalled God's faithfulness, His provision, and that He made a way where there seemed to be no way. He remembered God's promise. He opened up to the only one who could heal his broken heart. Ps 34:18 says the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and that He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Notice, it says “The Lord” which means the ruler, the leader is close. Don’t allow your emotions to unseat God from His place in your heart. In order to heal, you need to keep Him in your life. Keep His word, His ways, His priorities. The more reign He is given, the more restoration you will experience. 

Are you closed off to God? Focus on God's purpose and call. He is ready to use you. Open your heart to God's word. Pray. Go back to church. Open your ears to hear that still small voice. In the midst of agony and aggravation, get into worship. It’s for your rehabilitation. Everytime you open your mouth in praise and worship, you are opened to Him. In His presence is fullness of joy, healing and wholeness. 

Abraham was open to love again. He remarried and had six more children! Your lonely days are numbered. You can share in love again, friendship and community again. God’s spirit has equipped you for what’s ahead. Even if you are in a loveless marriage, you can rediscover active love. God can resurrect your relationship. Begin to speak life. Believe. Trust God with your partner’s heart. Trust Him with your heart. Put God first and He will take your life places you have never dreamed.