5 tips for dealing with a broken heart
By Sherise Henry
The human heart carries the physical capacity to maintain us in good health, a spiritual capacity to grow us towards God’s love, and an emotional capacity to appreciate those we care about and wish well. The downside of having this beautiful instrument God designed is that it can be broken. Every family has had to deal with the effects or potential hazards of a broken heart. Whether you have experienced problems in your marriage or are preparing your teen for the world of dating, a broken heart is likely to happen at some point in our Christian journey. Its best to learn how to prepare yourself to deal with the potential risks of opening your heart and what can happen rather than put all your hope in the fallible heart of man.
We turned to WhatChristiansWanttoKnow.com and Crosswalk.com to help us better prepare you for the unpopular journey of dealing with a broken heart. God’s holy word gives us a strong warning on how to protect what could emotionally be our body’s most sensitive organ, the heart. The new living translation states: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
That life course can be altered or even hindered by the choices we make in who to date, marry and start a family. Cliff Young and Laura MacCorkle are contributors to Crosswalk.com. They share their experience and advice on how to face the inevitable. “What I have discovered through “trial and error” (a.k.a. dating) is most relationships don’t work out (surprise!), and it would be beneficial for us to learn from and learn how to manage break-ups since we may encounter them again.
For many of us, it is a day to day journey of struggle, heartache, emotions and growth. Some journeys will be easier than others and some may last longer than others (oftentimes depending upon which side of the break-up you are on). However, your journey can and will lead to peace if you refrain from holding onto bitterness, spite, envy, jealousy and anger against your former “interest.”
Here are five tips to help your heart examine why breakups occur and what you can do to aid your process of healing.
1) Have faith God has plans for you to prosper and not harm you (Jeremiah 29:11).
You may never know or understand why the break-up happened; however, God may be protecting you from this person, He may want you all to himself at this time or he may have someone better suited for you. Whatever the reason, God knows our beginning, the middle and the end and truly wants the best for us, as our Father. Have the faith to recognize it, believe it and live it.
Place your hope in God and his Spirit, not in someone else (Romans 5:5).It may be difficult to do at times, but placing your hope in a perfect God is a better decision than giving your life to a fallible human. God continually shows this to be true in ways we can’t even fathom and hope placed in him does not disappoint. I’m not sure we can say the same about others, or ourselves.
Jack Wellman encourages What Christians Want to Know.com readers to consider the life of Job and the suffering he experienced through heartbreak, the loss of children and things he had worked for and a wife who encouraged him to curse God and die. His article offers the following suggestions in healing.
2) Consider Eternity
When we think about eternity and this life, which is only a vapor, we can place this tiny speck of time up against eternity and see just how inconsequential it is compared to eternity. James wrote “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Our finite minds cannot even comprehend what eternity is, therefore try to place today’s heartbreak up against the linear line of eternity and you’d be hard pressed to even see it. Yes, it does hurt but as the psalmist wrote of God’s loving discipline, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Here is the true scale; take the tiniest piece of dust you can find and place it on one side of the scales and then place all matter of the entire universe and you’ll get the proper perspective on today versus eternity.
3) Pour out your Heart
When there is nothing more but to pour out your heart, then just do it. God can take it. Just tell Him about what has been done to your heart, how you’ve been crushed, but the psalmist says “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). It is God alone Who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “is near to all who call on him” (Psalm 145:18a). Now you must read it and believe it for God said it and God cannot lie (Num 23:19; Heb 6:18).
4) Use your Pain to Minister
Some people’s greatest ministries are birthed out of great suffering so use your heartache as a means to comfort others who have been through similar situations. Paul writes about the God “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor 1:4) like for Paul it was “God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Cor 7:6) so God will comfort us by sending others and why not you? There is no reason for suffering without purpose because God never wastes anything He permits; even suffering.
5) Find Someone to Help
One of the best ways to deal with a broken heart is to help those who have the same problem. For some, it might be a one hour visitation just to visit with someone in a nursing home, it might be writing a letter to a missionary to encourage them, or it could be just offering to help somebody that you know that needs help. Maybe you could invite them out to dinner or invite them to your home for a meal. It might be filling in at the church nursery, volunteer to be a Sunday school teacher substitute, or just go up to the pastor and ask him. Maybe he needs someone to help with the church outreach or sound technician. God has placed each and every member of the Body to encourage, build up, and edify the church of Jesus Christ. If you’re a Christian, Jesus has a role for you in His church and in the community or He would have never saved you.
As with the occurrence of any traumatic event in life, the healing of a broken heart may take time to mend. It's important that time spent between your initial loss and your recovery and happiness is spent thinking on the word of God and building your hope and trust in a love that never fails - God’s love.
May your hope and love in our never failing Father continue to grow and flourish despite the people in life that may disappoint. God bless.