How to Restore Broken Family Relationships

December 19, 2023

Written byAdelekan Bolanle

Originally posted on March 14, 2023 @ 12:21 pm

Family is defined as the smallest unit of a nation. Family relationship is one of the most important relationships in our life. We are all products of a family which forms our beliefs, identity, character and influences our decisions and actions. Every family has conflicts once in a while unfortunately, some conflicts cause broken family relationships.

 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

1 Corinthians 1:10-11

A broken family is a family with a disjointed family relationship. Most people assume that only divorced couples have broken families which is not true. Fortunately, God can heal and restore any broken family and relationship by his power at work in us.

Causes of Broken Family Relationships

A family relationship cannot be broken or strained without a cause and some of the causes of broken family relationships include;

  • Abuse and Violence
Abuse and violence is a cause of broken family relationships
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Abuse is treating someone or something in a wrong manner, many families are broken because of abuse and violence. There are various forms of abuse like sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse etc. There are cases where parents sexually abuse their children, domestic abuse and violence in families. All of these cause a strained and disjointed family which in turn breaks the bond between family members.

  • Unhealthy comparison

Comparing children and making them feel inadequate causes a broken family. Children want to be loved, cared for and encouraged at every stage of their lives. I discourage unhealthy comparison, it kills self-esteem and breeds hatred among siblings.

  • Financial difficulties

Some families are broken due to financial difficulties, especially in families where there is an uneven distribution of wealth among siblings, partners or family members. In this part of the world, some people find it difficult to relate properly with their family members because they are overburdened with financial responsibilities.

  • Undefined relationship

Relationships should have boundaries and limits. It is necessary to place a benchmark in such a way that everyone understands some boundaries shouldn’t be crossed. When relationships with people and family aren’t defined, there is a tendency the relationship won’t last. In one of my articles I wrote some steps you can take to define your relationships, you can find it here.

  • Pride

No one truly loves proud or haughty people. We all prefer people who are humble, easy to move with and accommodating. Pride is a stumbling block to building a healthy relationship, it only destroys relationship.

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How to Fix a Broken Family Relationship

Every broken relationship can be restored as long as both parties are willing to fix the relationship and make it work. It is not the responsibility of one partner to fix a broken family relationship.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35

  • Acknowledge there is a Problem

The first step to restoring a broken family relationship is acknowledging that there is a problem. You cannot solve a problem that you do not acknowledge. It may be difficult to admit that there is a problem, especially if it involves admitting your own mistakes or faults, but it is important to face the problem head-on. I believe we can solve any difficulty in a relationship if both parties acknowledge there is a problem and are willing to solve them.

  • Communicate your thoughts

“Any problem—big or small—within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.”

– Anonymous

The second step to restoring a broken family relationship is open communication. Communication is key in any relationship, and it is especially important when trying to restore a broken family relationship. It is important to listen to each other without interruption and to express yourself in a non-confrontational or abusive way. Make sure that you are not just talking, but also listening and be willing to accept your faults and errors.

  • Apologize and be willing to Forgive

Apologizing and forgiving are two essential components of restoring a broken family relationship. It is not easy to own up to one’s fault or accept responsibility, apologizing requires humility and courage. It means admitting that you were wrong and taking responsibility for your actions. When you apologize, it is important to be sincere and avoid making excuses. I made a decision a long time ago to be sincere with my apologies.

Similarly, forgiving requires letting go of the anger and resentment that you may be holding onto. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened, but it means choosing to let go of the hurt and moving forward. I believe forgiving people is beneficial for one’s emotional and mental stability.

  • Make Amends

Making amends is another important step in restoring a broken family relationship. This means taking concrete actions to show that you are committed to repairing the relationship. For example, if you have been neglecting your family members, make an effort to spend more time with them. If you have hurt someone, make a sincere effort to make things right. Your commitment to change things will encourage the other person. Making amends requires effort and commitment, but it is an essential part of mending a broken relationship.

  • Seek Professional help

How to fix broken relationship; seeking counsel
Image Credit: Pexels

Sometimes, fixing a broken family relationship can be difficult, and it may be helpful to seek outside professional help. This may include seeking the advice of a family therapist or counsellor. I usually suggest seeking a Christian therapist who can help you identify the underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem and can provide you with tools to improve communication and rebuild trust.

  • Set Boundaries in your relationships

Setting boundaries is an important part of restoring a broken family relationship. Boundaries are limits that you set to protect yourself and your relationships. They help to establish a sense of safety and respect in the relationship. In my adult life, I have formed a habit of setting boundaries and defining my relationships with friends and family.
Setting boundaries may mean saying “no” to certain behaviours or activities that are hurtful or damaging. It may also mean establishing new routines or patterns of behaviour that are more positive and productive. Setting boundaries doesn’t imply saying hurtful words.

  • Be Patient

Patience is key to healing a broken family. It is important to remember that healing is a process, and it may take some time to fully restore the relationship. Do not expect immediate results, and be prepared to put in the effort and commitment required to repair the relationship. Be patient with yourself and with your family members, and keep working towards a positive and healthy relationship.

God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land

Psalms 68:6 NKJV

Restoring a broken family relationship can be a challenging process, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. It requires effort, commitment, and patience, but the result is a stronger, healthier, and more productive relationship.

It is important to note that not all broken family relationships can be restored.
“Sometimes, when something breaks, it’s better not to mend it.”

By acknowledging the problem, communicating openly, apologizing and forgiving, making amends, seeking help, setting boundaries, and being patient, you can restore a broken family relationship and build a stronger and more positive relationship with your loved ones. Don’t forget the place of God in mending your relationship.


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