The Bruised Reed means….(4) Patience and strength for challenging and difficult relationships

In Sunday’s talk, we said that our response to Jesus, the different kind of leader was first of all to put our trust in him as our Lord. We can do that knowing that he “will not crush the bruised reed.”  We also saw that with his Lordship comes the call to follow his example.

This means that just as Jesus will not crush a bruised reed, or put out a flickering/smouldering flame, so we too have a responsibility to love and care for those who are “bruised reeds” in our lives.

For some, this will be a deeply challenging call. As we saw in Sunday’s talk, we find that people are sometimes damaged because of harm they have done to themselves, this may well be because of reckless and sinful decisions that they have made. Also, we have seen that those who are harmed and hurting risk causing hurt and harm to others. Naturally our survival instincts tell us to keep our distance.

This may not always be possible. What about when it is your teenage son or daughter. Their behaviour and habits causes you great frustration and pain. You want to give up on them. You are exhausted. You even want to lash out at them verbally. Maybe you already do. Then afterwards you feel intensely guilty.

What about the wife or husband in a difficult, loveless marriage. What about when communication has broken down? What about when your partner is like a bear with a sore head? What do you do when you find that they are making foolish decisions that put your home and family at risk. You feel like you are running on empty and have nothing left to give.  The easiest and most logical thing to do is to walk away.

One of the wonderful things about knowing Christ is that he renews us and gives us strength to face these challenges. 

Peter writing to wives living in the Roman Empire with husbands who did not follow Jesus, who may not even have been loving and kind to them writes to them and tells then that it is possible for them by following Christ’s example to love their husbands, submit to them in the home and by their godly living to win their husbands for Christ.

Read Isaiah 40:31