“An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars” (PV 18:19)
In Hebrew it means that if your true friend betrays you, the friendship is mortally wounded. Love becomes like a beggar, a fugitive on the streets of unfulfilled dreams. The broken heart will look for the home where it grew up but now, the gate is closed, the password forgotten. The split, the divorce will grow to become a monster, bold and loud, rude and wicked, too hard for mercy to conquer. A once close friend, when injured or deceived, becomes a potent and irreconcilable enemy. These are some sayings from wise men of old: ‘bitter are the quarrels of friends; those who love beyond measure will also hate beyond measure; deep friendship once injured is forever lost’. Jesus said this: ‘Woe to the world because of offences! For offences must come but woe to that man by whom the offense comes’ He said that it is better to cut off hand or foot and even pluck your eye than to offend, to injure, to betray ‘a little’ child of God (Mt 18:6-9).

Do not take your marriage for granted. Be very careful to avoid quarrels which cause division. Be sensitive when you sense that ‘the devil is in the room and the quarrel is coming’. The Holy Spirit will prepare your heart to sense that you need to keep quiet and still. Communication is like playing table tennis. Each partner feels like responding to the words of the other. Be careful: if the tone of voice becomes too high, the tendency to argue increases. Show self-restrain. Both love and self-control are fruits of the Holy Spirit. Talking is like driving a car. It is exciting to drive it full speed. It is fun to defend your opinions. But look at the Holy Ghost ‘traffic signs’. Keep below the speed limit. Learn to use your breaks. From time to time check your spiritual brakes, if the pads of patience are still functioning well and the oil of wisdom still intact. Quarrels between close friends, between husband and wife can end in disaster. You can wreck your marriage and it may not be possible to repair it on earth. Behave and speak in such a way that tomorrow, you do not need to apologize for your actions and words of today.

Child of God, when things are hard, when tears freely flow and nothing is able to stop them, when you make mistakes, when you are misunderstood, when friends fail and family withdraws… then remember that God is always faithful! “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Heb 13: 8). He was betrayed by sinners but loved to the end. Crawl into His loving arms and find peace. You may not need to know all the answers. You may not need to have all the deep revelations of conflict because God knows them all. He knows your heart. He knows that you love Him. He knows your weakness and strength. He knows each word even before it comes on your tongue. He loves you with an everlasting love. You are secure in knowing Jesus, your Savior, King and Best Friend. He died for you. He forgives you. He is still with you. Inside your heart, no matter what, you can rejoice always! Love is not easy. But love is still the best gift of God. Be jealous over it! Cherish it! Give thanks!

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