A Note from Mary Margaret West: We’ve all been there, or we’re all going to be there. Walking through delicate situations is one of the most fundamental (but hard!) parts of ministry. I love what Taylor shares here because it’s thoughtful and practical. Handling situations like this well is crucial to effective ministry. I hope you’ll lean in and learn from her wisdom today!
Inevitably, it will happen. Whether it’s a girl that you disciple, a college roommate, or maybe your own daughter, someone you know will go through a break-up, and she’ll turn to you for guidance and comfort.
After years of girls’ ministry, it’s still one of the most common issues that girls bring up during our time together. And while I hate the hurt that they’re experiencing, I’m always thankful for the vulnerability and transparency that comes from heartache. Counseling a girl through a break-up is an opportunity to build relational trust as well as lovingly remind her that Jesus is the only One who can ever satisfy our hearts.
Break-ups are a common heartache, but that doesn’t make them easy. Knowing what to say and how to love her well through the situation can be challenging.
So here are 5 ways to help her through a break-up!
- Be a good listener. If you’ve ever experienced heartache yourself, you know that sometimes you just want someone to listen, really listen to your hurt. Take the time to listen to her story all the way through. Ask questions and show her that you’re genuinely interested. Processing it out loud is good for her, and beneficial for you as well. Once you know her story and understand how she’s feeling, you’ll have a better understanding of how you can encourage her going forward.
- Take her hurt seriously. In order to speak into her hurt, you have to be careful to acknowledge her pain, rather than minimize it. It can be easy to brush away the hurt of a teenage heart, but in doing so, you’ll miss an opportunity to compassionately point her to Christ in the midst of her heartbreak and you’ll ultimately push her away. Instead, let her know that it’s okay to be sad for now and encourage her that she won’t be sad forever.
- Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. Telling her that someone better will come along is ultimately encouraging her to put her hope in the wrong thing. While someone better may actually come along, he will not be able to heal her broken heart. There is only one heart-healer and His name is Jesus. Promise her Jesus, not another relationship.
- Don’t bash the boy. In an effort to make her feel better, the boy can be an easy target. While you can and should point out things that may have been unhealthy about the relationship, keep your focus more on the future than on the past. Spending time harping on things that you didn’t like about him will only put a Band-Aid on her pain. Bashing him will never help her move on in a healthy way.
- Challenge her. When the time is right, challenge her to use this time of hurt to draw nearer to Jesus. Ultimately, you know this won’t be the last painful season she’ll face in life, so take this opportunity to show her how to handle painful seasons the godly way. Challenge her with some of these encouraging steps…
- Read your Bible regularly, and not just when you’re feeling sad. Don’t just spend time seeking comfort in Scripture, instead search the Word to learn new things about God and through Him you’ll find your comfort.
- Memorize scripture. Memorizing the Word of God is a great way to set your mind and heart on eternal things and not get caught up rehashing your hurt in the quiet moments of your day.
- Serve someone else. In the midst of pain, it can be hard to see past your own hurt. Intentionally serving someone else is one of the best ways to put your heartache into perspective.
At the end of the day, no matter what you say or do, you won’t be able to heal her broken heart. All you can truly do is lovingly point her to the ultimate heart-healer. It may take a little while, but He’s always faithful to bind up the broken hearts that are laid at His feet. Trust her heart to the Lord and He’ll take care of it!
Taylor Cage is a newlywed living in Tulsa, Oklahoma serving students alongside her husband, Baron. After college, she spent three years as a Girls Minister and she’s passionate about building gospel centered community among women of all ages. She’s an avid reader, writer, and caffeine consumer. You can catch her telling cheesy jokes and taking long walks down the aisles at Target.
Connect with Taylor: Instagram