Pastor Andy Stanley Reflects on Fractured Relationship with Evangelist Father Charles Stanley

          (Andy Stanley: Image: Facebook)

Pastor Andy Stanley of Atlanta's North Point Community Church has opened up on his fractured relationship with his evangelist father, Charles Stanley. He also offered tips on how to restore broken relationships.

In his series on Sunday titled “Reassembly Required: A Beginners Guide to Repairing Broken Relationships,” Stanley said that he was angry and hurt almost three decades with his father. 

He and his father were counselors who offered advice to people on how to fix their life’s issues. Meanwhile, he and his father equally have issued that seemed difficult to fix.

 “[My father] saw things his way … I could not understand for the life of me why we weren’t making any progress. The odd thing about this is, it doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to fix a relationship. It just seems like we should be able to do this, but it is difficult and that’s why I decided we really do need to talk about it,” Stanley said.

“Reassembling a broken relationship is a learned skill, and many of us have never even seen it modeled well. Everything we reach for generally is initially the wrong thing.

“Waiting for the other person ends up becoming waiting for what you should do. And the reason you should do it is that you’re the better person. The better person should initiate the apology,” Stanley added. 

Stanley explained that his fractured relationship with his father persisted till they met at a restaurant and kept mute most of the time. He said, “It was just so awkward. … We are grown men, we are pastors, we’re professional Christians.

"We couldn’t have a conversation. We were both so angry and so locked down and we both knew how ridiculous it was because of how much time we spent with other people and couples with difficult family relationships. I’ll never forget this moment, when finally my dad looked at me and he said, ‘Andy, we both know what happens to fathers and sons who go through something like this. I don’t want that to happen to us.’ And I said, ‘Me neither,’” Stanley said.

Stanley further shared that even if many persons would hope for reconciliation for fractured adult relationships, this should not always be the case. Instead, he believes that goals should not be set for adults because that would amount to having a relationship based on an “agenda.” 

“Unlike a broken toy or dish or a broken iPhone screen, when you think about a broken object, you have control over all the pieces ... but, when it comes to repairing relationships with other people, we don’t have access to all the pieces. Agendas always undermine or put a box around relationships. Agendas ensure that broken relationships stay broken,” Stanley said.

He said that the aim of bringing together fractured relationships is not having any regrets. This would automatically get the relationship repaired or the contentment that an individual did all that was possible in attempting to fix the relationship although reconciliation may not be achieved at the end.

“This means, no matter whose fault it was and no matter how much blame sits with them, versus sits with you, you and I always have a part in the process of reconciliation. As Jesus followers, this isn’t optional for us," Stanley said.

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