Sweetening Up A Sour Relationship

Genesis 33:1-20




Intro: It is possible to have relationships w/ People that we once loved very deeply – close to / respected / enjoyed being w/ suddenly go sour.

A)   Where there was once love – it has suddenly turned to hatred.


B) Not uncommon to hear in marriage counseling – I don’t love him/ I don’t love her anymore . Don’t feel anything – DEAD INSIDE!

1)                           Read in paper – couple was in marriage counseling session – woman got mad – got up to leave


A)    To the dismay of Pastor – the Husband – pulled a revolver out of his pants & fired a shot at his wife – he missed as it hit the door.

1)                 To the pastor’s shock the wife also pulled a gun out of her purse & fired a shot that hit her husband in the shoulder.


A)    Now I know that is extreme – but what causes two people who at one time stood in front of a minister – expressed their love

1)                 Suddenly pull out pistols - & shoot each other / or pull out strong words & hatred – yelling – that they can’t stand each other.


A)    There are many reasons why this sort of thing happens – but our purpose tonight is to not look at the reasons why it happens

1)                 But to answer the question when the Love turns cold / when respect is gone / when love turns to hate / IS IT POSSIBLE TO RESTORE


A)    Can love that was lost be reborn ? Ever come back to what it once was ?

1)                 According to the scriptures the answer is yes & this story is a wonderful illustration of how love can be restored.



Perhaps you are here tonight & you find yourself in a situation of estrangement – perhaps in a friendship / Your marriage/ W/ a Child



B)   Lets look at some steps we see here in the relationship between Jacob & Esau.



These 2 brothers haven’t seen each other in 20 yrs

A)   They parted on bad terms – Jacob – took advantage of brother for his birthright – then tricked father – stole blessing.


B)    Things were so bad that we read in Ch. 27: 41 Esau said I will kill my brother Jacob – I hate him.


C)    20 yrs have passed but we find that Esau’s heart is still simmering w/ the bitterness that he feels inside.

1)                 Saw last week He was coming to meet Jacob w/ 400 men. Jacobs’s servants reported – he is not in a good mood.


A)    But here we read that when they finally met that Esau greeted his brother not w/ a sword but w/ a Kiss – what happened?



We noted in our study last time that – Jacob sent servants to go & see how his brother Esau was doing –

A)    They came back w/ bad news – Your brother is coming to meet you w/ 400 men. (Seemed that the Bitterness was still simmering)


B) Jacob was filled w/ fear – but then he did a smart thing V.9-12– He PRAYED




Always the place to begin.

A)   Pray that God will change their hearts – Pray that the Lord blesses them –


B)   It has been said that Prayer changes things & I agree w/ that 100% but here is what prayer usually changes 1st – prayer changes me.


C) Ever find that to be true – praying for someone else – praying for God to change them bless them work in them. – He works in you .

   1)As I come before the Lord in that way – He starts revealing where I am

        wrong – where I need to change – what needs to take place w/ me.


C)   When Jacob got alone w/ God a change took place in his own life that would affect the way he would respond to his brother.



Now the first indication that a change had taken place in his life is seen that after prayer he sought to bless & BUILD UP HIS brother.

    Ch. 32 v. 13 – 20

A)   He sends his brother a present 200 female goats / 20 male goats etc.


B) He sought to edify & Build up his brother.

1)                   Sent his servants declaring v.18 your servant Jacob has sent these  things to you.


C) Often times the first step at building someone else up is to lower yourself

1)                           Jacob assumes the role of a servant


A)   Great step in restoration is to see how you can bless & build someone up


B) To notice the good – over look what is wrong – ( always find faults

          Thing we forget is that we have plenty ourselves )

1)                 So often we do the opposite – we only notice what is wrong / we only notice the negative & not the positive.

C)Typical guy come home – 20 days in a row house looks immaculate –

      we never say in word – one day come home – messy

1)  Gee What have you been doing all day.



Listen you want to restore a broken down relationship start building up

A)   Guys tell your wife how beautiful she is


B)   Compliment her on the way that she looks – tell her how much you love her & love to be w/ her.


C)   Wives need assurance – Why they ask – Do you love me. ( Now if you respond -  told you I loved you the day we got married – I loved you & I will tell you if that ever changes


D)   Sorry guys that is not going to cut it



Wife ever ask you if you like the way she looks ?  

A)   Of course – reason she asked is because she wants that affirmation


B)   Give it to her before she asks


C) In friendships we need to be seeking for ways in which we can build each

       other up – ways  we can  encourage each other


Col.3:12-16 12  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

13  bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

14  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

16      Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.


Col 4:6   Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.


Phil .4:8 8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.


A)   Listen if you are meditating on these things you will be speaking these things


B)    That is what is going to be flowing out of your mouth.



Next in Ch. 33 we see Jacob taking the time to talk about what had transpired in his life . v. 5-11


A)    Important part of relationship building & mending is sharing & communicating - 


B) Need to be open express fears / thoughts – make yourself vulnerable

1)                           That can be scary – communication is vital to any growing relationship.


A)    Now in order to have people share w/ you  need to be a sympathetic

     listener – one who is uncritical


B)    Some times people close up because when they do share they are always told how stupid they are.

1)                 That was a stupid thing to do / that was a stupid thing to say.

Don’t you have any better sense than that!!!!!!!!


A)    No wonder there are communication problems –

1)                 Some just don’t listen don’t give the other person the opportunity to talk.


A)    Once counseled a couple who had some obvious communication problems – ask him a question / he was real methodical

1)                 Didn’t say much – & what he said he wanted to say right.


A)    Ask him a question – think for a minute & then before he could answer she would answer for him.

1)                 Finally said – Know what the problem is – You sister need to shut up & listen to him.



Now my wife – will sometimes ask me questions that she doesn’t want me to answer – When I start to give her response – frustrated

A)   Because what she was really wanting was for me to listen while she

      vented or rehearsed every scenario – then pray.


B)   Now often when that happens I feel  like she is making a Mole hill into a Mt. – over doing it – NO BIG DEAL –

1)                 But if she doesn’t have my undivided attention – YOU JUST DON’T CARE DO YOU…….


A)   God gave us 2 ears & one mouth for a reason – ( We need to listen more than we talk.



Next thing to note about the restoration that took place here is that it involved touch . They embraced & Kissed

A)      Touch in a non sexual way – so important


B)      In car Denise rubs my neck / plays w/ my hair – holds my hand – love that


C)      Touching is so important – communicate love – concern


D) Research has been done – showing the benefits in Children who received constant touching – in comparison w/ those who didn’t

1)                           The ones who did – kinder more alert –  / sharper in school – they excelled in so many ways – above the no touch babies


Too often we leave for the day w/ a little peck on the cheek

A)   Remember how it was when you were dating ?


B)   Say good bye 5 or 6 times – kiss / hug /



Church at Ephesus – Left their first love Remedy

A)   Remember


B)   Repent


C)   Return – do 1st works –

1)                  don’t stop dating !!!!!!!


Note Esau’s RESPONSE