Communications, Communications, Communications.
"Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom."1
It has been wisely said that 80% of life's satisfaction comes from healthy, loving and satisfying relationships. No matter how successful one becomes in the eyes of the secular world, without loving relationships, life can become extremely empty and lonely. Like, who wants to be the richest man in the cemetery when life on earth is over?
The reality is that mankind was created for meaningful and loving relationships—without which one can limp along in the shadows of life instead of fully loving and fully living.
As noted before, God himself is in relationship; that is, via the Holy Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, one of the very first things Jesus did at the beginning of his earthly ministry was to "choose the twelve that they might be with him."2 If Jesus needed to be in relationship with people, how much more do we need to be?
One of the major keys for effective relationships is effective communications at the feeling level. We can converse intellectually at the rational level, but without sharing at the feeling level there cannot be any closeness or emotional intimacy. Couples who don't know how to communicate effectively basically live together alone apart.
Tragically, at least in the Western world, we know how to put a man on the moon and talk to him while he is there, but so many married couples don't know how to talk (communicate) effectively with their partner which involves open, honest, and trustworthy sharing at the feeling level.
Best-selling author, Dr. John Powell, believes that "most of us feel that others will not tolerate emotional honesty in communication. We would rather defend our dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others, and, having rationalized our phoniness into nobility, we settle for superficial relationships. Consequently, we ourselves do not grow, nor do we help anyone else to grow. Meanwhile, we have to live with repressed emotions—a dangerous and self-destructive path to follow. Any relationship which is to have the nature of true personal encounter must be based on honest, open, gut-level communication. The alternative is to remain in my prison, to endure inch-by-inch death as a person."3
Just one tip here . . . don't ever tell anyone that they shouldn't feel the way that they feel. We feel what we feel because we are what we are. Feelings in and of themselves are neither right nor wrong. We just need to understand them. Plus, we need to learn how to accept other people's feelings without being judgmental or trying to "fix" them. Watching a TV interview last night with a young girl who was upset and began to cry, the interviewer (a grown man) simply told her not to cry. This made her feel worse and communicated to her that it isn't acceptable to cry when you are hurt or sad. Tears are a God-given gift and are needed to drain the pain of hurt feelings. That is; genuine tears, not crocodile tears that are designed to manipulate or to conceal anger.
For further help in knowing how to communicate openly and honestly, please read the article, "Dare to Be Honest" online at: http://tinyurl.com/dare-to-be-honest.
Dear God, "Thank you that you created mankind for relationships. Please help me learn how to be a more effective communicator so that this will help me to have greatly enriched relationships. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: For additional help read "Enrich Your Family Life" at: http://tinyurl.com/enrich-family-life.
1. Psalm 51:6 (NASV).
2. Mark 3:14.
3. John Powell, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? p. 61. Argus Communications, San Mateo, Illinois. Copyright 1969. Used by permission.