Relationships are often what bring us an added level of fulfillment in life. When we celebrate events and create memories, they are important because of WHO we share them with. But relationships can also be what causes us the greatest amount of pain. When we get into arguments, spew out hurtful words and create hostility between us & those we love. They are extremely rewarding and add depth to life but are difficult to navigate and require constant attention.
God created us in His image to be in relationship with Him & others around us. He literally gives us the inner desire to want to be with people, even the most introverted person NEEDS friendship & love from others.
Communication is the foundation to help foster great relationships but is also the one area we often struggle with and even fail to grasp its importance at times. It’s an area I have had to grow in over the past several years while leading a church, wanting a healthier marriage & to be a great dad. In my own personal growth I became aware of the 5 Levels of Intimacy. I thought there was only one, talking, but there is depth to how we communicate. We can share on a shallow surface level, just facts, our own opinions, our emotions and lastly, with complete vulnerability.
Communicating on the first two levels is fairly standard, “How are you?” “Fine.” “It’s supposed to rain today.” But if we are going to have depth in our relationships beyond telling people what restaurants are good or where we went on vacation we must communicate our emotions and have humility.
Generally speaking, women are better at relationships & communication than men are. Although, there is hope for us guys, we can learn to identify our feelings and share them with those we are close to. I have struggled with this most of my life but to see the growth in my life that I desired it required me to improve. Though I’m no word poet, my wife has seen my valiant effort to share about my day, what upsets me, my hopes, dreams and why I love her.
It has also increased my prayer life and the depth of my relationship with God. To have a loving Heavenly Dad to “unload” on has helped me process more effectively and release my deepest hurts. Its funny how when I say it out loud to God, He not only hears me but heals me too.
My hope and prayer is that you are able to communicate with a little more depth with everyone around you.
Pastor Aaron Olinski
Lead Pastor, Grace Church Melbourne