Hmm...so I have lots of thoughts on various subjects swirling around in my head.
What I was thinking of this morning was about how I communicate. I've been reading Joshua Harris' book "Boy Meets Girl" and I've been reading the chapter about communication. In the context of the book it's talking about communicating during courtship, but he makes several points that apply to any area of communication.
Listening: I would say I generally don't have any problem with listening, because I generally listen more than I talk. I don't usually talk a whole lot unless it's something I have an opinion on and find interesting...although I do have my moments when I probably talk too much, it's generally around family when I feel completely comfortable.
But in this book, Josh Harris says:
"And it's more than just listening; it's understanding and properly responding to what we've heard."
And there's the catch, I don't always fully take in what someone's saying, several times I've caught myself listening outwardly, but not truly taking in what the person is saying with any interest, and that's not good. And it's not coming from wanting to talk myself, it's coming from a lack of interest.
In church we've been going through 1 John, and yesterday's sermon was particularly eye-opening to me. Pastor Beasley was preaching from 1 John 4:7-12, primarily focusing on verses 7-8.
"7. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
One of his main points was that when it says "God is love", it's not saying that God loves us, and that is all he does, it means He literally is love. All true love comes from God, through a love of Him. "If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another...if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us."
By a true love for others, through God, we are a witness to unbelievers, in that we love each other.
I know I'm certainly not putting this at all as clearly as Pastor Beasley did, so you should listen to yesterday morning's sermon to really get what he was saying, but one of his points was about communication and basically how through true Godly love, we are interested in what people say.
In his book Harris lists several principles for authentic communication: "Principle #1 Communication problems are usually heart problems"
Basically that's what I'm getting at, and it's something I think I need to work on.
The matter of not communicating my emotions very well, I wouldn't necessarily call an issue of the heart. Our family doesn't communicate emotions that much I guess. We talk, yes, when we all get together, we talk! We state our opinions quite clearly (and loudly sometimes!), and I suppose to a certain extent that's making our emotions known, but on a smaller scale we're much less likely to say: you know, I'm struggling with this, this is bothering me, I'm tired so I'm not taking what you're saying rationally, etc.
Personally, I think I'm rather afraid of scaring people by saying anything about how I'm feeling about something. Which I shouldn't be, I guess, because even though I'm the type of person who doesn't do that, I don't get all uncomfortable and try to ignore it when other people communicate their emotions. So if I base other peoples' reaction on that, they won't be put off if they are like me, and if they do communicate, they certainly wouldn't be put off at all, because that's perfectly normal.
And back to the context in Harris' book of courtship, I know I do need to work on this, because if I can't communicate with someone, it's bound to lead to misunderstandings and obviously that's not good.
Oof, seriously, this post even is more insight into me than I would normally give, and that's after taking out some stuff. A lot of this comes from people finding my view-point on various things (although the same as a lot of Christians) to be very strange. So since I don't want to argue about some things, I simply don't mention my opinion on them.
I'm afraid I didn't state that all very well either (there's always the writing skills part of communication :P) but I hope it made sense.
Another thing that I just thought of this morning was what a tremendous amount of things Dad knows how to do!
I was putting away my shoes, and thought of something about shoes (I can't remember what now) but I thought "Well, Dad would know about that". He worked as a shoe salesman at one point, so he knows a lot about shoes. It dawned on me that if I mentioned on here all the stuff he knows about, people would be hard-pressed to figure out what he actually did for a living. And really his work is only a small area of what he knows how to do. For that matter, I'm not even quite sure how to describe what his actual job is! He works for the local med school in Creative Communications, and when I tell people what he does I generally say he: 1. Does stuff with computers (that always covers a lot!) 2.Prints posters and designs web pages for the doctors 3. Arranges slide-shows....stuff like that, although there are really so many other things he does too! In his department, they sometimes have to video-tape various things, they take photos at the alumni reunions, etc. If someone's computer isn't working he often ends up fixing it, and if other things aren't working right he's sometimes responsible for fixing them if it's not something that requires the service tech from the company.
Dad used to work as a professional photographer, so he knows about photography. He fixes anything around the house that needs fixing, I don't think we've ever had to have a repairman come out. If we have, I don't remember it! He fixes the computers when something goes wrong, and one of his clients from work (I think that's how he knew him) paid him to come set up his computers and router and whole wireless system and back-up stuff in his house. (Wireless system and back-up stuff, those are technical terms, you know! ;p)
All this rambling to say that it made me realize how much I under-appreciate all of this. And how terribly "spoiled" I am, so I really need to remember that not every guy is able to do all this, and that I can't necessarily expect to marry someone who knows all the stuff my dad does. I think I will have to marry someone who's at least willing to learn how to do things, or I probably would have problems, but I seriously need to remember that not everyone can be as great as my dad.
That's just something that occurred to me. Obviously there's nothing wrong with thinking my dad's wonderful, but I need to remember that while I should look to him as a model for a Godly husband, it's hardly fair to expect some poor guy to be exactly like him, especially as someone younger simply wouldn't have had as much time to learn things.
Hmm...I should have saved that for Father's Day.
Ah, yeah, this is the sort of post that I'm going to publish, but I'm seriously worrying about scaring my readers. I didn't scare y'all away, did I? Hello...hello?? :P Oh, sorry, you're just confused by the atrocious lack of clarity in my writing, not scared away?