“Is that what you really mean?”
Communication is tricky business!
I once said to my Father on one of his birthdays, “Well, I guess you are as old as you feel.” And he replied, “So you say, you think I am over the hill.” This was not what I meant.
What we all want, I think, is intimacy in Communication. As human beings, we were made for community. Think even of the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit live in community. There is something within us that yearns for intimacy.
Here is a good definition of communication—“to make common to others what you currently possess.” In the highest sense you could think of communion as “a union of thoughts and feelings.”
I have read that having three intimate relationships in a lifetime is a really good number. Many people never even have ONE intimate relationship—much less three. I think it is good not to be unrealistic. There is not enough time in life to be VERY close to 20 people. It is simply a time issue. Even Jesus had the 12, the 3 and the 1. He is a good example of healthy levels of relationships.
However, as early as Genesis 3:6-12 we saw that mankind’s tendency in relationships was for…
A. Lack of intimacy (Adam and Eve knew they were naked and were ashamed.) We all know what we are really like on the “inside.” It can be scary to open ourselves up to others and be real and transparent. Think how much better Adam and Eve’s relationship was before the fall.
B. Self-consciousness (We wonder what others will think and hide.) We put protective layers around ourselves.
C. Fear and hiding (This isolates us and we don’t risk with others.) Possibly we’ve been hurt in a past relationship and we don’t want to take the possible pain of trusting someone again.
D. Blame shifting (“It’s not my fault—but the woman you gave me.”) If the “problem” is always someone else’s fault do we ever point the finger at ourselves?
Lack of communication builds walls between people.
That is a lot to think about. Here is one thing I do know: Effective communication will take work.
Healthy relationships are probably not going to be easy.
I want to encourage all of us to press through with our relationships—even the difficult ones. It will be easier to not press through, and to not deal with conflict in relationships.
As you are yearning for intimacy in your relationships, keep remembering that we were made for relationship. Even God exists in relationship. Press through the tough relational times in order to experience the richness of long-term friendships! Does anybody have a story they feel would be helpful?