“Relationships are built on communication, and communication is possible only when feelings are freely expressed, heard, and validated.”
— Dr. Matthew Jacoby, Deeper Places (2013)
RELATIONSHIPS are what make life function as it does.
At the Fall, what occurred was a relational failure. The object – Adam and Eve being in charge of their own destiny – came in front of the subject: God. Every time we objectify life, devoting ourselves to things over the people who more ought to have our time, effort, and love, we sin. We put object above subject; things before people.
But if we are to reverse the tide of objectification, then we must now sow very heavily and deeply into everything relational. Indeed, we cannot know God unless we are oriented relationally. And if we have the capacity to know God, we have the capacity and desire to know people – to connect and communicate. When that occurs it makes so much sense to us that the truth between people must be aired – after all, God is the God of truth!
Feelings must be expressed, heard, and validated for communication to work.
A Testimony of Relational Truth – Feelings Expressed, Heard, Validated
Truth is very important to human beings, whether we acknowledge it or not. This is because we are all made in the image of the God of truth.
Whenever we consciously deny the truth it harms our conscience – do it chronically and the conscience is seared. Being the God of truth, the Lord has designed life to work around it. Invite truth and we invite life. But if we suppress the truth we journey along the path of death.
Feelings are what they are.
They are about as close to the truth as anything. We feel what we feel, and, without judgment and condemnation, our feelings can help to explain a great deal of the mysteries of God – if we allow them a voice.
Can there be anything better than the testimony of relational truth: where feelings both raw and real are given flight and their natural altitude, without a ceiling being enforced over them?
Perhaps those scared most about airing feelings are those who worry for their lack of control. But this is about trusting God. We cannot grow in our relationships unless we are free to be truthful about how we really feel.
They are what they are,
Let’s accept this right now,
Feelings are feelings,
And truthful communication they’ll endow.
If we honour others’ feelings,
Better the deeper we go,
Safety means trust,
And relationships can only grow.
When feelings are expressed, heard, and validated the truth that’s communicated helps to set the relationship free.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.