[Day 4] Learning to Communicate Part I
Man’s need for communication is innate, whereas communication skills are acquired through training and learning. We all need to learn to practice communication. Good communication helps to build good relationships, and helps to build us together with our family members and brothers and sisters. Therefore, we must learn to have an open and unhindered communication with God, and to bring the communication with our children to the Lord first, to fellowship with the Lord first, and to seek how the Lord would act first. There is actually a lot to learn about communication. Let’s start with three points. First, learning to listen; second, learning to speak; and third, generating a solution that meets the needs of both parents and children.
First, we need to learn to listen, as listening is very important. It is not easy, especially for parents, to be quiet and listen to their children. When something happens to a child, usually the first reaction of parents is not to listen first, but to accuse, condemn, and deny without discrimination, and then command to do this or that. In that kind of situation, it seems that the child can only listen but not speak, while parents only need to speak but not listen. How can such an unequal communication platform produce good and smooth communication? A child will be open to communicate only when the parents are open to listen. In order to learn to listen, we must first learn to have an open heart and a willingness to listen. Only then will our child open his heart and mouth and confide in us, which will naturally open the door to communication.
Receptive words can cause children to open up and be willing to share their feelings and concerns with their parents. Acceptance is very important in encouraging a child to open his mouth and to talk. Regardless of the child’s natural instincts (i.e. easy-going, shy, or difficult), accept him or her in love. Don’t look at other children as easy to bring up, smart, or good, and then dislike your own child and say something derogatory, negative, or hateful to him or her. In other words, parents should accept their children as the Lord Jesus accepts every sinner.
The purpose of our listening is not to tell our children how to solve their problems, but to have a communication process with them, to have a good communication relationship with them, and then to bring them to God, to communicate with God, and to learn to communicate with people as well. This is a long road of learning, and a road that parents must accompany their children to persevere on. Therefore, parents must encourage their children to express more. Active listening and proper interpretation of the child’s signals helps to understand his or her needs and feelings better. We should not only hear, but listen; not only listen to what your child says, but also to what he or she does not say, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, demeanor, and even body movements, body language, etc.
After listening, we have to empathize, which is very important. What is empathy? The general definition is to place yourself into the other person’s position and feel what he or she feels, experience what he or she experiences. This is easy to say and touching to hear, but how many people can do it? Only the Lord Jesus did it in its fullest sense. He came to be a man Himself, descending from the position of God to that of a man, and became a humble man to empathize with and show compassion toward people. Not only that, but He became the life-giving Spirit through the process of crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, and enters into those who believe and receive Him. Therefore, He came to feel and experience all situations and encounters with people. This is true empathy and compassion Only He is the One who truly cries with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice.
Therefore, we must first stop to pray, and fellowship with God, before we communicate with our children. We must pray ourselves into the Spirit, and to be one with God, so that we can empty ourselves and humble ourselves, like the Lord Jesus. Then we can listen to our children’s confessions, and be able to interpret them correctly and truly understand them, and to have the same heart as the Lord Jesus, to empathize, show compassion, and sympathize with our children. Through this, we can bring our children to the Lord, and let the Lord himself lead the child to solve all problems. Therefore, listening is not to give answers or solve problems, but to lead your child to the Lord, so that he or she can have a subjective experience and knowledge of the Lord by fellowshipping with Him, seeking Him, and asking Him. Therefore, we really need to learn to listen.