In Part 1 we talked about building a better relationship by spending TIME with people.
When you spend time on anything you will see results. Have you ever met this woman: she has a standing hair appointment every week that she never misses; she wraps or covers her hair every night; she styles, curls and coifs her hair every morning; she won’t get her hair wet in the rain or pool ever–y’all know that woman! And, isn’t her hair simply beautiful every time you see her? She spends time on her hair!
The same can hold true for anything–big or small. Want a better golf game, prettier nails, gourmet meals at home, or a beautiful lawn? Spend time on that endeavor on a consistent basis, and the results will come.
Well, relationships are just a tiny bit different. Spending time is a starting point. You can’t just pick up a kid, sit in room with them, and say, “Okay, buddy that was one hour. Wow what a great relationship we have.” You have to work on your interaction techniques.
We are going to work on Listening and Sharing. Listening is for the ladies–mostly. Sharing is for the males–usually. Of course you can decide what techniques most apply to you.
My husband, John is a great listener. I can talk non-stop for 30 minutes and he won’t interrupt me with questions or say one word. Once my rant is over, he can recap what I’ve said. He can give advice or offer problem-solving techniques. Sounds great, right? It is great!
John is a natural listener because he hates to talk! It’s very easy for him to sit back and absorb what is happening. If you are that kind of person, skip down to the section on Sharing!
Okay motor mouths, this is for you. Spend time and. . . Zip it. Be Quiet. Bite your tongue.
If you are listening, you are not talking. You are not even thinking about what you are going to say next. You are simply absorbing what is being said or shared with you.
Right or wrong is not a concern here. Jesus gets to judge, you get to listen. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: . . . ” (James 1:19 KJV)
Now, if you are “slow to speak” that is great for listening. To improve your relationship with someone sharing is essential. It means taking a risk and opening yourself up to someone. I know, I know; it’s scary.
When you are open you are vulnerable.
When you are vulnerable you can get hurt.
No one wants to get hurt.
Take it easy and realize that this is a process. You will not just jump to the most intimate things about yourself. Start with the small stuff. What you like, what you’re reading, your job–those things. Move on to what you need, your desires and dreams. Give it some time and realize once you get started talking and sharing, it’s easy to “get on a roll.”
Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. He worked on the relationship. He ate and worshipped and healed and prayed and laughed with them every day. Jesus was a great listener. How do we know? His disciples came to him with questions about issues and arguments all the time. You don’t seek counsel from someone who has not been a good listener in the past.
Jesus was great at sharing. He told the disciples about his Father, his work and the Word. Remember all of the parables that Jesus told? Well, the disciples were there, too. They were with Jesus but were also a part of the “crowds.”
Jesus still is a good listener. Have you spoken to Him lately? And, He still has a lot to say. He would love to have a better relationship with you.