I’m reading NonViolent Communication
by Marshall Rosenberg. He has a chapter on listening empathically instead of taking things personally. This is probably the most difficult part of dealing with my family: listening to their needs rather than their judgments and accusations.
1. Where are you going to church these days?
2. How can you walk away from the Lord?
3. You know the truth. You’re just rebellious.
4. We just follow the Bible.
5. We can’t even eat with you now that you have been withdrawn from.
1. I’m pretty sure you are going to a liberal church, or not going to church at all. Don’t you know that the Bible condemns those who forsake the assembly? And only hard line Churches of Christ have correct assemblies.
2. You should be ashamed of yourself. We taught you right, and now you’ve shipwrecked your faith.
4. And you don’t follow the Bible, so you’re lost, deluded and without God.
5. You are the most despicable person we know.
1. I miss our connection and I feel lost when I think about trying to renew it.
2. We are scared. We don’t understand where you are spiritually. We miss you. It’s lonely without you.
3. We can’t understand how anyone could change their mind like you have. We’ve never encountered that kind of freedom in ourselves. Our lives would collapse and our discipline would go out the window if we let go of the fundamentals of our church and faith. We depend on our congregation and our group to help us define ourselves. Whenever we encounter someone who has taken the steps you have in your faith, we have to put up strong walls to keep ourselves from slipping down the slope of unbelief. You make us scared that we will go off into chaos.
4. We need the security of knowing we are doing the right thing. We spend most of our time trying to reassure each other that we are doing the right thing. When you leave us, you rock the boat and we are afraid we will fall out and drown. Please stop scaring us.
5. Our sense of self is so fragile that we could be influenced by your departure. We have to make a firm boundary to make sure we won’t leave our church and leave our salvation. You scare us.