Different Ways To Connect With Your Loved Ones Through Faith
The noisier the world gets, the more isolated we become. People are constantly talking on their electronic devices but seldom making true connections. As God’s people, we are meant to be in a relationship with those around us. Here are some ways to bring faith to bear in making connections with the ones we love.
Listen to Each Other
Listening shouldn’t be hard, but few are good at it. It takes time and a willingness to think more about the other person than yourself. It takes generosity: generosity with time, encouragement, and with hospitality. It takes a genuine interest in the other individual.
While anyone, believer or not, can be a good listener, there’s a mandate in scripture to help us. We set the stage as listeners when we heed the words of Paul in Philippians 2:3, “In humility regard others as better than yourselves.” Certainly, these better people deserve to be listened to!
Seek God Together
When our loved ones are also believers, there’s a special opportunity to make a connection in faith. If we pursue hobbies and enjoy coffee and secular conversation with them, we can also join together in Christian fellowship. This can include praying for each other, encouraging one another, studying scripture together, and checking in with each other on how our walk with God is going.
Express Gratitude Together
Giving thanks is free and accessible to everyone, and it’s good for us physically and mentally as well as spiritually. One option is to explicitly ask a loved one to join you in naming the ways in which the two of you are blessed.
However, it’s not hard to insert reasons for gratefulness into an everyday conversation. When we have an attitude of thankfulness, it’s likely that the people around us will pick up on it and be more thankful as well.
We make plans for meals and social outings with loved ones, and we can also make plans to volunteer. If the other is a churchgoer, you can suggest an effort that supports the church. Even unchurched people are sometimes open to such activity.
Even if the volunteerism is secular, remember that you’re doing God’s work whenever you help others and encourage loved ones to do the same.
Making an Effort To Connect
Most of us have busy lives and are surrounded by things that suck up our attention. While the tasks required to connect with others are not difficult, it takes intention to stop and do them. In some cases, we may have to overcome a certain amount of awkwardness.
It helps to remember the example of Jesus, who spent almost all of his waking hours connecting with people. He talked with them, ate with them, mingled with them, and shared stories with them. The opportunities to connect with loved ones are all around us, but not all of them will last indefinitely. If we start with a willingness to put ourselves out there, we can use our faith to make connections with loved ones that will be valuable both to them and to us.