Friday, January 27, 2006

Where to Begin

To Jennifer, who asked, "So, as a young woman, how do you practice these principles?" I'd say before you can practice them, you have to know and understand them. The starting point is God's Word. Understanding the Creator's design for us and for our relationship with Him and with others begins with pondering His Word.

David wrote, "O God, you are my God,earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water" (Psalm 63:1). If ever a culture was like a desert, it is ours. We need the daily nourishing and refreshment that comes from reading and pondering the truth revealed in the Bible.

As we internalize what we find there, applying the principles to real life will become part of our character.


At 4:03 PM, Blogger Elena said...

I have found these books helpful. They get to the nitty-gritty of relating to other people, which is what we women do well...and often where we trip ourselves up
* A Woman's Garden of Prayer by Patti Webb and Sarah Maddox
This isn't your ordinary book about praying. Its example prayers of how one might apply Bible verses and biblical principles in one's own unique situations---how to pray when in conflict with a friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative; how to pray about one's attitudes; how to pray regarding situations that are unique to different stages of life; etc.---help encourage us to pray the way we would talk with a human friend, in similar vocabulary and specialized, formal prayers required. (Although many people have found others' written prayers to be refreshing and I'm not knockin' those.) My favorite section is the one that addresses "planting and nurturing" good emotions and getting rid of destructive ones, giving Scriptures that cover topics like forgiveness, kind words, bitterness, harsh words, and more.
* Conversation Peace by Mary Kassian
This book is also available as a video-enhanced Bible study (a workbook for group members and a leader kit for facilitators). Both the book and the study address communication...and not just the words we use but also body language, tone of voice, gestures, and more. If a woman finds herself gossiping a lot; being harsh, too sarcastic, spiteful; using barbed words and veiled insults; sharing too much (ie. not keeping her own emotional boundaries); and/or experiencing a host of other communication issues; then this book/study is for her! It's a good way to discover how to improve our loving others via how we communicate with them.
* Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Written for married couples, this book will help singles better understand the opposite sex's (and their own) most basic need and how the ways we communicate with each other help or hinder meeting the needs for love and for respect.
* any of the Five Love Languages resources by Gary Chapman
These resources give great ideas for showing love to people...whether to a spouse or dating partner, to a parent, to a child, to another friend or loved one. Readers, take some of the examples from these resources; and then brainstorm your own ideas of how to give words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and acts of service.

Hope these ideas help you!



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