Family Night "Feeling Project"
They made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. Job 2:11, NASB
It's not uncommon for us to encounter couples who struggle in their marriage because of a lack of emotional closeness. One of the first challenges we face in these situations is to help these couples develop a vocabulary of feelings.
It's impossible to be vulnerable and to communicate feelings when you don't know what to call them. It's tragic that in a culture that stresses education, so many people miss out on what we call "education of the heart."
We recently worked with a couple who needed some of this kind of education. We encouraged Don and Margaret to begin by drawing up a"feeling chart." They purchased a piece of poster board and divided it into two columns—one for positive feelings and one for painful feelings. Don and Margaret's entire family were then to name as many of their feelings as possible. After a few nights of developing a "feeling vocabulary," they were ready to move on to communicating their feelings.
Don and Margaret and their kids were now ready to take turns talking about events that happened during a given day and how these events made them feel. Each family member talked about a positive event and positive feeling and then a negative event and feeling.
We recommend this project for families who wish to learn to better communicate their emotions with one another. It makes a major impact on a child to hear that Mom feels anxious or angry, and it can do the same for a child to hear that Dad feels lonely or sad. When that happens, family members conclude that it's okay to have feelings and that it's okay to talk about them.
What will you begin doing as a family to better communicate your feelings and emotions?
Lord, thank You for emotions and for how they can bind my family together.