Empathy…the Art of Caring Deeply for Another

Tue, Aug 9, 2022

Articles At A Glance

--Placing another person in your heart above yourself.

Friends, most of us never took a class in school entitled EMPATHY 101. I have been mentoring married and engaged couples for 35 years and with my wife, Barbara, for 28 years. Marriages, families, and homes need Spirit-led Empathy. Here is what we have trained couples to do. Please pray and ask God for wisdom, grace, and humility.

Agree to doing a listening / sharing exercise where you and your mate (or fiancé) take turns sharing: 

1. Your greatest need. 

2. Your greatest joy.

3. Your worst fear.

4. What communicates love, worth, and value to you. 

5. What makes you laugh the most. 

6. Two qualities about the other person's character that you deeply admire. 

7. One action or attitude that I could start doing that would comfort, encourage, or bring warmth, hope, and joy to you.

NOTE: The emphasis is not so much on the verbal sharing but on the Empathic Listening. -no interruptions, no disagreements, no devaluing. If possible, hold hands (for couples).

If you really want to bless, and receiving a blessing, take time to say the 4 MAGIC WORDS: "Please tell me more." ... and then continue listening. 

If you really want to ensure that your mate has truly been heard and valued, SUMMARIZE what he or she just told you. 

Something like ... "Mary, I want to make sure I understand you fully... Is it true that your greatest need right now is _________?" -- and then be humble enough to ask Mary, "How accurate was my summary of what you had shared with me? I want to get it right, so I learn to hear you fully with unconditional love."

-- also Note, this may be helpful in modeling empathy with your teen or adult child as well. 

If you feel you need the assistance of a 3rd party to help you and your mate, please prayerfully connect with a Bible-honoring pastor, counselor, or close, trusted friend(s).

For additional help...

https://secureservercdn.net/192.169.221.188/61e.ca6.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Marriage-Anchors.pdf

Learn about the Spirit Filled Life:  https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/the-spirit-filled-life.html

Please send comments to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

Remember...Everything on this website www.marriageanchors.com is free. We serve over 1300 churches and missions in 80 countries. Please share this resource.

God bless you!

Jim and Barbara Grunseth, Cru

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