Words of Hope: Community of Trust
At NBC Camps, our team often talks about creating true community together. We discuss the difference between health and toxicity. At the root of toxicity is contempt, criticism, defensiveness, or stonewalling. These are John Gottman’s four horsemen of the apocalypse which spell certain doom for any relationship. Living and working side by side is difficult because it demands close introspection, honesty, trust, forgiveness, and change. How many leaders have created cultures of silence, hiddenness, and secrecy. I am thankful my dad created a home and work climate where I could ask him any question. He created a family home full of authenticity and trust.
At the heart of true family is trust. Without trust, meaningful relationships are impossible. Trust is impossible in a climate of dishonesty. Parents who demand trust without truth create deeply toxic and troubled relationships. Truth and trust always go hand in hand.
Loving family relationships indicated by sincerity, compassion, self-responsibility, and trust allow us to build meaningful family community where people grow together. This safe and sacred community can talk about problems in ways that lead to greater unity and health.
Here are ten ways I learned from my parents to build a loving family community:
1. Ask forgiveness often for ways you intentionally and unintentionally hurt one another.
2. Notice when you speak about another that may be critical or contemptuous and instead replace this with gratitude and appreciation.
3. Never allow bitterness room in your heart.
4. Laugh in kindness with one another.
5. Eliminate mean teasing and constant sarcasm.
6. Serve one another.
7. Learn together – read a book, attend a class, take a trip.
8. Mix it up – if someone always drives or sits in one spot, or only does one activity, mix it up and try something new.
9. Write encouragement notes to your family members.
10. Make mealtimes meaningful with fun and engaging conversations and of course spotlights.
I am thankful Dad worked hard to create a meaningful and loving home and work community.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32