April 13, 2020

Weekly Reflections – Intentional Families VII

Weekly Reflections – Intentional Families VII

INTENTIONAL FAMILIES: Encourage Open and Honest Communication

This is the eighth weekly reflection in a series on “Forming Intentional Families.” We continue addressing each of ten tenets over the remaining three weeks. The producers of this program wisely wrote, “Intentional means that we do more than just react to life. Instead, we must create a vision, make purposeful choices, and then decisively take action to make our families all that God desires them to be.” Can you choose to be intentional when it comes to your family?

People need to talk because often that is how they think. They voice the problem and at the same time they are hearing and listening to what they are thinking. Dr. Jordan Peterson says, “You should assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t. It is amazing what people will tell you when you are genuinely listening.” Instead of thinking about what you are going to say in response you should stop, pause, reflect, and genuinely listen. This is the path to encouraging open and honest communication.

Blessings and peace with my prayer for a “slower paced week” during this time, for many, of virus oriented isolation.  This would be a good time to practice deeply listening to one another.

Chaplain Allen

TENET 7: Encourage Open and Honest Communication

  1. “Whosoever has ears ought to hear” (Mark 4:9&23, Matthew 11:13, Matthew 14:9, Revelation 2:29). Jesus proclaims these words nine times in the New Testament, reminding us of the importance of active listening.
  2. Family relationships are strengthened through healthy interactions with one another.
  3. To fully receive the others, we must give of ourselves through intentional listening.
  4. Active listening is being fully attentive and fully present in the words and body language of others in order to allow their communication to fully penetrate both your mind and heart.
  5. Only when barriers and facades are removed can communication truly be open and honest. It is then that love and compassion can flow freely.
  6. Entrust your hearts to one another without judgment.


“Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear,
slow to speak, and slow to wrath…”   (James 1:19)


The Ten Tenets of the “Forming Intentional Families” program.

1. Set family priorities.
2. Share family meals.
3. Lead family prayer and teach the faith.
4. Manage/limit media intake.
5. Control pace of life.
6. Forgive easily and often/ask for forgiveness.
7. Encourage active listening/open and honest communication.
8. Schedule family fun and play time.
9. Teach/model responsibility and accountability.
10. Acknowledge and share our gifts and talents.

Source: This program was developed over several years by the St. Laurence Pastoral Council (distributed April 2019) in Sugar Land, Texas.

Note: The opinions expressed in this Reflection are intended to be those of the author alone based on his understanding of the Bible and how God works with his people.


Read more reflections, Forming Intentional Families VI: Ask for Forgiveness