Invisible walls can spring up in work, family and marriage relationships. Many times the invisible wall comes up because of misunderstanding, unresolved conflict, disrespect, and more. - Students have invisible walls. Walls are built because of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Why do so many students leave the church or never step into a church? Many times their past writes their story. The wall of pain is invisible to them but to others it is obvious. The invisible wall comes across with discouragement and rebellion. The students who are hurting the most are usually the most rebellious. It is an invisible wall that only comes down through the power of the Holy Spirit through meaningful relationship with them.
- Relationships have invisible walls. A miscommunication, pain conversation, financial stress and more. We put on the "happy" face. Our goal is to push the conversation away from the pain because the invisible wall says, "nobody cares, just deal with it on your own." A close relationship offers grace. Grace to share without condemnation. In marriage, listening and remembering is one of the greatest ways to tear down walls. It is easy to "wander" when I'm listening. When I am not "present" I do not show worth to my wife and friends. Listening is a key ingredient in order to tear down the invisible wall.
- Churches can have invisible walls. People come in and out of the service. Attendance can even go up and more people join. What if there is an invisible wall that only newer people see and older members are oblivious too? A wall of acceptance? A wall of racial prejudice? I usually ask newer people to my church what they think and get their input.
How do we destroy the invisible walls?
Give permission. If you want walls to come down in relationships, you must allow people to be real. Perception must not be the currency of relationships. Building relationships must be the way to remove walls and create close relationships.
Ask and listen. Try to understand the heart of the person who is sharing so that all walls can be torn down. The reason many people have walls up is because we do not listen and remember what they say. I know the times I forget what my wife says, it hurts her and reveals that I care only for myself. Listen and do not add your own commentary. It is their story, their pain, and their struggle.
Make Changes. Do we need to be willing to change? Yes. We can always learn anything from anybody at anytime. Listening and understanding from one another creates a step towards close relationships. It might be admitting a mistake, "I'm sorry for not understanding you like I thought, will you help me to understand your story more?" The invisible walls that we put up hold us back. Holding us back from the relationhips that we all desire. Through the power of Christ, we can love each other like He loves us.
Life is too short to put up walls.
What else can we do to get rid of invisible walls?