Feeling – without your hands.

May 4, 2012

in Good Marriage, Intimacy, Reader Requested, Seeing Clearly

Moonrise © Whiterabbit | Dreamstime.com

On a recent post, someone commented asking for “some encouragement on emotional intimacy.” As in feeling something without using your hands. You know, that emotional junk women want all the time. Okay, just kidding – it’s an important issue. Let’s start with some ground work on feelings.

A lot of us were raised to think emotions were wrong, or silly, or at the very least not to be trusted. Some of us are afraid of our feelings, or afraid of what others will think if we are “too emotional”. We think feelings are unmanly, or at least they are if we don’t beat them down and keep them in their place. Most of us are wary of feelings – we don’t trust them much.

Certainly, those ruled by their feelings are in a bad place. Feelings can be completely out of sync with reality – the fact someone does not “feel” loved does not mean they are not loved. Likewise with feeling or not feeling respected, desired, needed, and so on. However, this does not mean feelings are useless or best ignored. Our feelings affect our bodies and minds, even when we try to ignore them. Feelings can affect heath for both good and bad, and ignoring feelings make them any less harmful. Additionally, our feelings will colour our thinking, even if we try to suppress them. In short, feelings will have an affect no matter what, so it’s better to admit them and deal with them than to be a slave to what they do to us subconsciously.

The goal, I think, is our minds making rational decisions based on all the information available – which includes our feelings. We need to realise that while feelings are not always rational, they sometimes warn us of things we don’t see with our conscious mind. Sometimes a feeling is the first, or only, warning we get about something. It can be our subconscious mind making connections out of a lot of bits or seemingly unconnected data. As this can be a bit hit or miss, it’s foolish to go just on feelings – but just as foolish to ignore feelings.

By the way, women as a group are far more feeling driven than men. This means they are likely to see things we miss, and also more likely to be dragged off by their feelings. A wise man learns to listen to his wife’s feelings, not dismissing them lightly. This is especially true when she has “a bad feeling” about someone. Science has shown women as a whole are better than men at picking up clues about a person’s character and intentions. She is not always right, but odds are she is right more often than you in this area. Unless your experience with her has shown this is not the case, I suggest you do not ignore her when she has a bad feeling about someone.

Supermoon Coming Saturday: Here’s a cheap date idea – plan to go view the “suppermoon” on Saturday night. Pack a light snack, drive some place with a good view (unless you have a good view from home), and spend some time snuggling and talking as you watch the moon rise. Check the moon rise calculator for times in your location.

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2 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Rick - I agree with you, and would take it further to three kinds of feelings. There are emotions, the Holy Spirit, and intuition. Intuition is our minds picking up on things we are not aware of consciously. Tone of voice, body language, maybe so-called "micro expressions" and other things. Some of this we can learn to see if we work at it, but it's amazing how much we process without knowing it. The part of the brain that does most of this is larger in most women than in most men, which is why they tend to be better at it. Additionally, women are likely to have learned more about from other women as they grow up.

Rick
Rick

Thanx for putting into words a concept I've been trying to articulate for years yet with little success. I would amend today's post with this discussion: there are two different kinds of "feelings", emotional and intuitional; those of the heart and those of subconscious wisdom lead by the Spirit. Both are gifts from God, both are important for us to live, learn and enjoy life. But, as you said, one can drag us off to the ditch. The other can lead us the right direction. As you alluded, a woman's wiring for emotions allows her to see things from a perspective that we men may miss. I also think it allows her to be open to the Spirit in a way we men often miss as well. These different perspectives, coalescing in her mind, give her that unique "women's intuition"-her own brand of gut feelings and internal wisdom- that should not be tossed out as emotionalism. Because God wired women to be more emotional and relational far too many of us men simply ignore any gut feeling she may have as emotional irrationality. That is a huge mistake! Her intuition, especially if she is Godly and heeding the leadings of the Spirit, is something that should not be ignored! What we all must keep in mind, men and women, alike, is that gut-feelings, intuition and leadings of the Spirit should never be confused with the leanings of the heart. Indeed, the leadings of the Spirit and leanings of the heart are in direct conflict with each other. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Galatians 5:22-23 puts the final nail into the leanings of the heart by listing the capstone fruit of the spirit as self control over our emotions. Clearly the Word warns us to ignore the world’s advice to “follow our hearts.” God gave us emotions and sometimes I think they are a gift from Him and at other times a curse of the Garden. Clearly, if we could gain control over them alone then being able to do so would not be a fruit of the spirit. Therefore, they must be an impediment to living a Godly life and yet because He made them part of us they must serve a purpose. I’m not suggesting we seek a Vulcan “Logic Only” life. Rather emotions are part of our existence and we should keep them in consideration in all we do, remembering that we cannot ignore them, that at our base behavior is for us to follow them and that the enemy uses our emotions to lure us into sin! If we were to look honestly at our lives, we would all have to admit that our worst decisions were emotionally derived. I’d also submit that we would also have to admit that very few, if any, of our best decisions were emotionally based. We’d have to further admit that most of our best decisions were Spirit/intuition driven, not being able explain why we made that decision other than “knowing” it was the right one at the time. We can also say that most of our most enjoyable and enriching moments in our lives were heavily spiced with emotions; the day we got married, the day our children were born, the day we had our biggest career success. Even the down emotional days serve to enrich us, even if we don’t see it in the moments of pain; the day we laid a loved one to rest, the day we got bad news about our health, even the day someone broke our heart. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that we need to understand the difference between the “Feelings of Emotion” and the “Feelings of Intuition” and handle them accordingly.

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