Coaching The Heart by Cheryl BakerMay 14th, 2009 | By cherylbaker | Category: Coaching and Discipleship
Have you ever been surprised by the actions of someone you thought you knew quite well? Maybe that Christian couple you hang out with has decided that they want a divorce and you are shocked. You find out how many serious problems they have relationally and you had no idea, they never told you anything was wrong. Their life falls apart and so does your friendship. This happens more than we really care to admit.
You Won’t Know Until You Ask
We live busy activity-based “getting things done” lives that we don’t really know our friends, much less those we coach. What is under those casual, superficial conversations? Do you know the pain or joy they are experiencing? Do you know why they are on the defense or turn self-protective when your conversation gets too deep for comfort? Are they hiding who they really are not only from you but from themselves as well? Do you know where God is at work in their lives? I personally have experienced overwhelming comfort to have the opportunity to safely share my struggles with someone who cared for me. This is a ministry that can save a marriage, alert an erring life, give comfort to the broken-hearted, and as Romans 12:15 says, “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”
Coach the Heart, Not Merely the Behavior
Why are people not candid with us? Why are we not candid with others? Could it be that we assume too much? We assume we know them, and never ask the much needed questions about their lives. We “do” things together rather than “be” together. We plan and strategize our next move rather than create an opportunity for both of you to go deeper into heart issues. You both may need to open up about the true state of your heart.
The beauty of personal one-on-one coaching is that it is personal and it is one-on-one. When struggles of the heart are uncovered through well-asked questions and listening attentively, the soothing balm of God’s redemptive ways and purposes can be discussed applied to situations. This is what Jesus did, asked questions, listened well and told of redemption.
Enter Their World
The One who can sympathize with our weaknesses “gets it” (Hebrews 4:15-16). He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3) because He entered our world as one of us. We are called to be like Him to care enough to enter their world, to die to ourselves and lay down our lives for our friends and those we coach (John 15:13).
Really enter their world with well-asked questions that go deep, and then listen well. By having the courage to do this you may find that rather than self-protecting themselves, they open up to you, but hear God Himself speaking and healing their situation in a special specific personal way.
Everyone, you included, needs someone who loves him or her enough to ask the deep questions of life, to listen well to the answers and the greatest of all – to love them. Love them! 1 Corinthians 13 says If we don’t have love we are nothing more that a clanging cymbal or a noisy gong. To ask deep questions without love can feel intrusive, prying, and sometimes offensive. This is why coaching the heart is so easy to overlook. But this you can do – pray, ask God to fill you with His love as you coach the heart of those around you. Then watch Him work.
Cheryl Baker http://www.lifeonlifecoach.com