And so you quickly realise there’s stuff that you just did as a couple, that you now have to explain to another person – albeit in language and frames of reference they can understood.
Take for example why we give thanks to God for a meal. Or why we spend time phoning family. They’re just things that we do which are part of our rhythm as a family. But now someone’s asking us why we do them. And so we have the opportunity to clarify these unspoken habits and routines.
And actually, it is an opportunity. It’s great. Clarifying our unspokens means that the purpose behind the practice has the opportunity to be learnt, discussed, shared, and owned.
In fact, maybe the problem comes when we forget that we have these unspoken reasons and we just expect people to catch on to our practices without understanding the why.
Little kids is one thing, but it’s exactly the same with the Christian life. Discipleship is about following. But following doesn’t mean copying without clarifying.
(And it’s applicable to leadership too. After all, leadership is just discipleship in another guise, right?)
So do you clarify your unspokens? Or do you expect the heartbeat behind your actions and practices to be picked up without any explanation or discussion.
Another example: we’re exploring the early stages of planting a church at the moment, and this has helped me see how precious an opportunity we have to clarify what we’re about from the off. What are my unspokens on church? How can I explain our convictions to those who are exploring faith? ‘This is why I want us to make time for getting to know each other…’ ‘Here’s why we get the Bible open as adults…’
It takes time – and it may even lead to people questioning the reasons and values themselves, which is uncomfortable. But clarifying our unspokens has got to be on our radar.
Yup, this is what we do round here, but here’s why we do it.