For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.
As human beings, we have a deep need to be understood. When we don’t receive it, we feel lonely. In listening to people share their hurt and pain, I find that the words “I understand” have a very soothing effect. I have told my husband, “Even if you don’t have a clue about what I am talking about, just tell me you understand, and it will make me feel a lot better.”
A man could not possibly understand PMS, but it is better for him if he appears to have understanding of his wife’s plight. She needs to be understood. She does not want to feel alone in her pain and struggle. One day my husband came in from trying to play golf. He had not had a good experience because his leg was hurting and swollen. He was not too happy about it. His golf game is really important to him, so I said, “I understand how you feel.” I offered him whatever help I could give physically, but my understanding seemed to help more than anything.
There have been times in the past when my attitude has been, “What’s the big deal? It’s only one round of golf. After all, you play all the time.” That attitude has started arguments and driven a wedge between us. He wants me to understand his needs, and I want him to understand mine.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Hebrews 4:15, which teaches that Jesus is a High Priest who understands our weaknesses and infirmities because He has been tempted in every respect just as we have, yet He never sinned. Just knowing that Jesus understands makes me feel closer to Him. It helps me be vulnerable and trust Him. It helps me feel connected rather than lonely.
By Joyce Meyer.