Create Environments of Safety, Trust & Respect

As we process through the Guiding and Defining Ideas, we’ve reached the second-to-last Guiding Principle, #7: Create environments of safety, trust, and respect.

From time to time we hear stories of children who grew up in homes where they were neglected, yelled at, or worse yet, physically abused. Naturally, this often results in mistrust and disrespect for their parents. This sad situation may be due to drug abuse, alcoholism, or some deep-seated emotion like insecurity or anger. Nevertheless, it’s tragic to hear such stories and about the fear and insecurity that are often carried into adult life.

“Developing healthy relationships in an unhealthy environment is nearly impossible,” says Bill Thrall, author of The Ascent of a Leader, “as is constructing a positive environment with a group of negative people.”

Healthy people have the best chance of creating healthy environments. Where do you find healthy people? The apostle Paul maps out the pathway: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14, NIV).

In Navigators Neighbors, our aim is to create safe environments where people feel the freedom to be open, honest, transparent, and vulnerable. In such environments they flourish spiritually, find inner healing, and experience release from bondage. We also want to see relationships that are characterized by trust and respect. Where these are lacking, we must develop new skills.

Has this been a priority for you as well? How are you creating environments where life’s deepest hurts are being healed and relationships restored?