God created us for relationship with Himself and others, and He modeled us after His own image. We are created in the image of God. But what does that mean? Part of your journey into becoming the man God created you to be involves discovering His very image in you. One of the most vital components of your healing and growth process is understanding that both you and God are emotional beings who feel. Emotions are powerful motivators in our lives, so we must become aware of what is going on in our hearts and express those feelings appropriately in order to relate well to God and the people He’s placed in our lives.
That’s why we talk so much about feelings. Most guys, for a variety of different reasons, struggle both with knowing their feelings and expressing them. So we are going to give you lots of opportunity to practice. Being aware of and expressing your emotions appropriately is kind of like the stretching exercises you do before walking or running a long distance. Fail to warm up and you might find yourself with a very painful cramp or torn muscle not very far down the road. Take the time to understand your own heart and learn how to express your emotions in appropriate ways. It will help you. It could change the way you relate to everyone in your life. And that would be a good thing.
To express your heart and to help God and others understand you well, when communicating your feelings, use this tool:
“I feel _____________________ (feeling word)
about _____________________ (the situation)
because _____________________ (the reason).”
Don’t say, “I feel like” or “I feel that.” These statements express a thought or belief, not a feeling. “I don’t know” is not a feeling word. (In Walking Free, we) use the Feeling Wheel or … feeling words (in our curriculum).”
– Troy Haas, First Steps