This post was originally posted to Facebook on August 20, 2013
There are some things I wish women knew about men.
You know when you see a group of people going through things, dealing with big questions, wishing someone would just reach out and say something?
This is that.
I dunno, I guess there’s something about men that a lot of women find difficult. In conversations I find that there is a belief that men can be hard to understand. They seem to act irrationally, or they seem to not make a lot of sense. There also seems to be a lot of mystery – there’s a lot of discussion around what women want, but there’s also a question about what men really want.
I always enjoy asking the questions with people, and it’s amazing to see that this is a really big deal to a lot of people. I also find myself sometimes looking on and wishing that someone would just explain things to them about how men work. Some of the relational decisions, the words, the actions – I just think that people would act radically different if only they knew what was going on in that male brain over there.
So here’s a bit of love from your brother. It’s nice to hear the opinions of other women on the issue, but it might be helpful to hear some stuff from a man. Here are some things that I wish women knew about men.
First off, men are visual. Okay, fair enough, I’m pretty sure that most women are clued into that one. Ever since you turn 11 or 12 and boys started to look at you different as your body started to change, I imagine you’re pretty aware that the female form has a bit of sway on the male mind. But if only you knew to what extent, you may change some of the ways you’re acting.
A lot of women feel pressured to conform into a certain image. Hollywood and magazines and songs are always telling us exactly what a woman is supposed to look like in order to capture male affection. If only you really knew that if you’re a woman, that’s usually enough for a man’s senses.
And without grossing you out too much… or maybe I will… the effect of the female form can leave men feeling a certain something. A bit of extra skin, a pose, or even a visually explained joke is enough to get him thinking in a direction. And you’ll say, “well, men are just perverted”. Not really. We’re just designed such that when we see the female form in a certain way there’s only gonna be one outcome. Even the most holy, refined, respected, noble man will tend towards certain thoughts if you reveal yourself in a certain way Or I’ll be more frank – it’s very difficult for any man to think straight if you’ve got your bits or underwear or tight clothes accentuating the parts that he should only see and respond to in a marriage relationship.
And if you wonder why he starts to act dumb when in that environment, one of a man’s biggest blood repositories is in his brain, so…
You’ve gotta know all men are like this. *All* men. Don’t go throw up. Don’t go ridicule yourself. Just keep it in mind. Love, Your Brother.
Okay, that’s that one out of the way, so another thing I wish women knew about men is the power of your words on him. Seriously, a woman’s opinion, or perceived opinion, can raise a man up completely, or leave him feeling high and dry. It doesn’t matter if all the world reveres and respects you – if your wife or girlfriend gives you a negative report, life is terrible. Men value the opinion of their significant other, or even of the person they’re interested in. Women can relate to that, and men are exactly the same. Use your power for good. You can affirm a man like Sarah affirmed Abraham, or you can destroy a man’s strength like Delilah did Samson.
And this comic always makes me laugh – http://thedoghousediaries.com/2769.
Another thing I wish women knew was that men desire affection, no matter how they act on the outside. Pastor Bobbie Houston did a teaching series called His and Hers a number of years ago, and in speaking to her female audience at the annual Colour Conference, she explained to the girls:
When you have little boys, they need love and affection. Those little boys grow to become little men, and those little men grow to become big men. They need love and affection, and it never changes.
And you know what? She’s right.
Part of the mystery for a lot of women is that men can often apppear emotionally unavailable, too busy, or just unromantic on the outside. But on the outside, their heart cries out for value and affirmation. You’ve heard the term “big softy”. That actually applies to every guy. While we may not always articulate it, we do really value those words of encouragement or acts of love that all people need and appreciate.
Something else is that men are straight lines, where women are circles. Generally speaking, men want the bullet point version, women tell a story. For example:
How was your day honey?
What’d you do today?
What did you do at work?
Whereas a woman tends more towards the telling of the story and the journey and the people you met along the way and who you couldn’t believe you bumped into at the shops (exaggerated, but just to make a point). We’re just wired differently. Sometimes this is perceived as a man not caring or opening up, but sometimes it’s just because he’s more short with his answers. And sometimes he may be staring at you or telling you you talk to much, but just know where he’s coming from. Guys need to get used to more words for sure and be open for it, but just see that he defaults another way.
Sometimes I wish women knew that there’s more beneath the surface. Too quickly, assumptions can be made about the nature of a guy’s character or thought patterns. I can remember talking to someone who valued fatherhood in men, which is why she noticed a few fathers. That’s cool, but I asked her how she could actually know whether or not a guy had fatherhood in him if he had no kids, or relatives or friends with kids. The answer is you can’t really. With time and patience you may see it come through, but on the surface you may miss what’s really there.
And on the surface he may be looking down and out, lost for direction. He may be a distant father, a lonely friend or a confused or absent lover. But scratch the surface and you may see something more profound.
Sometimes I wish women knew the depth of a man’s dream. Sometimes it’s expected to be communicated with a loud, charismatic voice, or through a microphone, or in a public setting. But there are so many men I know with profound dreams to influence the world in the matter to which they are called, and you would never see it if you were just quickly glancing over what society deems as something to respect.
But man, if you can see a man’s dream, and speak into it, you will bring something out of him that can never be stopped.
Sometimes I wish women knew that men just want you to be yourself. All the make-up, all the pressure you put on yourself, all the times you wonder if you should look or be like someone else. I mean, we’ll appreciate effort, and I know that stuff can sometimes help you feel good about yourself and feel fresh in public, but don’t project anything you’re not. To be simply you is what men really notice at the end of the day, and if we don’t value it appropriately, it really is what we need.
Sometimes I wish women knew that we could change the world if we put down our walls of bitterness or past hurt and moved forward together. Our society would be beautified if we tore down the articles of feminism or the oppression of male targetted marketing or imagery, if we moved on from our pasts, and we saw in each other the beauty and the strength that is there. Men and women working together will change the world.
Sometimes I wish women knew that men are people too. We’re fallable like you, we can go through emotional highs and lows like you, we have similar needs sometimes communicated in different ways. We’re both made in the image of God for the purpose of heaven and the love of family. And sometimes we can get lost on the way, but with the same love and encouragement that helps you, we can also move forward and change the world.
So there you go. Just some ramblings and thoughts from various conversations and experiences. What do you think?