Thursday, April 30, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: One of my BEST Decisions

SINGLE LIFE SERIES:  One of the best decisions I've made as a single woman was when I STOPPED taking advice from women, including married women...about men.

I made this decision several years ago due to many many times of being ill -informed by women who seemed to or wanted to think they knew a lot about men. Most of them of course were single just like I was, and usually going from one relationship to another. It took me a while but I finally figured out that they were not helping me at all. 

Friends of mine who were outside of regular church attendance had advice that was pretty much strictly worldly and fleshly. Single women in the church for the most part had just as many questions as I did, unless they were trying to be extra deep and spiritual. Most of the women in and out of church were wounded still from past experiences or even by current situations in their marriages. They had built up walls that wouldn't allow them to fully trust or even be willing to love whole heartedly again. Married women in church, I found seemed to be very unhappy in their marriages.  The bulk of their relationship or marriage advice was about how it's all "work".  It's not easy. No romance. No friendship. No laughter. "It's a lot of work", or "It's not all flower beds of ease" is what I heard a lot while looking into faces of women who seemed to regret being married.  They encouraged us to enjoy being single, but not in a way that celebrated singleness. Instead it was in a way that made me think they wished they still were, or could be again. If they weren't doing that they often "scolded" the single ladies for their questions, making them feel guilty for asking or having a desire for companionship.

Another thing that helped me to come to this decision was that as I walked with God and as He continued to explain things to me, He taught me about men through His own behavior toward me and His own characteristics that can also be found in men. The more He showed me, the more I realized how much bad information and sometimes incomplete information was being passed along among women.

If you think about it, most people believe that the best way to find out how a person feels is to ask that person, but for some reason women don't apply this to men. Many don't believe anything that comes out of a man's mouth about himself, or what he thinks or wants or doesn't want.  Instead, we'll take what he said, then go to other females and say stuff like. "Girl let me tell you what he said and then you tell me what you think", or "Girl he said such n such...what do you think he meant by that?" Then her trusted friend commences to pass on advice based on her past experiences or that of some trusted female in her life which was had in a relationship that didn't work out. And let's not even go there with the women in church and their, "Girl I had a dream about you guys" or "I saw how he was watching you", carrying on. 

I experienced this quite a bit with one friend in particular who would offer the translation without my even asking.  I would tell her something a guy said and she would say, "You know what that means don't you?" Of course at this point I'm looking as puzzled as a tourist in a foreign country and she sees that as a sign that I desperately need what she has to say.  She would go on to telling me that "When a man says that, what he really means is...".  But you know what I learned about men when I stopped letting women tell me what they meant?  THEY MEANT JUST WHAT THEY SAID. 

You see, women tend to play those games with our words in an effort to trick or trap men in lies, etc.  We'll ask a man the same question 3 or 4 different ways to make sure we get the same answer because we often lack the ability to trust them. But I've found that when you are dealing with a grown man, he will pretty much say exactly what he wants to say. If you ask him something, and he answers, that's the answer. Unless you're dealing with a lying, cheating, player type, what you see is what you get with men. Maybe that's part of the problem with women. Too many of us see them all as lying, cheating, player types so we can't take much of anything they say at face value. 
NOTE: I will say that if all the men you deal with are cheating player types, you are either choosing the wrong kinds of men to deal with, or you are so wounded that you accuse them all of being such. Either way, you need to back away from all dating and pray to God for healing.

Men cut to the chase. They don't usually go into long drawn out details or beat around the bush. They just say what they want to say and are done with it. So when you can't take what he said as what he meant, and you take his words to someone else to "interpret", then bring their interpretation back to him as if you've caught him in a lie, you cause a lot of problems in your relationship.  All of this because you took advice from a woman about a man, when the man was right there in front of you and told you what you asked him, but you couldn't accept it.

As far as married women, one thing I've found is that they can talk the most about their man, as they should. They should be the expert on their husband.  But what is missing sometimes is that they don't distinguish between characteristics of their man, and men in general. I believe that there are basics about men in general that every woman should know prior to marriage, but it seems that over the years with so much breakdown in relationships in and out of church, that basic knowledge is being diluted down to just women passing on what they got in failed relationships or only being able to tell their own personal story.

Even though I'd stopped looking to women to help me understand men, I still needed to be deprogrammed from they old way of thinking. I still had a tendency to wonder what he really meant when he said something,  or I would read way too much into everything a man said. The more I failed at "figuring men out" the more I realized I needed to talk to the one who created them. When I began to take my questions and concerns to God is when I began to understand some things so clearly that it helped me to be more settled in my heart, even in my desire for companionship. Allowing God to talk to me about men, myself, and Himself helped to shave away the unrealistic expectations I had in my heart about men and relationships that I didn't even realize I had.

So I will just say this to any Single woman out there who seems to be having a hard time figuring out these amazing creatures called men.  Go to the creator. Ask Him. You may be surprised to learn how much He knows about men. You will also be relieved at how much healing will take place in your own heart and how much of your mindset needs to be adjusted in the area of relationships. As ready as you may feel like you are, by the time God gets done or gets started talking to you, you may stop asking God, "Why is it taking so long?" and "Where's my husband?", and go back to Him and say, "Not quite yet, Lord. I need a little more time."

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