HE'S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: what every woman really wants #2
My dove is hiding behind some rocks,
Behind an outcrop on the cliff.
Let me see you;
Let me hear your voice
For your voice is pleasant and you are lovely.
Song of Songs 2:14
I promised, in this series, to write about what a woman really wants. Knowing, as all women know, that…
what we say we want and what we really want are rarely one and the same.
And that’s not because we’re duplicitous and deceptive at our core, but because we know well enough that…
what we really want we rarely get.
And yet, I have come to see, that good men…
men who have set their hearts to follow God courageously and honestly…
possess a soul-deep desire to give the women they love everything and anything she really wants.
So why is it that that rarely actually happens in real life? Why do men despair of ever really understanding the complexities and disparities of the women they love?
The answer, I have come to believe, is not because men are dense, nor because women are unknowable. The real reason women often confuse and intimidate men is because…
he doesn’t hear her heart.
Instead, he hears her words, mixes those uniquely feminine phrases with a smattering of mysterious female metaphors, adds his own male-mentality basd assumptions…and comes to the wrong conclusions.
Misunderstanding, messy conflict, melt-downs, marriage counseling.
And so, dear sons, here is my fumbling attempt to help you hear.
How To Hear The Heart Of A Woman:
1. Hear her shame…
Every woman I know harbors hidden shame in her heart. No matter how successful or competent or got-it-all-together she may appear, deep down inside lurks an ugly, seething, never satisfied monster of accusation.
Psychologists use words like “the voice on your shoulder”. Some blame her mother for all those words of correction. Others think her father failed to affirm her enough.
Spiritual counselors tend to blame Satan. The Accuser who stands outside a woman’s heart, ready to fling fiery darts of guilt her way.
Men, it seems to me, are more able to shove those prickly, probing suggestions of shame aside. They shake their heads, straighten their backs, and turn away.
But women, in our deeply sensitive knowing, take those thoughts and see the truth inside.
We’re not good enough, and we know it. Not thin enough. Not nice enough. Not giving enough. Not doing enough.
Not enough. Never enough
The man who dares look deeply into a woman’s heart will see all that not enough and spend the rest of his life slaying the dragon.
How? His greatest weapons are his words.
Words of assurance.
Words of encouragement… of courage.
Words of approval.
Words that bring value… and knowing… and seeing… and worth.
Not just I love you, but…
I love the real you.
Yet, dear men who dare to read this, I in no way wish to communicate that every woman is driven primarily by a confusing bundle of guilt-driven shame. Not at all.
Shame is there, hidden under layers and layers of self-protective coping mechanisms that enable women to thrive. But there is so much more to knowing a woman…
2. Hear her hopes…
Undeniably the strangest compliment I have ever received from another woman, came from a former prostitute. I’d been teaching a bible study through the story of Ruth and this woman listened on the edge of her seat, voraciously feasting on the truths in God’s Word.
One day she grabbed me by the shoulders to be assured of my full attention and said, “Diane, you and I are sooo much alike!”
At first I was taken aback. What in the world did I have in common with this woman from a world so different than mine I could hardly fathom the distance? Yet, listening through all my too-long hours of teaching over the course of several weeks, this woman heard me. And as she recounted our similarities, I couldn’t help but agree— we were like two peas in a pod.
She shared my hopes.
Every woman comes to life with a hope chest filled with maybe’s and dreams and wishful thinking. For far too many, those hopes are dashed by the men in their lives with great big buckets of logic and realism.
My dad fed my dreams with healthy doses of you-can-do-it with great handfuls of if-you-work-hard-and-smart-enough reminders. I wish every woman had a dad like mine.
My husband took over where my dad left off, letting me know he believed in me, saw potential and talent and worth. He has generously allowed me to try, to explore, to learn and grow into who I really am. I wish every woman had a husband like mine.
Men, may I challenge you to….
Listen close to her heart and hear her hopes? Helping her believe that dreams come true even when so many don’t?
And then to…
Mount your white steed, pull out your shining sword, and join with the women you love to help vanquish those relentless messengers of shame?
Because if you will do just those two things, if you will love her through her shame and listen to her hopes…
She will believe you see her and know her and hear her heart. And that, my dear sons, is the way to love a woman.
From my heart,
P.S Your comments are teaching us! Will you women add your thoughts here?
How can the man in your life hear you fully?
Be nice, be short, be clear. There are God-loving men reading your words.
Has your husband or boyfriend already figured this out? Can you tell us how and what he does to connect with you in a way that makes you feel heard and known?