Women: Discover What Men are Really Thinking
- Thursday, June 11, 2009
Aim to motivate him to wrestle with an issue that could eventually bring some deep changes in his life. Help him discover that he truly has what it takes to overcome the challenges he faces and change for the better.
Live with the right expectations of men. Keep in mind that your expectations of any man must be grounded in the way God made him. Each man has his own particular mix of strengths and weaknesses. Ask God to help you accept each man in your life as he actually is rather than as you'd like him to be. Get rid of unrealistic expectations of the men in your life. Remember that all men are fallible human beings, and that only God can reliably meet all of your needs.
But just as you shouldn't expect too much from men, you shouldn't expect too little, either. Don't hesitate to ask men for the strength and perspective and support that they should give. Be aware of what you need but also open to what God brings into your life through men. Let yourself expect the best of what God has put in men, but be prepared to deal with disappointments along the way by turning to God, who will never fail you. Place all of your hopes ultimately in God.
Give men respect. Pray for the ability to see and appreciate what each man in your life has to offer in unique and valuable ways. When men know that they have a vote of confidence from a woman, that knowledge motivates them to do their very best at whatever tasks they're pursuing. Keep in mind that a man feels respect from a woman when she:
- solicits his opinion or perspective as though he might have something truly unique to offer;
- expresses her confidence in him by asking him to do the hard thing that is also the right thing;
- has sex with her husband;
- refuses to attack his character, even when he has failed her or others;
- realizes her vulnerabilities and values his protection;
- can name her own mistakes and her need of him;
- allows him to occasionally offer a solution to a problem she considers vexing, thereby exploring some possibilities she might not have otherwise; and
- believes he can come back from failure or defeat.
Let yourself need a man, even when he's failed you in the past. Let your husband or boyfriend know that what he brings to your life - his perspective, presence, and support - can't be replaced by anyone else. Don't try to rescue him from the pain in his life; let him experience it because God may want to use it to help him grow. Even when you don't agree with him on certain issues, keep verbalizing your respect for him as a person as he tries to grow. Invite him to look up in search of the God who made him as he reaches inside for what God has put in him.
Manage conflict with men wisely. View conflict as an extended dialogue through which you all can make gradual progress understanding each other better and solving problems while strengthening your relationships in the process. Pray for the strength to forgive the men who hurt or offend you, just as God has chosen to forgive you. Remember that forgiveness is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. Every day, ask God to help you keep your heart open to following His command to forgive others.
When you argue, don't say harsh words or use stonewalling tactics. If you're not making progress in your discussion, call a time-out, pray and get some sleep, then revisit the issue within the next two to three days. Aim to talk about an important issue a bit longer and deeper each time you discuss it, without either one of you freaking out.
Remember that anger is always a secondary emotion; it's caused by another emotion that lies behind it. Figure out what's behind your anger and the anger expressed by the men in your life. Avoid contempt (which often shows up through critical remarks, smirks, and eye-rolling), because it will prevent any progress in your discussions and seriously damage your relationships.
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