Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quote of the Day

"Are we humble and obedient, learning as Jesus learned, or are we hurrying into experiences we have no right to? " - Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marriage: Why or Why Not?

I was talking with a group of single young ladies, when the subject of marriage was brought up. One of the these young ladies was well into her late 20's, and casually mentioned the realization and serious possibility of her being single for the rest of her life. (After all, she was already "8 years" into old maid status!) A sober tension suddenly set over the room and you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if, someone had mentioned the unmentionable. Then one of the younger girls in the group braking the silence said, "Just the idea of never getting married makes me want to cry". And I understand that feeling. Honestly, I do. Every girl that I've ever met, WANTS to be married someday. We've played house since we were girls and have often vividly imagined our wedding day or maybe the kind of housewives and mommies we would be someday. It's a natural desire. But are we so SET on being married that we've actually built an idol in our heart? I hope not. Have we built a barrier that God isn't allowed to pass? 'God you have all of me, but you can't have my singleness?' Really? That isn't surrender. Surrender unconditionally lays everything on the table.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of getting married, or what it means to get married in general. Why do we get married? What motivates us? Why do we just expect God to make it happen someday? Honestly. Have you ever thought about it? I'd encourage you to.

In marriage vows you often hear the little words: "For better or for worse." What does that mean? Exactly what it says. Marriage is not just something for our own gain. It cannot be selfish. You both give of yourselves, you both unconditionally love not matter what, you both are committed to staying faithful. And everyone would agree with that...once you're married. But what about long before you ever make those kind of vows? As a single person I mean. Are our reasons for staying married to someone, the same as why we'd actually marry someone? Is it okay to marry someone for selfish immature reasons, even though it isn't okay to stay with them for selfish immature reasons? I don't think so. Love is a choice. As a single person, why are you hoping to get married?

I feel like God has been doing a lot of work in my heart recently with this very subject. Our natural desires for marriage, for intimacy, for a close relationship with that special someone, for children, even for all the adventures marriage would bring, are okay. They aren't wicked. They are natural, even, God given. But just because they are such- also doesn't mean they should be our motivating factor. Just because something is "natural" doesn't make it our right to have. And just because God allows there to be a specific desire in our hearts, doesn't mean He'd be unkind to not actually give it to us.

So, with these thoughts in mind, here are maybe just a few reasons  which should or shouldn't motivate us in marriage that I'd like to share with you.

Marriage: Why or why not?

Maybe... why not? 
  • Because we expect it to give us happiness.
  • Because of sex hormones. 
  • Because it is just expected. (Especially by other Christians 
  • Because it would give us security. 
  • Because it would give us a form of identity. 
  • Because of companionship. 
  • Because it's a godly desire and seems spiritual
  • Because maybe we'd feel "needed" by someone else.
  • Because we'd have attention.
  • Because of natural longing to "set up house".
  • Because of the possibility of children.
  • Because we are unsure of what else to do with our lives.
  • Because it is just our natural "calling" as women.
  • Because we're scared to be permanently alone.
  • Because it is an idol in our hearts.
  • Because we are discontent.
  • Because we like someone in particular. 
  • Because we don't believe God is enough all by Himself.

But then maybe... Why?
  • Because it is God's will for your life and you know it.
  • Because GOD desires it, not just you.
  • Because God has given peace and clear direction towards it.
  • Because you could serve God better with that person, than without that person.
  • Because your heart is open to whatever God wants to do.
  • Because you truly love someone.
  • Because you're willing to give your life for someone else.
  • Because God has created and equipped us to be help meets. 
  • Because God created marriage to glorify Him.
  • Because marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church.
  • Because marriage is a gift from God.

I'm tired of seeing Christian girls waste their time looking for marriage, instead of running this race for Christ with Jesus as their prize. I'm horrified to watch so many young people carelessly jump into something so life changing and important, as marriage, with little thought towards God at all. I'm sick of other Christians adults looking at single people as incomplete or worthless. I'm saddened to think about how many people think that life is only about who you marry someday, and not actually the reason why you'd marry at all. 

I'm sure that marriage could be awesome someday. But how much more awesome would it be, rightly done, for the right reasons, with the right person, at the right time? God's time. God's way. God's plan. For God's glory. Because you both love Him? That would be worth living for. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Is telling the truth unloving?

Here I would like to take the awesome opportunity and introduce you to someone you probably don't know... Emily Satterfield. (Who recently just got married as in now, Mrs. Emily Thomes. :)) Her testimony for Christ has been a huge blessing to me personally, and I know that it will be to you as well. This is a very important and controversial subject. These words are written from the experience of a young woman that used to claim to be Christian but was also proud to be a part of the LGBT community. Please take the time to hear her story and how she found forgiveness in the loving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is telling the truth unloving?

"Is Christianity an easy path to walk? Is following Christ a journey that’s supposed to make us popular with the world or enemies of it? Did Jesus promise that we would be loved or hated for His name? Contrary to what so many evangelicals believe, both pastors and laypeople, Christianity is by nature divisive and does not mesh with the lost world. Initially submitting our lives to the lordship of Christ is a necessary and difficult thing that all sincere
believers must and will do, but I don’t think it’s the hardest thing we have to do. A true believer is one who doesn’t pick and choose which portions of the Bible to adhere to, and, while that seems commonsense, that principle often doesn’t carry over into our relationships with the unbelieving world around us. Yet somehow, either due to lack of discipleship or courage, frankly, we are much quicker to cherry-pick which parts of the Bible we follow when it comes to the lives of those around us. It’s scary when the truth forces us to go beyond ourselves, and as a result, many of us wrestle with obedience and
often fall painfully short. We cower back and reject the conviction He brings us, even when there are souls at stake. It is not an overstatement to say that most people are under the misconception that discussing the sins of others is unloving. “Judge not” is a phrase I’ve heard used out of context more times than I could count, and that’s just from within the church. Yet in John 7:24, Jesus tells us “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Perhaps we have to dig beyond the first verse in Matthew 7 to understand what Jesus meant in regards to judging.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5

Upon further examination of the text, we can see plainly that Jesus is referring to judging hypocritically. To go to a brother living in blatant sin while you yourself are living in blatant sin is hypocritical and isn’t going to hold any weight with your brother and could cause him to doubt the authenticity of your walk. We must first repent (remove the log out of our eye) then go to our brother that he may also repent (help him remove the speck from his eye). Here we see not a warning to keep our mouths shut, but rather a charge to repent and help your brother to do the same. Obedience to God is the most loving thing we can do for both Jesus and those who must repent. We know
that those who walk in darkness do not know God (1 John 1:6). We know that Jesus’ call to all His followers was to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We also read in John 14:23 that those who love Him will obey Him. So what is it that keeps believers from faithful obedience when it involves others outside of themselves? That answer is found in Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare…” It’s scary to tell lost people that they’re lost. It’s frightening, particularly with loved ones, to tell them that their lifestyles are incompatible with the faith and that they must repent. It no longer looks pious and prestigious when we go from living holy lives that look different but don’t directly affect others to engaging with a culture that hates the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus promised us that believers would suffer in this world. Paul told us that “all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
(2 Timothy 3:12).

As believers, we have to be honest with this dying world, despite the costs we’ll surely face. We’ve been granted salvation from hell and an abundant life in the present while the lost are condemned and headed for hell apart from Him granting them repentance and faith. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). At this very moment, our neighbors and loved ones are at enmity with God because they have not repented and believed. Christians have been given a commission; a parting command from our Savior:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20a

Believers have been given an obligation and a responsibility to proclaim the truth to this world even when in an age of ‘tolerance’ that’s the most unpopular thing we can do. The modern understanding of ‘tolerance’ is directly contrary to what the Bible teaches, as it demands that we not only accept but
celebrate various forms of sin in the lives of those around us. Not only can we not condone the sins of this world, but we must go to those who are practicing it and share both the gospel and what He’s commanded them to do. As scary as that seems, I assure you that the original disciples faced far greater risks for their obedience as we do today in America. The task is made to appear harder when one considers how groups like the Westboro Baptist Church have done more than put a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans, both the lost and the saved. They picket funerals in protest of sins like homosexuality and they do so in the name of Christ but demonstrate no discernible fruit by which one might reasonably consider them to be sincerely Christian. Not everyone who says to Him “Lord, Lord” will actually inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). In light of this baggage, how should the believer go about speaking the truth to the lost about their sin? Paul gives us the answer in Ephesians 4:15 with the phrase “speaking the truth in love”. In that verse we see that there’s a message (the truth) and a manner that conveys that message (love). Though many will still lump true Christians who display this character with those of Westboro Baptist Church, the difference is known at least to God and those sheep who will hear His voice and repent by His grace. Figuring out how to communicate the content of the message of truth is perhaps the most difficult part. The believer first has to give that person a context for what sin is and what its effects are. This is where the gospel comes in. We have to tell the lost, whether they are deceived ‘cultural christians’ or adamantly atheistic, about their sin nature and enmity with God, their need for reconciliation with Him, and the atonement He made at the cross for those who will repent and believe. In Romans 7, Paul tells us “if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” The law shows us that we’ve fallen short. The law brings us, by the Holy Spirit, conviction for our sin. The remedy for that sin is the gospel, the power of God for salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). This means that people have to understand that they are sinners and are guilty before a holy God. We have to be faithful to speak the truth to them, in love, that they may repent. If we’re affirming sinners in their sin, we’re aiding them into condemnation. That is not love but hate.

I became a believer in April of 2014 at 22 years old. Up until that point, since age 15, I was dating girls in serial monogamous relationships. I esteemed myself to be a ‘good person’ and had many ‘believers’ in my life affirming me in my sin. I was kind to my family, was a loyal friend, and was bold for the LGBT cause. I enjoyed my sins of course (drunkenness, drugs, sexual immorality, etc.) but called myself a Christian and boldly proclaimed “Love is love, and God is love.” I had formed a god in my head to suit my sin and my
desires that resembled nothing of the God of the Bible. I had a few people reach out to me to show me my error and my need for a Savior but I had “already done that” (prayed a sinner’s prayer and been baptized) and was content. I was condemned where I stood and was storing up wrath by the minute. Fortunately the Lord showed me mercy and opened my eyes, through His law, to see my sin and my depravity and He granted me forgiveness and a new life no longer enslaved to sin. I did not enjoy the few times that believers came to me and pleaded with me to repent. I so much more liked those who shrugged and either said “God will save her when she’s ready” or worse, “She’s a good person. Surely God wouldn’t send her to hell for acting on those feelings.” Who loved me rightly? Who was obeying our Lord and caring for my soul? It’s easy to overlook those who are in sin either because it’s scary to talk to them about it or because we can’t fathom that they’re condemned already apart from Him. If we believe the Bible is the word of God, and all sincere believers do, we have no choice but to go to those who are in sin and plead with them that they repent and believe. If we believe that hell is what’s
awaiting them, how can we not do all in our power to stop them? How selfish could we be to withhold the keys to eternal life from others just as guilty as ourselves for fear of rolled eyes or at worst, an argument? Do we value our egos so much that we can’t be obedient to Jesus and give them the truth they must hear to be saved (Romans 10:17)?

It was Spurgeon who said “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

Because we love Jesus and because we love our neighbors, we have to be radically obedient. We have to endure what comes anytime truth is proclaimed in a sin filled world and trust the results to God. It’s easy to let culture and fear trap us and keep us quiet and ineffective. We must repent of our apathy for the
lost, and we must obey. He can save and He will save; we need only be submissive to Him and rejoice that He allows us to take part in the unfolding of His plan. If we believe the Bible, we cannot and we will not be silent.

 “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” – 1 Corinthians 9 "

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quote of the day

Their basic Christian attitude immensely helped the White Rose people to stop talking about resistance and start acting.  Suddenly they saw one thing clearly.  Being against is not enough.  We have to do something.  There is an enormous stone wall of impossibility and our job is to discover minute possibilities that we can chip or blast out of the wall.  Finding possibilities, even on the smallest scale, was extremely important for my sister Sophie.  The passage from the Epistle of James, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only," was in imperative for her."

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Inge Aicher-Scholl describing the White Rose Resistance.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

Salchert holds Emmalynn.

 The most frequent reasons for women having abortions are the following: 

1.  having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%)

2. that she could not afford a baby now (73%)

3.  and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). 

4. Other reasons given are because their parents' or partners' desire for them to have an abortion.  Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.  Some are cited for the possibility of fetal anomalies.  

While studying this I was struck at the selfishness behind every one of these "justifications".  And then this morning Dad read me a story that restored some belief in people.  

Though there are many selfish people in the world who will stoop to murder, there are others who have chosen a life of unselfishness.  There are others who understand that life is worth protecting and cherishing.  Men and women who have allowed themselves to be channels of mercy and saving grace.  

One such woman is Coru Salchert.  This woman seeks the unwanted.  She deems the broken hurting souls as people worthy of love and life.  Here is a story of selflessness, redemption, and unconditional love.  And by God's grace I hope to be a Cori Salchert in the life God has given me.   

Meet Emmalyn.  A baby who at two weeks was adopted by Slachert, even when she knew this baby girl hadn't long to live.  

Here is their story told by Cori Salchert to TODAY's Terri Peters.

Salchert's daughter, Johanna, 22, helps her bathe Charlie.Cori Salchert
Salchert's daughter, Johanna, 22, helps her bathe baby.

Guttmacher Presentation
Guttmacher post

Monday, April 18, 2016

Quote of the Day

"It is not the passing of the years that matures the life of the Son of God in us, but obedience." - Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

At War with Pink Lace II

At War with Pink Lace II

Image result for vintage pink lace on spools

Yet another perspective on femininity  

I grabbed my purse, took a quick glance at the mirror, and headed for work.  I was surprised to find myself intercepted and my bedroom door slammed in my face.  Looking down I found four-year-old Abbie fiercely staring me down, one hand on the door knob.

"Will you play with me?"

The question sounded more like an ultimatum.

"Abbie I have to go to work today..."

"Just play with me for a little bit and I won't bother you again -- I promise."

Her face now melted into a baby plea, and it smote me.  I recognized it.

Abbie was desperate.  Not so much for play -- she could have played by herself for hours without interruption.  But for attention, interaction, quality camaraderie, love.  Not that she could have voiced it herself, but I knew.  Every little girl yearns for these things.

By the time we are three years old we innately understand we want to be cherished and beautiful and noticed.  We dress up in princess clothes and we want Daddy to notice.  We dance in mommy's bright red shoes and sing -- straining, waiting, for the compliment.  You tell a little girls she is lovely and her entire countenance changes and her heart shines through her face -- she is thrilled.

But somewhere between three and twenty-three we no longer ask if we are lovely.  We no longer ask for quality time.  And yet we still yearn to be appreciated, noticed and loved, maybe even more desperately than four-year-old Abbie.  But we have been ignored, unappreciated, put on rain-check, or used, and we stop asking.  In fact we start to believe we aren't lovely, we aren't worth appreciation.

We hide under make-up.  We try to prove ourselves through our efficiency or the one thing we're good at.  Our shortcomings stare back in the mirror.  And we wait for negative comments.
We want to be captivating,  beautiful, mysterious, regal, strong, feminine.  And instead we are convinced, if exposed, the world would find who we really are.  Instead we see ourselves  weak, ordinary, needy, and overweight.

And so we morph into one of two kinds of women.

Woman #1:
Image result for evil stepmotherWe become domineering, commanding independent feminists who don't need anyone (especially men).  We forsake tenderness and our inherent nurturing qualities for confidence and capability.  We refuse to find ourselves vulnerable.  We are addicted to indulgent activities.  To saving money, shopping, cleaning, exercising, gossiping -- anything to occupy our emptiness. Taken to the extreme you find these women often characterized in fairy tales as the evil step-mother.  But if we were honest, we could find this trait in even the meekest of us.  We have been disappointed or hurt by past relationships.  Wounded by the men in our lives, either by our father figures or romantic relationships.  We won't be fooled again.  We put up walls.  We won't be duped or guilty of naivete ever again. We are now wise, practical, protected, in control and utterly cold.  No-one can hurt us, no-one can love us.

Woman #2
Image result for pixarsadness Or we become the shy, desperate, mousey, needy woman.  Heartbroken pitiful and unstable.  We seek for sympathy.  We are the geeks, the nerds, the romance novel readers.  We are insecure and afraid.  We think poorly of ourselves and it shows in our attitude, the way we dress and how we interact (if we do).  We will watch others play volley-ball but we'd never dream of trying it ourselves because we already know we will fail.  We'd rather do something "safe" in a group, like watch a movie, than something that requires our input -- because the world will find us out.  These aren't just the teens that pierce their entire bodies or the overweight women who hide behind their chip bag; although they are included.  Think of yourself.  When we walk in the mall and see an outfit we really like but automatically think we could never wear it.  We stay in the kitchen to "help" instead of interact with our house-guests because we aren't witty, humorous, social, enough.  We want others to decide for us because we are incapable, even of ordering at the restaurant.  We apologize for everything.  We are nauseated every time we go to work.  And we dismiss every compliment because it can't possibly be true.

This battle is real, and it wages in Christian women also.  Even in the hearts of those of us who were blessed with incredible homes and godly parents.  We look all the way back in history to the first woman -- her firsts downfall was believing she wasn't all she could be.  That she wasn't perfect enough.  That there was something better.

We don't have to give into Satan's lies.  We women were created for a purpose, as women and as individuals.  If we could grasp, not what we should be doing, but who we are, what are design is, we could easily let go of some of the lies, and allow some of our wounds to heal.
We long to be sought after and appreciated and needed.  God does also.  We desire to comfort and aid; so does He.  We yearn to be desired, pursued and loved.  Christ also has these longings.  Not only do we have the perfect Lover to fulfill our deepest longings, to both take and give love, but we have this quality to bestow on others.  We represent a tender part of God's heart for a reason.  He desires to use us to reveal Himself.

We women also have been given a beautiful mandate.  To be fruitful, to take dominion of the earth, to subdue it, to be stewards over it, and to co-rule with man, to help him, to complete him.  We are man's fellow warrior.  We are their counterpart.  We've been nominated as man's best companion through life's adventure.  We were naturally given fierce devotion for a reason.  We are not an appendage, but an essential part of creation, of man, of God's plan.  

Womanhood is not to be solved but relished.  Not to be stressed over, but embraced.  If we can simply recognize our worth and how our Creator sees us, we wouldn't be so apt to fall into feminist lies and seek fulfillment in selfish ways, or to lazily perceive our lives without purpose or ambition.
I sincerely believe that it's healthy to allow ourselves to enjoy being feminine and beautiful.  To seek for ways to inspire our fathers and brothers, to help them in little things.  To fiercely pray for our men.  To fast for them.  To serve beside them.  Nurture our little siblings or nieces and nephews.  Pursue and invest in Christ, talk and listen.  To shun feminist ideas and instead unashamedly dress and speak and fight and serve like a feminine woman.

What has Christ asked of you as an individual?  Are we cheerfully and passionately pursuing it?
You are needed. Creation was incomplete without the final creation of woman. God was unsatisfied, and earth was "not good" until woman was placed on the earth.  Man himself was incomplete.  Woman wasn't just a lovely afterthought, but we were needed.
Man and women are made in the image of God.  God reveals to mankind a part of himself in our femininity.  And only we women are ambassadors for this part of God.  Women are nurturers, we are romantic, we are interested in details, and fascinated by beauty.  These are character traits of our God.  Embrace them!  Allow, seek, let these things flow through your creativity.  For each of us, this will look differently.  Some of us are called to pursue schooling, some to be nurses, others are gifted as artists, others are called to study His stars, some to be missionaries -- run!  Follow it.

Womanhood is an adventure.  If we are Woman 1 or Woman 2 we will find that godly womanhood is not just an adventure but also a battle.  The first step to fighting is recognizing our wounds and our ungodly mentality and then striving to embrace who God has created us to be in the face of it all.

Related Post:

At War with Pink Lace I
Image result for vintage pink lace on spools

Meet Emily & Samantha 
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Quote of the Day

Image result for Sophie Scholl

"Just because things are conflicted, man should not allow himself to be in conflict; and yet, all the time and everywhere we hear it said -- since we have been put into this conflicting world, we have to adapt to it.  Oddly enough, we often find this completely un-Christian opinion espoused by, of all people, so-called Christians.  How then can we expect fate to make a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who unequivocally gives himself up to a righteous cause?"  Sophie Scholl

Friday, April 8, 2016

Why Silence Can Be More Than Words With a Man

Spiritual Lessons
This post was originally shared on Peaceful Single Girl.  I thought it was applicable to single women and all the relationships with men (brothers and fathers too!).  

Why Silence Can Be More Than Words With a Man 

Why Silence Can be More Powerful than Words with a Man
As women, we LOVE words.  Marriage counselor and author, Bob Grant, likes to say, “Words are for women.”  We usually like to emote, talk, share, chat, email, text, talk on the phone and relate.  That’s how we “connect” and feel close and loved with each other and with everyone in our lives. 
The opposite of Bob Grant’s statement is also true – but most of us don’t realize it. 

Words are not for men. 
Men use words, of course.  But words don’t have the same impact, meaning and power over men that they do for women emotionally – usually.
If you are ever in doubt about a man’s true feelings, trust his ACTIONS over his words.  Ideally, they would both match up.  But if they don’t match – his actions will tell you what he really thinks and feels.
WHY THE DIFFERENCES? (For those of you who are interested in the anatomical design of male vs. female brains – I’m a pharmacist, I love anatomy – skip it if it’s too clinical!)
Well, our brains are constructed completely differently in regards to emotion and language processing.  Women have larger emotional centers of the brain and millions more nerve connections between the two halves of the brain.  We are wired to talk, to nurture, to love and to connect with words and feelings.  God made us this way.  It’s a good thing!  Women are prepared to use lots of words to teach, praise, encourage, and resolve problems.
Men’s brains don’t have as large of a limbic system (the emotional processing center) and they have MANY FEWER connecting neurons between the right and left halves of the brain.  They also have a much bigger connection between their emotional processing center and their spinal cord than women do.  God did all of these amazing things very purposefully.  Men can’t access their emotions as easily as women –  that is a GOOD thing at a stressful job or on the battlefield and also when they are leaders of a home and there is a crisis.  And when men do have a lot of negative emotions they go more toward the spinal cord and result in physical action instead of words.  Men are prepared to fight if necessary and to defend and protect. 
God’s design is GOOD.
Today, women often expect men to act like women – our culture has taught us to do this, and we don’t even question it.  We expect men to be just like us – to think like us, to process emotions like us, to need to talk about their feelings like we do, to love words and emotional “connection” like we do, to want to sit face to face and talk for hours.   We expect them to be like our close girlfriends. 
Here’s some surprising news!  Men aren’t like women.  God made us to be very different.  It’s good that we are different from each other.  But we get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we assume that men think, process and feel like we do and that when they say or do things it would mean the same thing that we would mean if we did that thing.  Did that make sense? 
There are some similarities, of course.  But there are many differences – and if we don’t understand those differences, we end up speaking a foreign language to men.   We misunderstand them and they misunderstand us.  That is frustrating!  Our relationships work MUCH better when we understand men, allow them to be masculine and admire them for being masculine.  The differences are what make relationships between men and women so magnetic!
What this means for relationships (even with our dads, brothers, male coworkers and friends) is that we need to learn about how men think, how they perceive the world, what they want, what they need, what motivates them and how to communicate with them in ways that are EFFECTIVE with men.  That means we may have to get out of our female verbal comfort zone and learn some new ways of communicating that may feel awkward or foreign at first.  If you are communicating positive emotions and happy, joyful, respectful thoughts – I doubt you have to use much restraint.  But with super negative emotions – the following things may be helpful to increase the effectiveness of our communication)
So, when we are communicating with men (especially VERY emotionally charged information), here are some things to keep in mind to make our communication more meaningful and effective:
  • You know I have to say it – be respectful!  Men have an understanding that they will speak to each other respectfully.  If a guy does NOT speak respectfully – WATCH OUT!  It is not going to be pretty!  We do not want to signal to a man that we want to fight him.  That’s a bad idea!  Even when we disagree, we can be polite.  Even when we end up not getting what we want – we can refrain from eye-rolling, sighing, pouting, stomping across the floor, slamming doors, yelling, name-calling, cussing, character assassination or any kind of Jerry-Springer-guest activity.   This means we must have self-control, poise, grace and dignity.  A man respects a woman who can speak respectfully to him and handle herself responsibly and maturely.  So if you want to have influence over a man – he has torespect you and the way you present yourself to him.  If you act in a way that makes you seem emotional, out-of-control or crazy – he won’t respect you.  Then your desires, thoughts and feelings will matter very little to him.  That’s how it works in a man’s world.  Men only allow those they respect to influence their decisions. 
  • Be fairly to the point and give the bottom line – especially if it is a very emotionally charged issue.  Men usually don’t want lots of details – unless you are talking about things you respect and admire about them, of course!  But details about what is happening in all of your girlfriends’ lives, or every detail of every emotion you are experiencing, or a word-for-word hour-long conversation you had with someone – those kinds of details can seem a bit unnecessary sometimes to guys.  Men can sometimes feel inundated with the sheer volume of a woman’s words alone, and if the words are also extremely emotional – it can be way too overwhelming.  When men feel overwhelmed in a bad way – they don’t like to stay there.  They go where they feel successful, wanted and like winners, not where they feel like they are failures or losers.
  • Watch your body language and tone of voice – men gather a lot of data from non-verbal communication and tone of voice.  They will generally pay much more attention to HOW you are saying something than what you are saying.  I’m sure women do this, too.  But sometimes we don’t step back and think about how we sound and what we look like as we are talking.  It’s easy not to notice ourselves having an edgy, angry tone of voice or crossed arms, or other body language that says, “I’m angry.  I’m not open to your input.  This is a confrontation not a pleasant conversation.  I’m right, you’re wrong and you better do what I say – or else.”   Guys will generally be able to hear your feelings and needs MUCH better when you use a pleasant tone of voice, when you smile, when you whisper or speak softly and act like you generally enjoy being in their company.
  • Realize that if you are upset with a guy – more words probably won’t help.  LESS IS MORE sometimes!  This is REALLY important!  With other women, we go talk about how we feel.  We say what the other girl did to upset us.  We go into great detail and exact quotes.  She apologizes.  We talk about all of our feelings.  We apologize, too.  We make up.  It might take an hour or two, there will probably be crying and hugging and then laughing.  But we try to use words to reconcile relationships.  Men don’t usually do this!  In fact, if we approach a man with a lot of negative emotion to try to reconcile the relationship and “connect” – he may feel attacked if we are using a lot of upset words and tears.  The languages a man can best hear when we are upset – are distance or pain (Bob Grant).  If he sees we are in pain (and not blaming him), and he is feeling respected – he will probably try to help us and be our hero.  If we say fairly calmly and briefly that we are upset about something he did – he’ll probably apologize.  But if he doesn’t – we can respectfully move away for awhile and create some distance while he processes his feelings for us and about the situation and decides what he wants to do.  If we are being respectful, he’ll most likely start to miss us and feel really guilty about whatever it is he did wrong.  Giving him some time to think and some silence allows him to feel the weight of his own sin and also allows him to hear God’s voice better.  AND – I really love this part – if we are not sinning in anger against our man, and all he has is his own sin staring him in the face – he is much more likely to repent and change and turn to us and to God.  If we blare a bunch of angry, upset words at a man and tear him down and treat him like dirt – he’s going to be thinking about our over-the-top, crazy, out-of-control behavior and how he can get away from THAT!  Getting away from us is NOT what we want him thinking about, ladies!  We want him to think about wanting to be with us and reconnecting with us.  And I know this is incredibly counterintuitive for us – but silence is extremely powerful with men – if we learn how to use it respectfully, and only when necessary.  If we are normally very joyful, pleasant, admiring, approving and respectful – a guy will MISS THAT A LOT!  He would be willing to do almost anything to have some more of a girl like that back in his life.  He doesn’t need a litany of words and accusations.  He will respond to a very small tidbit of information – ie: “I’m hurt about X.”  “I’m upset about Y.”  “I’m angry about Z.” 
I LOVE Shaunti Feldhahn’s book “For Women Only” (It’s geared more towards wives) or you may also want to check out her book “For Young Women Only.”    She uses large surveys of Christian men to find out how real men think and feel and handle situations and she gives women the information in a very understandable format that helps us really get inside the minds of men and have empathy and appreciation for their point of view.