I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: women are relational to the core. As I was heading to Mass this morning this thought, this fundamental truth about the heart of a woman came back to me, though today it’s meaning is deeper.
Guys have this tendancy to “figure things out,” so to speak, before entering a relationship (not that they don’t have things to figure out once they are in a relationship too). Women, figure things out while in a relationship. Sure, we figure things out while we are single, but because we are so highly relational we figure out A LOT about ourselves once we are in a relationship. We learn things about ourselves, old wounds get broken open, things comes up in relationships that don’t when we are single. We can (and often do) easily ignore these issues…until we are in a relationship and they are staring us in the face. Sometimes we know what the issues are and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes it comes in this form of a feeling that we get but can’t explain right away. Guys, who tend not to be as relational as women can and often do get easily annoyed with women when we feel the need to figure out everything, analyze all of our feelings and deal with our issues. Satan uses this to his advantage.
In their annoyance with women’s need to analyze and figure things out, guys tend to do one of a few things:
- Put women down for how we feel.
- Make us feel bad or weird for thinking/feeling the way we do. (This one is often a result of number 1.)
None of these options help women. In fact, they tend to only make us more afraid of being left, hurt, trying again in a new relationship, opening up, being vulnerable, and in extreme cases, they make us afraid to ever love or risk loving again. All of these reactions from guys keep us from entering into relationships for fear of being mocked, put down, unvalidated and left. Then, Satan has won.
Relationships, properly ordered and divinely rooted (whether with people of your own sex or with members of the opposite sex) allow men and women to grow. Women grow through and because of relationships (men do too, though in entirely different ways). We discover countless things about ourselves in relationships and how we can better serve others. Satan wins by getting women to fear such relationships. When we fail to enter into such relationships (including, and especially one with Jesus) we fail to grow. We become stagnant, we backslide, we falter, we fail – which is exactly what Satan wants.
So where do we go from here? Men and women have a few different things to learn about this fundamental truth about the relational heart of a woman.
You have two options if you want to be a real man and not let Satan use you as his pawn:
- Be patient as our loving Lord is patient. We will occasionally need time to work through our girl brains to understand what our hearts are trying to tell us and what we can’t yet put into words. Wait with us and I can promise if you are patient with us it will be worth the wait.
- Pray with us, pray for us, pray over us, pray. Intercede on our behalf. Don’t push us for words we can’t find because changes are that we are already struggling to understand what is going on in our hearts and pressure from you isn’t going to help any. Instead, pray over us, ourloud. Let us hear and know that you care for us and are here to guide us. (And I do mean guide – guys, even men in these instances can’t solve, fix or magically know what is going on in our hearts.) Be the spiritual leader.
Ok…not so much two “options” as two things to do. Do both for all of the women in your life and we shall thank you for it.
Pray. Read Scripture. Remember the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II, “be not afraid.” Your fear is exactly what Satan wants, don’t let him win.
Understand that even though we, as women, are relational to the core, we must be in relationship with Him first and foremost. He shows us what we need to see most. He teaches us more about ourselves than we will ever learn in a romantic relationship (though I would argue that He simply uses those romantic relationships to teach us even more). He not only created our girl brains and hearts, He understands them. He validates them. He never leaves. He is eternally patient with us, He is always guiding us. From this relationship with the God of the Universe all wisdom flows – keep your heart open to Him.
Be not afraid. Never fear your own heart. The fact that we are relational, that we thrive and learn from relationships is never something to apologize for or feel bad about. That aspect of our hearts reflects the very heart of God – He too learns from and grows in the Trinity. He need relationships just as we do. Denying or quieting our hearts, our need to grow in relationships does nothing for us – our hearts get buried and we lose the opportunity to witness to the heart of God Himself. We, in some sense, separate ourselves from God by denying or apologizing for our relational nature. Yet another win for Satan. Becoming truly fierce means that we should never be made to feel like we need to apologize for who God created us to be. We are created as women, as relational beings who learn and grow in relationships, just as God Himself does. Reclaim your heart, never fear it’s relational core, for it it one of the greatest characteristics about us that connects us to the heart of God.
Pray. Ask Him to guide your heart, to help you understand your own heart – He knows you better than you know yourself (cliche, but true). Let His love conquer all of Your fears.