Tuesday, April 19, 2016

If She Only Knew

I sit with a number of our teachers at lunch every day, most of them female. The difference in the way the genders think is staggering and I mean that in a good way. I learn so much from them but sometimes, it's like listening to a conversation in Chinese to me. This is from May 12, 2010 and helps explain my mystification! 

At lunch Monday in the cafeteria, I sat with Rachel Matthys, one of our intermediate teachers. As teachers do, we swapped teaching stories. Rachel told me how several days previous, she was called upon to sit in on a sixth grade boys Bible class until Casey Farris, their teacher, could get there. Casey, our Lower School Administrator, was in a parent meeting and would be a few minutes late. The topic being covered was dating from a Christian perspective. Believe me, we don't encourage twelve year old romances but kids need to know what's in store in the coming years as God would have them view it. Of course, the young men were curious as to a married woman's insights. This is what she told them: 
'You might as well forget about having a relationship with a middle school or high school girl because they don't know what they want.' 
I immediately chipped in my two cents to her lesson:
'The Bangles.' 
Rachel didn't catch on so I sang a line, not very well, of If She Knew What She Wants, a huge hit for The Bangles in the 1980's. The song was written and first recorded by singer/song writer Jules Shear but his version was far eclipsed by the lovely Susanna Hoffs and her mates. I doubt there has ever been a song penned by a guy that better defines the bewilderment which sometimes engulfs men when considering the fairer sex. The original lyrics were in first person (I, not He) but The Bangles female version changed it to third person to retain the gender identity. Here's the introductory lines of the song:

If she knew what she wants (He'd be giving it to her)

If she knew what she needs (He could give her that too)
If she knew what she wants (But he can't see through her)
If she knew what she wants He'd be giving it to her, Giving it to her

But she wants everything (He can pretend to give her everything)
Or there's nothing she wants (She don't want to sort it out)
He's crazy for this girl (But she don't know what she's looking for)
If she knew what she wants
He'd be giving it to her, Giving it to her

To men who find women mystifying, Jules Shear defines the mystique, which is exactly what Rachel conveyed to those boys. Paul Polk, one of the favorite kids I've ever taught and coached, lamented to me about his love life. 

"Coach, all these girls say they want to marry me but none of them wants to date me.''
(Paul, a youth minister now, ended up marrying a beautiful young lady but not one of the girls he went to high school with.) Maybe Paul just illustrated Rachel's point. Rachel told me that by the time she was in college, she knew what she wanted and what she wanted was somebody like her husband, Troy. She feels most girls lack that capacity until they reach a certain age. Well, that's a good enough explanation for me. In all my years of coaching girls' basketball, I have come to the conclusion that I know but I don't know why girls tend to think and act a certain way. I guess that's why the Lord made us male and female; it helps keep relationships from being boring.

But, I also know that indecisiveness plagues all of us at times. I sometimes wonder where I'm going and what I am doing with my life and what I want out of that life. Often I feel conflicted in my efforts to serve the Lord. I mentioned that song defined how men might perceive women. I feel the following reading, from James 4, verses 1 through 3, often paints the picture of where I see myself:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
I bet I'm not the only one who has the conflicting desires that James describes. I bet I'm also not the only one questioning my motives when I pray. But here's the neat thing: even when I'm confused about what I want and need and where to go, God isn't. I may confuse myself and I might confuse others but I'm pretty sure I don't confuse my Maker. He's not bewildered by the person of Steve and He can overcome my biggest obstacle: me. Men might be confounded by women but The Father is never confounded by His children. Maybe, there's another song in there somewhere!

To watch and listen to Jules Shear's acoustic version of his If She Knew What She Wants, here you go: 

To watch and listen to The Bangles more famous version, here  you go: 

Applicable quote of the day:"
"Even the wisest men make fools of themselves about women and even the most foolish women are wise about men.''
Theodore Reik

God bless,
Luke 18:1

me at steve@hawleybooks.com


JT said...

I enjoy reading your blog. May God Bless You.


A splendid post, but do we women always know what we want?

Have a good day.


CeeGee said...

To know me is to respect me; to know me is to know my inner self runs so deep you might drown trying to find me... but don't give up... we're all connected spiritually, and love is the thing that binds us together.

Kim said...

Great post Steve. Very thought-provoking. I grew up in a household of indecisive women. Only in my thirties did I become completely decisive and it remains one of my greatest assets. I certainly think it comes with age.

Stacey said...

Great post - James 4:1-3 is a very powerful . . .& convicting for me.