By Ron Shultz
My son has always been a pretty sharp lad. At five, we were trading friendly barbs at each other like “Your feet stink” and such. I shot what I thought was a pretty cool one at him and he comes back with “The only thing holding you together is the Lord.” I thought that pretty well grasped the concept of by Him all things consist so I complimented him on his theological wisdom.
With that kind of foundation in his background, I was pumped when he came to me at thirteen and said, “Dad, I’ve got women figured out.” I told him wait until I get pen and paper because we are going to get stinking rich with this book, for sure!! Pen in hand I asked him to elaborate. He said, “I figure I can have women or money and I want money.” I was a bit dejected as I saw all our royalties and media appearances fade away. I did say something like if you get money you will have plenty of women to choose from albeit they may not be the type you really want to consider marrying. In the end, he got a wonderful woman, moderate money and a dynamic little girl. I think he merged the concepts into a nice balance. Yet, today he would never profess to understand women and he is soon forty.
I know many men who read this are depressed with my son’s simplistic solution to understanding women having hoped he had broken the code that would set all men free from the mystery. It has been easier to explain the hypostatic union of God and man in Jesus Christ and Trinity than to understand women. Adam may have had somewhat of a handle on it until she ate the forbidden fruit, but after that I suspect he was as befuddled as every man is today.
My father died in a car accident when I was seven and I was raised by two women. Most of my teachers were women. I married and had a daughter and many of my bosses and co-workers have been women. I have even written a book about holy women. Do I profess to have arrived at the summit and have cracked the estrogen code? Never! I may have made it through kindergarten into first grade, but I doubt that in this life I will ever get much further in that academic program.
Women are fantastic, but more complex than the theory of relativity. And I think it was meant to be that way. The mystique of women keeps us on our toes and from being bored. The converse fact is that we are as mysterious to them as they are to us. We are not just physically different, but also intellectually and even the way we walk in the Spirit is different. Viva la difference!!
I think where we get into so much trouble in our relationships is that we try too hard to understand each other. We put the cart before the horse in that we try to understand before we truly love. Understanding really comes after love and often with even trying to understand.
Take my wife, not like Henny Youngman. She sometimes has a language all her own with spoonerisms, mixed metaphors and verbal dyslexia. In our early years, I would be clueless at what in the world she was trying to convey and struggled to sort it out. After forty-three years of marriage, she sometimes catches what she said in Karenese and I don’t. I understood it and went on with the conversation. Sometimes I do point it out because we both enjoy the laugh. After awhile, just loving each other and not trying to correct her or struggling to understand the understanding just came naturally.
We started out pretty much almost exact opposites. I was an only child and she was the baby of three and that brought in its own complexities. The opposite stuff that attracted us in the beginning also caused some perplexities because after awhile some of those differences bugged us and we could not understand why we could not agree on which way the toilet paper was hung. Then after just loving each other and going on we started to understand why we did some things differently. Sometimes we changed our actions and philosophies. Other times, we just let it go. There are still things we have discussions over where we just do not understand each other and we may have those discussions until the Rapture. Yet, we love and go on. I gave up trying to change her, but I am still her project in progress. I don’t understand, but love her anyway.
Note that in Ephesians 5, we are not told to understand each other. Honestly, I cannot think of any passage that says anything about understanding. There are plenty of passages exhorting us to love everyone including enemies and that boggles our understanding. Women deal with us not understanding them if they truly know we love them. They can throw up their hands at trying to understand us if they know we really love them.
There are going to be times when you and a woman will have a conversation and you will swear you both just spoke in unknown tongues and beg God to let the interpretation come, In those moments, if the love comes out of both of you whether understanding comes at that moment or not will not matter. Love is a language that is felt and is understood when there is no meeting of the minds. Let the love flow and it’s all good.
The funny thing is when you feel like you are totally clueless, but you take her into your arms and just love her because you don’t know what else to do you may hear her say, “Oh darling, you so get me!” Don’t analyze it. Just receive it and enjoy it. That is understanding!