“Women want to be told that they are captivating. That they are beautiful. Desirable.” Said a local preacher on television, whose sermon was about what a woman needs from a man.
Last week, I told you I was stuck reading a book written for women. I’m not stuck with it because I’m being forced by anyone to read it. I’m stuck because it’s so good that I feel it shouldn’t be restricted to women. Many men, myself included, have a lot to gain from it.
The book is titled So Long Insecurity and its author is Beth Moore. She was the one who flipped on the TV to watch the local preacher who said that about what women want to be told, and she had this to say about it:
“I won’t deny that. What woman wouldn’t thrive under that kind of steady affirmation?”
When I read those words I found it refreshing that here was an accomplished woman admitting that she would do well with some words of affirmation coming from someone other than herself – a man! It is quite contrary to what you hear these days. But she went further to blow my mind with the remaining words scattered around the first three chapters of the book. And it is those words that I try to string together here – paraphrased of course!
“But here’s my question: What if no one tells us that? Can we still find a way to be okay? Or what if he says it because he’s supposed to, but to be honest, he’s not feeling it? Are we hopeless? What if a man is not captivated by us? What if he doesn’t think we’re particularly beautiful? Or, understandably, maybe just not every day? Are we only secure on his “on” days? What if he loves us but not quite as captivated by us as he used to be? What if his computer is full of images of what he finds attractive, and we’re light-years from it? What if we’re seventy-five, and every ounce of desirability is long behind us? Can we still feel adequate in our media-driven society? Or is it only possible if our man has gone blind?
… Or what if you’re single and there’s not a man on the horizon you want to take home to Daddy? Honestly, is there no validation for our womanhood apart from a man?
I find it ironic that many of the women who defensively deny needing one single thing from a man have done one of three things: they’ve tried to make themselves into men, they’ve turned to a codependent relationship with a masculine woman, or they’ve done the Sex and the City thing by trying to beat men at their own game…
Men are not our problem; it’s what we are trying to get from them that messes us up. Nothing is more baffling than our attempt to derive our womanhood from our men. We use guys like mirrors to see if we’re valuable. Beautiful. Desirable. Worthy of notice. Viable. We try to read their expressions and moods in order to determine whether it’s time to act smart and hard to get or play dumb and needy. Worse yet, we try to tap into their inner equestrian by acting like the damsel in distress…
We’re attempting to get our security from a gender that doesn’t really have much to spare. Our culture is just as merciless on men as it is on women. Their insecurities take different shapes, but make no mistake: they’ve got them. You know it. I know it.
Let’s face it. Men want us to get a grip anyway. They don’t like the pressure of being in charge of our sense of value. It’s too much for them. The candid ones will gladly admit it, and for those who don’t, you’ll know it by the flapping of their shirts in the wind as they run for their lives.
A man is infinitely more attracted to a secure woman than to an emotional wreck who insists he could complete her…
Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt – a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate…
The insecure person also harbors unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. These expectations, for themselves and for others, are often unconscious. The insecure person creates a situation in which being disappointed and hurt in relationships is almost inevitable. Ironically, although insecure people are easily and frequently hurt, they are usually unaware of how they are unwitting accomplices in creating their own misery…
I won’t argue that a good man and a good marriage can’t vastly enhance a woman’s sense of well-being, but you can mark my word on something: if a woman is married to a man who somehow feeds her sense of inadequacy, she has double the issues of her single friend. A bad marriage can make you feel worlds more insecure than singleness. The answer for the married woman is not to dump her husband, nor is it for a single woman to marry someone just for emotional coverage. The answer is to deal with the insecurity, believing that everything God says about us is true.
You see, the trap is not only in placing our security in something that gives a false positive. It’s also in fighting like a mad dog to keep it there. Whether our false positive is appearance, marriage, moneymaking, position, education, or notoriety, it only works enough to keep us seduced and distracted, and we never get to the real issues. Even if we could make everybody believe we were “every woman”, we ourselves would know better. Self-doubt would devour us. In one way or another and sooner or later, we’ll give ourselves away. Security in any earthly thing simply cannot be sustained.”
Wasn’t that an amazing read? That last sentence really sums it up for me. Putting our security or sense of value in earthly things – including men and other humans – is futile. We have to work on ourselves to realize that God doesn’t make junk, and so we have some value that we are capable of increasing infinitely, through the infinite One who created us.
Understandably, we’ve seen women revolt through certain movements that seek their emancipation from men. Yes, no man should have power and dominion over another, but the problem is that most of them are not looking to the true source of their true value and security; and so they continue to seek this emancipation everywhere else. They will be ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
So what do you, especially the ladies in the house, think of this? If you want to read the entire book, click here to purchase a copy.