Last semester, I was having dinner with a bunch of younger women, and the conversation quickly turned to the guys at our school. Complete with high-pitched giggles, the guys were labeled “the worst” and “dumb.” There were no particular stories told, just blanket accusations about the immaturity of guys, and their lack of courage in asking girls on dates, among other things.
Even though nobody said anything actually horrible, and maybe there was even a little bit of truth in some of it, I was bothered. The guys actually aren’t the worst, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the words these girls had said.
Because those girls? I realized who had taught them how to talk about the guys the way that they were. Me. I did.
It’s always said in an attempt to be witty, to get a laugh and maybe diffuse some hurt from the past. I get it. But why are we judging a man’s goodness on his ability to pursue women? Especially a man who is still so young, and maybe not ready to date, because he’s still figuring himself out.
As women, I’ve seen us become so fixated on whether or not we’re being asked out. I’ve seen us become obsessed with the “dating culture” and everything wrong with it. I’ve seen us proclaim the death of chivalry and that we’ll all be single forever.
And sometimes, we just want to write off all the guys as “dumb,” because somewhere along the lines, we’re taught to appear as these put-together women who are unattached and unaffected. Not like pathetic girls who have given all their power over to men. Except, we still long. We long to be swept off of our feet by a man, to be romanced and adored.
But let’s be real: that longing is hard to admit, because there’s hurt there; there’s pain in the waiting, in the space between realizing desire and the fulfillment of desire. And instead of just feeling the hurt with the Father, and processing with Him, and surrendering our desire– it’s easier to just blame the guys around us for not pursuing the girls around them. But perhaps, we have growing to do as well.
Ladies, do you really want to change the men around you? Then start believing in them. Start seeing them for who they are, for who God created them to be. Not believing that they can be whatever you want them to be– but that they can step into who He’s calling them to be. Not seeing them as potential boyfriends or husbands, but viewing them as brothers and children of God.
We need to stop it with the cookie-cutter men ideals that we’re trying to shove men into. Instead, we need ask the Lord to show us what we’re worth and put His ideal in our hearts.
I’m not stating these things and challenging to a higher standard from an unaffected heart. I know that it’s hard to claim the positive and choose to believe, especially when there’s hurt involved.
And– I’ve come to know that hurt. I have been hurt by the lack of intentionality. I have been hurt by immaturity and bad communication. I have been hurt by the lack of courage and selfishness. I have been hurt by rejection, I have been hurt by abandonment.
There was even this one day, when I was sitting on my bed with my best friend, choking back tears, and I said, “It’s so hard not to hate right now.”
Bitterness and hatred were whispering in my ear, promising to stop the pain. But I chose something greater than becoming numb and desensitized; I chose to allow my heart to deal with the pain in a way that was far more powerful than proclaiming negativity.
I chose to feel. I chose to forgive. And, by the grace of God, I’m still choosing.
I didn’t suppress and I didn’t justify. I took it all to the King and said, “Here are my pieces. Here’s my heart. Only you satisfy and only you can make me new.” Hour after hour, day after day, training my heart to see it, training my heart to believe it.
Even when we’re disappointed and brokenhearted, we don’t need to chain guys up and call them “the worst.” We don’t need to use guy-bashing jokes to be humorous and get people to laugh with negative humor. We don’t need to need these things to heal our hearts or to force them to be “better.”
At the end of the day, it doesn’t work.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if some guy sees you. It doesn’t matter if some guy asks you out. It doesn’t matter if some guy recognizes all of the wrong and apologizes.
It still comes down to you and Him. You have access to a perfect love right now. You don’t have to wait. Press in…the greatest adventure of your life is awaiting you. He does not disappoint.
He has a plan for you. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes, because I understand how hard that is to really believe, but also the greatness overwhelms me. He promises restoration of all that is broken, He promises recovery of all that was lost. He brings purpose to the waiting, to the disappointment, to the heartbreak.
There’s nothing that will stop this plan for you, that is even bigger than your desire. So– it’s safe to want more. Want more.
If He invaded earth, put on our skin, and felt our hurts– He wasn’t done two thousand years ago. He didn’t do all that just for you to be eternally disappointed. Lift up your eyes, your weary head. See all that He has, see all that He is. See all that you are. Because He’s always seen you.
Sisters, we have the power to change the atmosphere. And I ask you to choose forgiveness, and I tell you that you are seen. You are more than whatever has disappointed you. And because of your great worthiness, you have great power. Your words have power. Not only that, but you’re teaching people how to speak by how you are speaking.
To the men reading this: I apologize. I apologize for myself, and for my sisters, for the times that we have limited who you were created to be. For the times that we’ve spoken negativity over you. I claim that you are good and that the Lord has incredible plans for your life. And as women, we choose to respect His plans for your life, and surrender our own.
Ladies, let’s stop focusing on everything that we don’t have. Even as we allow our hearts to want, let’s turn to the only One who satisfies: Jesus Christ. He’s waiting. Let’s focus on where we’re at, on where we’re going. And let Him do the rest.