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Women: Discover What Men are Really Thinking
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Paula Rinehart's book, Whatís He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009).
The men in your life Ė fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, employees, friends Ė arenít just women with big feet and beards. Theyíre completely different from women, and understanding them can often be a challenge. But once you get to know the male psyche, you can start enjoying mutually fulfilling relationships with them.
Hereís how you can better understand the men in your life:
Recognize your influence with men. As a woman, you have significant power to inspire men to become the best people they can be. Much of what they realize about themselves comes only as they work at relationships with women. If you focus on encouraging the men in your life, itíll be like holding up a mirror to them so they can see who they are and who they can become. If you recognize menís potential, your encouragement can motivate men to claim their potential for themselves.
Understand what men do. Pray for the perspective you need to see and appreciate what each man uniquely does in the world and in your life. Get to know menís missions and how they try to live out those missions every day in their work Ė both paid work through their jobs, and volunteer work through their relationships and service.
Show them respect for working hard to overcome the challenges they face in their work. Keep in mind that men often communicate that they care about you by taking action on tasks (such as mowing the lawn) than by using lots of words (such as writing an eloquent love note). Thank them for the ways they try to communicate love to you Ė even when they do so in ways that arenít as meaningful to you as they are to them. Let men know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.
Understand why men hurt. Men most often feel hurt when they donít think that others are respecting them. Theyíve been wired with a deep sense of needing to affirm their adequacy. So let men know that you believe they have what it takes to face the world and do well. Be aware that menís confidence is tied to their sexuality; so if youíre married, your positive responsiveness to your husband will powerfully increase his confidence level. Get to know the life stories of the men in your life to come to realize how their prior experiences (such as distant relationships with their fathers) may have contributed to the hurt they feel now.
Talk and pray with the men youíre close to about their fears. Respect their particular challenges. Be patient with them without excusing bad behavior. When men are irritable or withdrawn, donít take it personally because it may not be about you. Support the men in your life, and discuss your own struggles and loses with them so they can better connect to you. Ask God to use your relationships with the hurting men in your life to help them along the healing process.