What Women Want

Dear Praying and Fasting Friends,

This is your reminder that we are fasting and praying during what would be Monday lunch for 1) marriage for those who are designed for it and for 2) the courage for men and women to walk upright and into relationship–with God and one another.  If at all possible, find a friend with whom you can pray, in person or over the phone, during that lunch slot or whenever it works.  There’s something about two people praying together that is deeply encouraging.

And as you pray, you might consider using the following video as ‘fodder’ for your prayers.  I was sent this by a friend, Kevin, who warned me that before he saw it, he was scared it might seem “a little cheesy” but was actually spot on in its content.  Anyhow, Washington, DC is a decidedly sophisticated place, and anything with a high ‘cheese’ quotient normally receives a few rolled eyes and is pitched out as irrelevant.  So when I clicked on it, I was internally prepared to feel a little cynical and eye rolling myself.  But I was surprised.

When I watched it, I thought, “Oh my goodness–this guy totally knows what I’m after!  He has said it better than I could.”  So, I’m sending it on to you, thinking that it’s actually worth watching, worth discussing, and worth praying into.

Take the 6 or so minutes and watch the video.  Then I’d encourage you to pray in light of it.  I’ll put a few suggestions below, and let’s pray together and see what happens this week.

Many Blessings, Connally

What Women are Looking for in a Man

What are my honest thoughts are about men and power?  What symbolizes power to me?  What is real power?   Pray for the men you know to gain deeper relational power.

What might it feel like to be wanted/desired “without fear” by a man?  Pray for the men you know to be set free to desire without hesitancy.  Pray for the men you know to have the confidence that they have something to provide/offer a woman.

What does a ‘healthy’ man look like in my experience?  Pray for the men you know to be able to:

  • connect,
  • be present
  • have good boundaries and be able to say ‘no,’
  • be comfortable with their imperfections (and that of the women in their lives), and
  • be able to grow up and be adult, able to treat women neither as mommies nor as children, but as equals.

Pray for the men you know to get healthy and show up as full people (even as, of course, we pray the same for ourselves as women).

Let’s take our energy around this topic and pour it back into our prayers before God!

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9 Responses to What Women Want

  1. Stephen says:

    I know this is a really old post, but I just now read it and watched the video and I wanted to ask a question about a specific idea in the video:

    The speaker near the beginning says the following three things about what women want: “To be wanted and desired without fear,” then “To be desired with hesitancy,” then “To be pursued without a sense of waiting or questioning.”
    Then near the end the speaker lists several things that are part of relational power, including “power to be unconflicted about desires and pursue them.”

    What bothers me about this is that these seem to be requirements, not that I have the character to do a specific thing even if do feel fear of it, but that I have the (totally unnatural and unreasonable emotional) response of not feeling fear.

    The former is a choice. The latter is an almost-uncontrollable automatic response. As soon as I desire the approval of someone, I feel fear if I believe I may fail to gain or gain and then lose that approval. That does not mean I am a coward – that means I have a brain and a heart and they coordinate responses to perceptions. A coward is someone who acts on fear, but what this sounds like is that it is impermissible even to *feel* fear.

    How am I supposed to control my emotions? The classical way is to do the thing you ought to feel like doing – except if I am hearing this right, pursuing while feeling fear/conflict virtually guarantees failure of pursuit, and thus is in fact pointless under those circumstances. That leaves me without a mechanism to eliminate the offending emotion. In the rest of life that’s not a problem because in the rest of life one merely has to *do* what is right, because it is right, regardless of what one feels. But here it seems to be a problem, one I am at a loss to surmount.

    • Michelle says:

      Hello Stephen,
      Thanks for diving back into the archives and bringing your questions out for discussion. I’ve listened to the video several times and talked with a married man to get extra feedback on the points you bring out.

      One question for you is are you distinguishing between fear and nervousness in your interactions with women? I think it’s natural and understandable to be nervous at times when interacting with the opposite sex, especially when emotions are involved. Fear on the other hand seems to be a strong and crippling emotion which has more long term effects. Nervousness wanes as our confidence grows (as in I get nervous about the start of a new job but two days in I begin to feel more confident). Whereas my fear of heights has never faded the more I’m in high places (sometimes it just reinforces my fear). Do you see the difference?

      I think Dr Cloud was spot-on in his assessment of what women want and respond to in a man. What I hear you asking is will a woman ever consider a man that needs his confidence boosted to get to that place of relational power? I believe this is where the character of the man comes in to play which allows a woman to see and trust the heart of the man. For a man of character she may work with him to encourage relational power. I’m not sure of a good equivalent for women to men, perhaps not being confident and fearing rejection because of our physical appearance. So a man that sees our character and heart and appreciates those qualities would encourage us to see ourselves differently, thus in turn the woman becomes more beautiful in the process because her self confidence grows. Utimately becoming more attractive to the man (the reverse roles in Shrek!).

      I hope this helps you as you continue to wrestle with this topic of relational power. I’d encourage you to speak with other married and single men to get their perspective on getting women to respond with relational power. I’d venture a guess that there is a wide range of responses and starting points. I say start with Dr Cloud’s advice for planning dates and showing the woman that you’ve thought ahead (and were thinking of her). No need to fear planning ahead! As your confidence grows and the nervousness/fear fade, your relational power will find its voice!

      Michelle

  2. Kirsten says:

    Thanks, Connally. Only just now got around to watching it, but it was worth the wait. I especially loved the last half. Will be praying for God to grow this relational health in both men AND woman.

  3. Linda Stoll says:

    I’ve talked with countless single women over the years, 1-1 and in groups. Based on all those pastoral counseling conversations and what I’ve seen in my own family, I recently wrote about Servant-Hearted Men … “Who is THE MAN women are looking for?

    HINT: He might not extravagantly wine and dine. He doesn’t necessarily appear at the door laden with expensive boxes of chocolates. And he may not haul home extravagant bouquets of flowers for every conceivable occasion.

    Those things are all well and good.

    But the man that a woman really yearns for is the one who says “I love you” by …
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2012/03/servant-hearted-men.html

  4. Kristin says:

    This is so spot on. Thanks for sharing Connally.

  5. Ray says:

    Great wisdom here, Connally. OK, so I am mentoring two young guys one 30 one mid 20s, both I have had conversations with that essentially say, “If you want to become a man in Christ, in full, yor completion lies in responsibility to become what God intended–a steward of his creation, complet in Christ spiritually, and complementarily, complete in a life relationship with a woman. We are to be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth and we do not do that casually or alone. They want a relationship leading to marriage from all they say. But . . . Neither are yet fully healthy. Can a young woman accept a guy who is not fully healthy and help him get there? Can young women see there are lots of reasons for immaturity in a ground guy and still accept him? From what I am seeing, they need a woman who can accept them and be part of the “growing together” process. How can I as an older guy advise them and how can connection to women who will be willing to be patient with their growing edges be made? You are laying wise and Godly pipe to connect this generation to each other.

    • fast. pray. says:

      Interestingly, Ray, I wondered even as I was writing the blog if the guy speaking on the video was/is setting impossibly high standards. But maybe like with all standards, he’s giving a sense of what men should shoot for and of what we as women really are looking for (over and against economic, social or physical power), even as we all have to keep learning to operate with TONS OF GRACE with one another.

      I do know that most of the mature, relationally powerful men I have known did not start out that way, but they have gotten to where they are in tandem with an honest, real and loving wife. So somehow, men and women are part of one another’s maturing process–i.e. not postponing marriage until both are fully formed, as that will never happen in this life time.

      I guess, Ray, you can serve guys by pointing them towards the right kinds of power to pursue, even as you can serve women by encouraging us to see the diamonds which are oftentimes in the rough.

      Thanks for being a mentor to so many men (and women for that matter), Ray.

      Connally

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