Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"On Fire": A Girl Wants. A WOMAN NEEDS.

I dig Jill Scott...

I really do. Not because I think she's perfect (*no one is that and we really should not expect anyone but Christ himself to be*) but because she's "real" and that's something that I really gravitate too. I tend to sense fake a mile away and I find it to be extremely...unsafe. Listen, you are doing yourself and the people around you such a disservice by acting like something and/or anything other than who you really are. If you don't like your authentic self, "confess and be healed" (James 5:16). If you do, there's always room for improvement...seek it out (via prayer, wise counsel and healthy relationships--I Thessalonians 5:17, Proverbs 12:15, I Corinthians 15:33-AMP). Either way, *don't be afraid to be yourself*. I John 4:18 tells us that perfect loves casts out fear. I would discern this includes the fear of real and true self-genuineness and awareness.


In the middle of the night Sunday, being that I couldn't sleep (I've learned to not fight those moments; when your side of the world is quiet, you can usually hear...*a lot*--Psalm 46:5), I remembered that Jill did an interview on The Breakfast Club last week and so I decided to check it out. I don't recall how long it is, but it's not short so feel free to click on the link if you want to get the play-by-play.

For now...

One benefit that comes from seeing people who are real is that you can trust that their growth is (probably) real too. As I was listening to Jill share some of the life conclusions that she's come to in this particular season (including the fact that she hangs more around older women which makes lots of "Titus 2 sense"), I could tell that she's...transitioning---out of what she calls "grown girls" into an all out woman. It's kind of like what God said was happening to me in between my first and second book. He told me "Shellie, I'm taking you from 'sex girl' to 'covenant woman'." And indeed, he has been doing just that:

"Set up signposts to mark your trip home. Get a good map. Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back. Come back, dear virgin Israel, come back to your hometowns. How long will you flit here and there, indecisive? How long before you make up your fickle mind? God will create a new thing in this land: A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”---Jeremiah 31:21-22(Message)

Anyway, as she and the BC crew got into the topic of relationships, something that she said caused me to take special note. She said that one of the things that she's learned is that (grown) girls tend to be caught up in wants while women tend to be focused on needs. Meaning what they actually need from a man and in a relationship start to matter more. It's not that something is *wrong* with wants; it's just that many of them are superficial. But needs? Needs tend to get to the heart of the matter. The core of a person. Perhaps that's why God never promised us that we could have whatever it is that we want. However, what he did say in his Word is that all of our *needs* would be supplied (Philippians 4:19). Hmph.

I concur. As I was finishing up an article for a publication that I write for, I shared what I oftentimes say, thanks to hindsight wisdom: "In your 20s, you want a man who is cute. In your 30s, you want to be in a relationship. In your 40s, you want someone who can fix your car." Honey, I'll be the first to say that my somewhat older country bumpkin mechanic looks finer and finer to me every time I see him (LOL). He is able to meet a need!


As I sat and thought about my own wants vs. needs, I know one thing that caused pretty much every relationship that I had to blow up in my face is the fact that while I *wanted* fine, educated and ambitious (and 90 percent of them were that and from what I've gathered, are *still* that), I *needed* validation, proactiveness and a real leader. I still do. Now more than ever actually.

Now when I say "validation", I don't mean a guy who can "make me feel beautiful". It's not another person's job or responsibility to do that. That is a personal soul-searching mission that each woman should go on for herself. Preferably before ever meeting "him". However, something else that Jill said was that each woman deserves to feel *adored* in her relationship---and I agree. And when you're a communicator like I am, a part of being adored is being engaged. It's not just about always listening to the other person and what they need, but them also listening to you and affirming what you're saying. This is a *need* of mine.

Proactivness. Look. I deal with far too many married couples who are in the state that they are simply because one or both of them is more *reactive* than *proactive*. In other words, they are always trying to compensate for something they should have done or didn't do rather than thinking about what can be done on the front end. I've mentioned in one of these blogs recently that I like the "Matrimony" song by Wale ft. Usher because of the hook. It's because of the part where Usher sings "I've got plans for you." I *need* to be with a man who has plans for me. A man whose love is not just in "the present", but in *the future* too.

A real leader. One of my ex-sex-partners said to me not too long ago that since my personality is so big and strong, I "need" a man who's taller than me. That way, every time I look up at him, it will remember me to submit. #hilarious

I will say this. When you get to a point and place in your relationship with God where you see all that is required to really and truly "draw nigh" to him (James 4:8), when you make daily concerted efforts and strides to spiritually mature (Hebrews 5:12-14) and you get why the Message Version of Matthew 19:11-12 speaks of marriage requiring maturity, you come to know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a man who has a consistent and intimate relationship with God, a man who knows his purpose and calling and is walking them out and a man who is mature both spiritually and emotionally is paramount.

As for myself, I know what God has called me to and it's covenant. What do I look like being with a man who isn't a real leader? I dig submission (Colossians 3:18) because God put it there. So yes, I *need* to submit to a man of strength, courage and character (Colossians 3:12-17)!

All of this reminds me of an article that I read on Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. It was basically talking about their love story. This part, to me, speaks about some of her *needs*:

When it comes to their relationship, Priscilla like any other girl does not let the power go to her man’s head. In their courtship days, it was reported that she had laid out strict rules for Mark. A minimum of 100 minutes of alone time (definitely not at Facebook) and one date night every week topped that list. 

I'm not sure if, as a journalist, I would've used the word "rules", but I think this also speaks to *needs*. For one thing, how can a man know what you need unless you tell him? And how can you be truly fulfilled in a relationship unless your needs are met?

For the record, it's another blog for another time to touch on the difference between having a need met and getting a void filled. The former is relationship-related. The latter is God-related. However, my point is that as you're doing even more praying and pondering (Proverbs 4:26) about what you would like your future marriage to look like, *there's no time like the present* to really think about what are your wants and what are your needs.

Wants are icing.
Needs are cake.

Be mature.
Be focused.
Trust in God to supply a man who will supply your needs.
What is *necessary* for your relationship to be healthy and for you to THRIVE in it.

Amen? Amen.



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