In Why Do Women Want Men (Even when we don’t) & Vice Versa? I introduced a new series called Men & Women Actually are from the Same Planet, where we unpack the idea of why women want men, even when we don’t, and vice versa. The point being to explore the love-hate magnetism between men and women from the perspective of how we were designed and how that original design was perverted at the entrance of sin. The combination of original design and sinful flesh is something we experience every day. Meaning, the good is intertwined with the bad.
Before we can even remotely unpack and understand how men and women were created and what fundamental characteristics we have that are fodder for every comedian and writer on the planet, we have to understand the Creator and some of His characteristics.
Men & Women Actually Are from the Same Planet: Understanding God.
The portion of this title: “Understanding God” is a misnomer because this side of Heaven, we will NEVER be able to fully understand God. But, we can pull together some basic facts derived from the Word of God, outlined in the Bible, and the world He created.
Central to understanding the Creator is that God is methodical, detailed, systematic, and PATIENT. The one true God (Yahweh) is a God of processes. In His Kingdom, things take time—for it is in the process of time unfolding that true beauty emerges, not to mention that with an eternal God, He’s got plenty of time!
When we study Genesis closely, we see intricate details of a phenomenally powerful and abundantly creative God. It takes some imagination and reading between the lines [which can be dangerous because humans mess things up considerably and rather quickly], so it’s important to do your own reflection and take anything I write and reflect it against the Scriptures and pray through it to make your own decisions.
[Sidebar: I’m from a clinical research background, so citing sources and giving references is very important to me. Unless otherwise noted for this article, the ideas and concepts come from Genesis 1-3, New American Standard translation and Bible Studies I’ve been a part of over the years that have refined my understanding and view of the Scriptures, and a LOT of prayer and wrestling with God].
Correcting a False Idea
I have no idea where I got this idea, but growing up, I had in my mind that when God created the Heavens and the Earth, it was almost like a genie in a bottle: POOF! Fully bloomed and perfectly beautiful world. I also thought the whole earth was the Garden of Eden. But it was not.
God created the entire earth with the beasts of the field and the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and then to the east, between two rivers, was the Garden. The Garden was God’s special little place on earth in the midst of a much larger planet. The location of this Garden is thought to be in the area of modern day Iraq. More on that interesting fact to come….
I’ll never forget when I was studying closely for a Bible study I was teaching I came across this:
Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground. Genesis 2: 5-6
And it hit me like a ton of bricks: “Oh my goshhhhhhh Lord!!! You planted SEEDS and then watered them and waited for them to blossom and bloom!”
Thus began my research into seeds. God is a God of processes, systems, time, & patterns. The pattern of seeds is all throughout the earth and the Bible. Every living thing has seeds. The combining of seeds creates new life. Those seeds must have water to grow and all living things must have water throughout its lifespan or it dies. This theme of seeds and water runs through everything.
Every time He created something He said, “It is good.” “Good” in Hebrew is “towb” (tōve). Towb means considerably more than the English word “good.” The Hebrew language has fewer words, so every word is packed full of meaning. No joke, here are all the English words associated with the concept of the single Hebrew word, Towb:
Beneficial, well, pleasing, pleasant, favorable, lovely, cheerful, happy, comfortable, right, to make good, beautiful, excellent, lovely, delightful, convenient, joyful, fruitful, precious, sound, kind, correct, quality, righteous, virtue…and it ranges from practical, economical, or sensual benefits [this one is important in terms of sex between male and female—and yes, we’ll go there!] to more intangible benefits of beauty, desirability, pleasure, and pleasantness.
So when God created and each time sat back and said, “IT IS TOWB” He was enjoying the work of His hands. When He planted the garden and waited to water it, He was still in the process of bringing together all the pieces, including Adam, who would be tasked with cultivated, keeping, working, and maintaining the garden.
I don’t know about you, but I HATE waiting. I want everything done right now. I’m a WHAM, BAM, Thank you Ma’m kinda girl. Let’s do this people! I’m action oriented and really big on quickly planning well and then executing and I want to see results quickly. So waiting for my personality is excruciating. But in God’s gentle kindness, He has taught me that He is a God of processes. And there is tremendous pleasure in doing what’s before you and then resting and allowing time for things to unfold. This beautiful process goes totally and completely contrary to my nature.
The White Rabbit Trail of My Mind
My nature in the flesh and the need for expediency and perfection is a great source stress, worry, irritability, and anxiety that eats me alive and robs me of peace—my mind spins—and it does so quickly. This pattern does not only effect me, but it effects those around me, especially my family and for certain, my marriage. It blinds me.
Do you know the book “If you Give a Pig a Pancake”? If you give a pig a pancake, she’ll want some syrup, then she’ll get dirty & want a bath, then she’ll want bubbles and a rubber duck, the duck will remind her of her farm and she’ll get sad and homesick, so then she’ll want a suitcase to go see her family….when she’s looking for her suitcase under your bed, she’ll find some tap shoes….you get the idea. The little girl in the story, is running around like crazy trying to help the pig “get what she wants,” just so she’ll be happy. But each time the pig gets that “thing” that she “thinks” will make her happy, all it does is prompt her to think of the next thing she thinks she wants.
I am the pig. My husband is the girl. At the end of the day, he just wants me to be happy and gets tired and fed up when I just can’t seem to get there. He tries to solve “it,” whatever “it” is. He is a problem solver by nature, an engineer and quite good at it, yet, out in the business world, he can solve tremendous things, but at home it never seems to be quite right for me…his toughest problem to solve, yet the thing he loves the most!
The pig goes from wanting pancakes, to sadness, to tap dancing, to building a treehouse, to decorating that tree house, to being sticky again from putting up wallpaper—which reminds her of the syrup, and then…she wants pancakes again. Pancake [whole bunch of stuff in the middle] Pancake. Man, I’m tired. And so is Mark. We’ll go into some of the dynamics at work in this scenario in the next few articles in this series, but it paints a useful picture.
This spinning is exactly what my mind does: if I don’t get A done, then I’ll miss out on B, and then I’m totally screwed, so I’ll have to settle for C, but I don’t want to settle for C, so I’m going to kill myself to do A, but there isn’t just ONE A, there are 50 A’s that I want done RIGHT NOW….well crap, now I’m sick and in bed and NONE of it will get done.
And guess what? Turns out none of it was actually all that critical to begin with.
God’s Character in Contrast to Mine
So, as God was teaching me the truth about His character, He was revealing to me how my “nature” was actually eating me alive. The very things I thought would bring me life and happiness and joy, aka towbness (not a word btw), were the very things that brought me death.
He was slowly allowing me to live life my way first, so that when He showed me His way, I would deeply see the contrast. In my mind, my ways bring life, goodness, and prosperity but actually bring stress, anxiety, debt, and death. In contrast, His ways, through a death to self actually bring life, goodness, joy, peace, provision, and prosperity.
Over many years, He was teaching me to give all that I am to Him so that I may have life on His terms and in His ways—not mine–which is how I was originally designed–to be perfectly and completely yoked to Him in full obedience–that’s where the true goodness is.
Are you still clinging to something that you know God wants you to give up?
That’s ok. Me too. I usually know what the Lord wants me to give up and when I’m not ready to give it up yet, I tell Him. Then I usually follow that up with a teary rant, “Lord! I’m just a person! I can’t do any of this without you! If you want me to give this up, then you have to change my desire. Please give me the desire to give this up.”
Do you feel constant pressure? What’s your nail, that is seemingly so clear to everyone else but you? Do you feel like if certain things don’t happen or get done life won’t be good?
Breath. You’re not alone. That’s why videos like the one above are so funny….we all struggle with these types of things.
Our age of technology with immediate information (much of it a falsehood) and products at the tip of our fingers have accelerated this long time human compulsion to fill ourselves and our lives with all kinds of things that can never truly satisfy or bring joy or peace or rest. It’s one of the great deceptions of our time.
I have found that when I slow down and make time for God and for being in His Word and praying, not only do I accomplish more in my day, but my attitude is a little different. My anxiety isn’t there and my focus shifts from all the wretched things going on this world and feeling panic inside, to a place in my mind’s eye that is more beautiful and peaceful than anything I’ve ever experienced before and I feel like I’m wrapped in a warm blanket.
Every once in awhile, I have these profound moments with God. They are usually when I’m praising Him….the other day I was praising God for various things that had come together, no doubt by supernatural means, and I looked up at this painting at my desk that has a subtle cross in the middle with a crown of thorns at the base of the Cross and I said, “Lord! I want a crown of thorns just like yours.” It felt like a little girl wanting to be just like her dad. And a very quiet, gentle, yet firm presence inside me said, “No Kelli. That’s mine. My crown is of thorns so that your crown can be perfect and beautiful.”
Have you accepted your crown yet?
First Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”—that is what He created in the Garden before sin entered the world and that is what will come to pass in His perfect and Holy, Eternal City. That’s the TRUE Pancake to Pancake. Sin was no match for Yahweh. It is already finished, but still unfolding.
Have you fully and completely turned your heart and mind over to the one True God and Savior? The God of Love & Truth…for love is what truly transforms, not hate, anger, or rage.
We can know that Christ is the only way, the truth, and the life because everything else is man made, man centered. Everything else is man trying to reach God or man trying to reach peace and goodness without God. Christ is the only way where God Himself reaches down to man–no one else even claims to actually be God other than Christ. Muhammed did not claim to be God. Buddha and Ghandi did not claim to be God. The god of materialism does not claim to be God, but promises happiness and peace and security it can never deliver.
Christ the higher being becoming the lower being in order to minister to the lower being and bring truth and peace on the lower beings’ level so that the lower being can actually receive it. If I want to minister to ants, then I better become an ant or they are going to get scared and scurry like crazy when they realized that I can squash them. And until I get down on their level, I’m actually so big, they don’t even see me.
These are tough truths, because in our flesh, we want there to be multiple ways. But when we are everything, we are nothing.
Ask God if He is real to show Himself to you. I’ve been a Christian my entire life and I’d say that only in the last 2 years have I really even begun to get it. And that is only because I started praying that prayer…”God! If you are real, show yourself to me! I want to know who you TRULY are, not who man or religion says you are—because that feels off—who you REALLY are. And if you’re not real, then fine, I’ll move on with my life.” Every. Single. Time. He showed up. I pray the same for you.