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.