Many women have said to me, “Greg, men run the world.” Wow. That makes us sound pretty capable. So tell me, why would you think we could be incapable of something as simple as picking up the phone and asking you out? You seem to think at times that we’re “too shy” or we “just got out of something.” Let me remind you: Men find it satisfying to get what they want. (Particularly after a difficult day of running the world.) If we want you, we will find you.
This advice serves as the opener to a popular book entitled He’s Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. Written by Greg Behrendt, this book has become a national best-seller and the inspiration for a romantic comedy set to debut in 2009.
Its popularity is due in large part to its no nonsense approach to dating. In a world where women make excuses for the men who don’t pursue them, Behrendt saves them the time and energy of wondering. According to Behrendt, if a guy is interested he’ll make it clear–women just don’t want to accept this fact. That’s why his chapter titles possess seemingly obvious but necessary wisdom as:
He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Asking You Out
He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Calling You
He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Dating You
He’s Just Not That Into You If He Doesn’t Want to Marry You
…and my personal favorite…
He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Breaking Up With You
This book has a bit of valuable truth to it. For the most part, guys are more straight-forward than women make them out to be. Women spend countless hours constructing dizzying logic about why a man didn’t call or why he doesn’t want to date her. But the truth is, when that same guy sees a women he really digs, then he’ll go for her. Even if he’s nervous or shy. Most of the time, a man’s actions are clear.
However, that is not the point of this blog.
The reason I mention this crazy dynamic between men and women is that it’s a perfect illustration of our attempt to discern God’s will. Scroll back up and read the opening paragraph again, but this time substitute the word “God” for men, and substitute “revealing His will” for asking you out. It’s essentially the same dynamic.
Just think about it–in the same way that we concoct crazy interpretations of a guy’s actions, even when they’re actually pretty clear, we create countless interpretations about God’s supposed will for our lives. But let’s be honest–both sets of interpretations are more likely a reflection of what we want to hear than a realistic assessment of the situation. And as a result, we make the process a lot harder than it needs to be.
In the same way that we agonize over understanding men, we see God’s will as a puzzle that we have to decode, a maze to find our way through. And that’s why we view the search for God’s will as a tight rope walk–if we make just the wrong step, we’ll fall off the path altogether and our lives will be ruined.
In reality, both men and God are not all that difficult to understand. If a guy doesn’t call you, it’s because he’s really not that into you. If God doesn’t give you a clear direction forward, He probably just wants you to chill out where you are. It’s not rocket science.
The real source of our confusion is often an unwillingness to accept the answer that we’re given.
Now I have to admit that my analogy does break down a bit. Sometimes men can be confusing (heck, they’re probably confused themselves a lot of the time!), but such a trait is not part of God’s character. God created the universe and reigns over it every day. He is sovereign, which means He not only desires that we fulfill His purposes, but He is more than capable of guiding us to that end.
That said, God is not going to sit in Heaven nervously biting His finger nails, hoping we follow His will for our lives. He wants us to know it, so if we ask Him, we are guaranteed to receive an answer.
But just like the dating game, it’s not always the answer we want. When God wants you to know the next step, He will make His will clear–the question is whether or not we’re willing to accept it. In the same way that we make excuses in the face of dating rejection, we do the same when God gives us an answer we don’t like.
Sometimes the answer is “wait,” other times the answer is a flat-out “no,” or sometimes the answer may be slightly different than what you were expecting. But whatever God’s will is, He’s not deliberately hiding it from you. On the contrary, He has a vested interest in making sure you know it.
As I said, the analogy isn’t perfect because men will sometimes lie to spare a woman’s feelings or avoid feeling guilty. And occasionally a guy really is too shy to ask a girl out. But with God, you can count on Him to lead you because unlike the men that Greg Behrendt’s described, God is always into you.