I follow a few male bloggers who regularly bemoan their inability to understand women.  (Actually, they regularly bemoan women’s inability to be understood, but since the flaw is obviously a male one, I decided to rephrase that.)

Here’s the thing: men aren’t meant to understand women.  Women are meant to teach them how to deal with an unknowable God.  We will never fully understand God; we’re not meant to fully understand Him.  Men will never fully understand women; they’re not meant to understand us.

Newsflash:  Women do not understand women either.  You didn’t think only men get an insight into not being able to fully know God, did you?

Even though I certainly don’t claim to understand women (hey, most of my closest friends are male or females with lots of male friends), I do understand how they think.  (You hush… we do think.)

By way of example, I offer Eve in the Garden of Eden:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

This is the story of when Satan (successfully) tempts Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and thereby curses the earth for all humanity.  But it does tell how women think.

“… the fruit of the tree was good for food”

Contrary to what men think, 90% of a woman’s decisions are based on practicality.  They have to be, or we’d be overwhelmed.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there and weeding through it can be confusing, so our “practical” decisions don’t always work.

One week we are eating low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb, processed diet shakes with every meal… the next week, we’ve discovered we need good fats, low-calorie causes our bodies to hang onto calories, low-carb for long periods taxes your liver (I think… see, even I get confused about this stuff and this is one of my passions), processed food is generally bad, and artificial sugars make you want more sugar.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

In spite of the confusion, behind all this is a desire for a practical decision: wanting something that is good for us.

“… and pleasing to the eye…”

It’s funny.  Men are thought to be the more visual half of the species while women are the more verbal (again, hush).  Yet it is women who worry over the aesthetic of beauty.  Decorating the home, staying in shape, trying to look young, dressing for success, wearing just enough makeup to look polished but not so much that we look easy… even the most tomboy-ish of us (yours truly) occasionally gets caught up in the “pleasing to the eye” aspect.

Men throw mismatched furniture into a room, build up a beer belly with pride, and never have to worry about makeup.   Honestly, men have it easy.

“… and also desirable for gaining wisdom…”

I think this is the aspect of how women think that men get the least.  Women need to know details.  Whether it’s following the Brangelina drama, finding out why Kari and Kim aren’t talking to each other, knowing why we aren’t supposed to be going South Beach any longer, or just understanding how a man’s mind works, we want insight, wisdom, and understanding.  We just want it in a way men don’t understand.  Really, we don’t understand it either.

I’d like to be able to just take something my boyfriend tells me and file it away, face-value, for the long-term.  But my brain instantly starts thinking about the reasoning behind what he said.

Okay, he said he really liked the lighting in my picture.  Does that mean he thinks I used to light it poorly?  Or maybe he thinks that the rest of the picture blows chunks and the lighting was the nicest thing he could say.  Or maybe…

Note one: my boyfriend has not, to this point, made this comment (and probably never will now).  I made it up to protect the innocent.

Note two: women don’t like being this way.  We’d like to have everything work out in our brains the first time.  Men being frustrated over us being this way just makes us more frustrated and irrational.

So, there’s why you don’t understand women in a nutshell: you don’t get Genesis 3:6.  Okay, so there are other bits to us, like hormones and spaghetti memory, but these three basics tend to drive most of how we think.

Now when men don’t understand us, they only have themselves to blame.