I have two kids, and like most children, they say some pretty cute things. Sometimes, their phrases are unintentionally comedic. Like the time when my son was three and handed my husband a naked Barbie doll and innocently said, “Daddy, here’s a naked girl for you!”
And there are also times when their choice of words leave me pondering deeper truths. Like when my daughter exclaimed that there was no need for her to try squash because … “A woman just knows what she wants and what isn’t for her.”
At first, I laughed off her comment, but then I realized that she wasn’t 100 percent wrong in her assertion. Nor was her assertion 100 percent right.
Sometimes I just know something is wrong for me. For instance, I’ve never set my hair on fire, but I know it’s not something I want to try. When I was younger, I wanted to get my belly button pierced, but since I have this thing against unnecessary pain, I knew that a naval piercing wasn’t for me.
I also know that many people consider chocolate-drenched grasshoppers a delicacy. I’ll pass. If I want some crunch to my chocolate, a small pack of Pretzel M&M’s will do just fine.
Sometimes the situation is less obvious, like when I have the opportunity to use sarcasm as a tool to subtly attack someone. Or when I am tempted to tell a “little white lie” to get myself out of a jam or a potential embarrassing situation. In those situations it isn’t so much a gut feeling as it is a lesson already learned . . . but still I can recognize the early warning signs.
Sometimes a woman just knows when something is wrong. And then there are times when a woman knows what she wants, but doesn’t quite understand what she needs.
My daughter’s body needs the vitamins and minerals that accompany each bite of a fresh vegetable. So one could argue that she needed the squash. But she didn’t want it. She didn’t want to look at it. She didn’t want to smell it. She didn’t want to get it near her mouth. And she sure as sugar is sweet did not want to eat it. She’s a girl who knows what she wants…and by default, what she doesn’t want.
However, had she given the squash a chance, she may have found out that she truly liked it. Eating squash may have become a want of hers.
As I think about this simple example of typical kid-ness, some self observations jump to mind. As a strong-willed woman, I often know what I want. At least, I think I do. But when I take the time to examine my wants closely, I discover that they don’t always line up with my needs.
In fact, some of my wants conflict with each other.
I want a healthy body. I want to eat whatever I want to eat whenever I want to eat it. Conflict.
I want my marriage to thrive. I want my own way. Conflict.
I want a clean and organized home. I want someone else to be responsible for the cleaning and organizing. Conflict.
I’m learning, at a rate that is both slow and sure, that in order for me to choose the right want, I must first understand what it is that I truly need.
When everything else is stripped away, one need remains at the core . . . one need fulfills all others.
I am a woman who needs more of Jesus and less of herself. I need to be close to Him . . . know His character . . . His word.
I need to be more like Jesus . . . more patient, loving, discerning, bold.
And when I embrace that need it grows into a soul-deep want . . . into a must-have.
What do you want most in this world, and does your want conflict with a need or is it inspired by one?
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:5-7 (NIV)