An excellent wife, who can find?

Proverbs 31:10-31


This is written very directly to all the men out there. It’s really not intended for you ladies at all. John Gray once wrote a book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I think that’s wrong: those two are way too close together!!

I’m about to re-marry, so I am again faced with one of the biggest questions of all, a question for all of us – men, that is. Have any of you figured out yet how to understand them – women, I mean? It seems they say one thing, but clearly mean another. And we are clueless about this “code” language.

How many times have you asked, “Where would you like to go to dinner?” You are congratulating yourself all along because the very nature of the question states that you have already made the decision to take her out for dinner instead of asking her to slave over that hot stove in preparation for you.

But what is her reply? “I don’t really care. Anywhere.”

Those three simple words are so packed full of meaning that we – their men – can’t understand. Those words really don’t mean either “I don’t care,” or “anywhere.”

The usual conversation then proceeds something like this: we reply, “How about Italian?” To which she says, “No, I don’t want Italian.” And then on it goes until you’ve exhausted every ethnic or regional cuisine ever developed. But then she says, “Whatever you want.” Again guys, it doesn’t mean that. Good luck! You’re in my prayers.

A close friend from Australia has coined the most helpful advice about this whole conundrum that I’ve ever heard. And he’s allowed me to share this with you all – men only! It’s this: RBTL. Write this on your “hearts and minds.” In fact, I might suggest that you young, inexperienced guys who like this sort of thing might have it tattooed on your palms. It stands for Read Between the Lines. This means that whatever is said is not – I repeat, “is NOT” – what our ladies really mean. In a stroke of clarity, I realize that what is actually said is supposed to be merely a clue to the real meaning. Think of it like a treasure hunt. If we can collect enough clues, we might actually get to the treasure.

If you listen hard enough you might actually learn to RBTL. It takes serious concentration and focus, two characteristics most of us don’t do well. First, don’t be thrown off by words – they mean nothing. Focus on how she says it: with a flip of her hair; with pursed lips; or with that special look that she gets that we can never really figure out. They’re all clues. Clues to a code that they are born knowing, and that we will never break.

Remember, RBTL!

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