05 June 2014

Do You Want a Beautiful Wife?

Tim Savage of Camelback Bible Church in Phoenix has some of the best teaching on Christian marriage I've come across. Here are some posts, each one quite brief.

A sample:
Many men say they want beautiful wives.

Few men understand how much the beauty of a wife depends upon her husband.

Worry, criticism, ‘helpful’ critique – all of these things tear down a wife. After a few years of nothing but fault-finding from her husband, she begins to show the signs of weariness, like a public building.

But welcoming love and encouragement builds up a wife. Pretty soon, she looks like an opulent palace.

Several years ago, I had a friend who was getting ready to marry a woman who had a bit of a checkered past. Her personality was, to be honest, abrasive. She was cantankerous and strong-willed, and I could not imagine how my very good friend thought they were suitable for a life-long partnership.

As they were courting each other, I worked up the courage to tell him about my concerns. He listened respectfully, and then responded with four simple words: ‘But I love her.’

At the time, I dismissed it as sentimental drivel. I wondered why he was so blinded by emotion that he couldn’t take my concerns seriously.

But over the years, those words – ‘But I love her’ – have been translated into a remarkable work of glory. In later years, when I met the happily married couple again, I noticed a wife whose character was still strong, but also full of gentleness and kindness. A bit of heaven itself appeared on her face.

How did it happen? Clearly, she had been transformed by the daily gift of her husband’s love.

When a husband loves his wife, as Christ loves the church, she becomes a beautiful creature. She is cleansed, by the washing of water with the word. She becomes spotless, holy and blameless without blemish. She comes to her husband in splendor. (Ephesians 5:26-27)

Men have been talking for centuries about changing society for the better. They’ve poured a vast amount of energy and countless time into the endeavor. The result: an explosion of technology, but little improvement in the level of happiness in our lives. If only husbands would pour that amount of energy and time into their wives! Society would be transformed overnight – as marriages were transformed by the power of God into an image of divine beauty.
HT: Wade Urig

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen, Amen!

Anonymous said...

I was married for 18 years to a man who was negative and critical, held grudges, and could not say something nice about me if his life depended on it. I gained a lot of weight after the birth of our second child, which only caused him to reject me more. He left me for a younger, thinner woman. It has taken me a long time to stop believing I was the person his words made me believe I was. The way he treated me was emotional and mental abuse, and I praise God that I have discovered who I am in HIM and let Him define who I am.

moodygrad2000 said...

This is a sweet article and I am happy for the couple and the endurance it must have taken to effect such transformation in the wife. However, i only worry that the article comes off as a promise--if only you will be more godly, the spouse will surely change. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The story in the article is a bit of a twist of the story we usually hear--the woman (like the one in the comment section) who patiently tries to live out her love for the Lord in front of her husband but he preys on her and sees her submission as weakness that he can exploit. As we all know, sometimes our behavior makes a difference...sometimes it doesn't. It depends on the will of God for the individual, and in the case of a couple, both individuals. I wish things always turned out positively like the example here, but probably more often than not, it doesn't, especially if the spouse is not a Christian (good reason for God to say we should not be unequally yoked!) I hate to be negative but I also just know that if one views this as a promise it could lead to blaming the victim--he/she would change if only YOU would be more godly, a better example, a more submissive spouse, a servant, etc etc. The article is not about blaming the spouse, but I see that as a possible outcome if we take it too far (I realize the author isn't doing that). Anyway, just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, especially in light of what we as Christians should rely on the most God's word, as in the Genesis account and the story of the Fall and how it turned God's perfect creation of the male/female relationship on its ear, and how now we have to look to the Bible and God for how to "fix" it. And God's told women to "respect" their husbands and men to "love" their wives!

Anonymous said...

I am the anonymous person who posted earlier about being married to a negative, critical man. I had to spend some time with him last night, so if my words sounded a little bitter, I apologize.

For some reason God has seen fit to make my closest friendships with couples who have terrific marriages. For a long time I could not figure out what I did wrong, why my marriage failed, what was the secret to a strong, healthy marriage. Finally I realized that, in a nutshell, they were each other's best friend. They built each other up, respected each other, spoke words of encouragement, affirmation, and love, enjoyed spending time with each other and made sure to make time to do things together, and--most importantly--had Christ at the center of their marriage. They were equally yoked, spiritually, and were comfortable praying together, reading and studying scripture together, and discussing spiritual matters.

It is hard to be in a marriage where you cannot share your most intimate thoughts and feelings without being ridiculed or criticized. It is hard to be in marriage where there is no spiritual connection. Oh, we went to church together, but I was an avid student, went to bible studies, loved talking about spiritual things...and my husband had no interest. He believed his 90 minutes Sunday morning was enough. It was difficult to feel God's tug on my life but not have the support and encouragement of my husband--only complaints about how much time I spent at church, bible study, etc. So I backed off, hoping that he'd see my giving up "church" things as putting him first and appreciate my sacrifice. But he didn't.

Although I would love to experience marriage to a man who treats me with respect, honor, and love, it is all in God's hands. If it happens, it happens; if not, I'm content and grateful for where I am. I know God hates divorce, but in my case, I am a better person now and have grown so much closer to Him than I would have otherwise.

Matthew Haslam said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nice article but....My wife and I have been married for 23 years. We have endured the loss of our oldest to cancer just short of her second birthday, but God has blessed us with four additional children. My wife is an incredible person. She is hardworking, selfless, caring, a great mom and wonderful RN to her cancer patients. I have said some hurtful things in the past, but over the last 14 years I have tried to build her up with my words and little things I do. Even after all this I still think she has a low opinion of herself not only of her external beauty but of her inner beauty as well. Her favorite response to me when I say how beautiful or smart she is is to answer with "Whatever". I know this goes back to things that were said to her many years ago growing up. I treat my wife with respect, care and try to love her as Christ commanded, but I do not think it seems to make any difference at all.

Very weary.

Anonymous said...

My husband has never thought I was beautiful. OK looking is what I heard him say to someone else- he liked the body alright. It is hard to act inviting or sweet when I already know he doesn't think that I am pleasant to look at. He tells me, "smile" all the time so that he can even look at me on occasion. I ache for beauty in all the life around me..... I wish my spirit was beautiful. Lately I just don't care.......

Anonymous said...

Oh my Gosh! You know, I haven't seen your face, but one day we wil all be wrinkly old people. The bible says, beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears The Lord is to be praised. What is more important, that our society doesn't emphasize, is the heart of a person. People who are beautiful from the inside naturally become more beautiful on the outside. Their features don't change, but God's radiance shines upon them. The way your husband is treating you is probably how he has felt about himself. He obviously knows it offends you, which means he has probably been offended. I encourge you to pray to God about all this, and ask him to heal your heart and mend your marriage. Ask God to open your eyes to who you really are in him. You can't change a man unless he's in diapers :), but The Lord can heal your heart and emotions and you can know how he loves you.

Debbie Howerton said...

beautiful. Thanks for this. Some of these comments grieve me. Women who think they haven't been told in Scripture to love their husbands, for instance. There is a serious lack of Titus 2:4 happening. Older women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands. I'm a bit of a harpie on this subject. Women, love your husbands! Look at 1 Corinthians 13 as your guide, and I Peter 3:1-2. God have mercy and help us to love those sweet, dear human beings who were once one woman's little baby boy.