Throughout my lengthy career in ministry, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to not only serve in the music ministry of my local church, but to spend time with all the other areas of ministry within the church. From students and children to newlyweds and adults, I’ve learned something new from every group… things I’ve thought and prayed about, learned from and shared with others. I guess you could say I have a passion and a heart for learning from others… and then sharing. So while this might not be a topic on “worship,” I share this with you… from my heart to yours.
Recently, I was at a gathering of older couples – the wives of this group are part of our church’s women’s ministry known as, Apples of Gold. As I looked across the room, it suddenly dawned on me that the wives of this group were some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen at one time. Now, don’t misunderstand me – I’m not talking about beauty the way Hollywood defines it – I’m talking about Proverbs 31 kind of beauty. There was a glow on the faces of the wives and a sparkle in the eyes of their husbands. I immediately thought, “These are blessed men.”
Teresa and I have been married 33 years, but compared to this bunch, we’re newlyweds. There were couples that have been married 50, 54, 57, and even 60 years. And, as I watched all this, a thought came to me that I’ve been pondering ever since:
These women are beautiful because they have been loved and cherished well by their husbands.
In other words, the husbands of these precious ladies are now sharing the fall and winter seasons of their lives with wives they have loved and cherished through the years. And the result is that each one has a wife that exudes confidence, character, and true beauty.
That is not to suggest the personal spiritual development of each woman doesn’t matter in this process, because it absolutely does. And that is the responsibility of each individual wife. But, it does mean the value a husband attributes to his wife helps her establish aspirational goals as she matures. It seems those years of being valued nurture a beauty that doesn’t fade and only increases over time.
I want that for my wife. And honestly, I want that for me, too.
It seems to me that long before she would stop loving me, she would stop loving herself. And if someone came along that started valuing her and giving her the type of attention that nurtured her self-image while that image was being damaged by my lack of attention, well, pretty soon I wouldn’t have a wife anymore. Sadly, I’ve seen this exact thing happen to many couples way too often.
And even more tragic would be if we just found a way to tolerate each other without truly giving ourselves to each other. Nobody wins in that kind of deal.
So, how would you know if the way you are treating your wife now is causing her to question her value to you? Here are a few signs to watch for closely –
- She stops caring about her appearance – especially when it’s just the two of you.
- She is un-motivated – in her work, play, exercise, and spiritual life.
- She is generally sad and moody and feels overwhelmed by life.
- She is un-responsive – to your words and to your touch.
All this adds up to a wife that thinks she is not worth much to her husband. And if this describes your wife, you desperately need the answer to this question – where in the world did she get an idea like that?
The answer: from you.
If you want a wife – to share the golden years of life with – that has a beauty and countenance reflecting true worth, you’d better get busy.
She is more valuable than your job – your job won’t take care of you when you’re not working.
She is more valuable than your money – you could lose it all and still have her.
She is more valuable than your ministry – loving her well is a qualification for ministry.
She is more valuable than your parents, your friends, your hobby, your car, your favorite sports team, your hunting season, your dog, your anything or anyone else – and yes, even more important than your kids.
When you married her, you became one. She is part of you. She is more valuable than every one of your limbs. She is more valuable than your very life.
Jesus died for His bride and told us to love our wives the same way.
Look deep into the eyes of your wife and see just how much she thinks she’s worth to you. If it’s less than you hoped for, do something about it.
Before it’s too late.
P.S. Do you know someone that needs to read this? Please share… with your son. Your brother. Your brother-in-law. Your friend. The list goes on and on and on. But, please share.
Mike Harland is the Director of Lifeway Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.