April 13, 2016

Beauty Begins: A Challenge to Men

by Kerry Shook and Jordan Alpha

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.”  Ephesians 5:25 (MSG)

A woman doesn’t need a man in her life to define her, but she needs one who will delight in her and help her see her true beauty.  A man who will go all out in his love for her!  That’s the challenge for every husband, father, or son out there who’ve had, have, or will have a place in a woman’s life.  The thought that we (men) could somehow give women their identity is silly.  That comes from God and God alone.  But, what we can do is affirm their sacred reflections by becoming their biggest fans!  Authors William and Kathryn Beausay wrote:

Be one of her true believers.  Be the person in your girl’s life who is wildly optimistic about her chances for success. Concentrate on all her good qualities. Be sickeningly optimistic and energized, carbonated beyond recognition!  Blast her with hope!

The women in our lives need to know that we are their biggest fans – that we delight in and with them. Consider all the things we men typically are fans of – sports teams, a certain brand of truck, maybe a singer or a band.  Now, consider how we men typically demonstrate we are fans. We paint our faces and bellies, spend hours washing, waxing, and detailing those trucks, and pay good money for tickets close to the court.  Do we typically demonstrate that same level of enthusiasm toward our wives and daughters?  I wish I could say a resounding Yes!  But, I’m afraid I can’t. Sure, there may be moments here and there on occasion.  But, do they know daily, consistently, that we are their biggest fans?

Here’s the good news: it’s never too late to start being your wife or daughter’s biggest fan. It’s never too late to start telling her, “You are beautiful!”  If you’re a typical guy, like me, you may find it difficult to express your feelings.  You feel deeply, but it’s difficult to share your feelings.  I’m learning, however, that it doesn’t matter how crazy I am about my wife or how much I love my daughter if I don’t express my feelings in a way that allows her to feel them.  Sometimes, I struggle to share my feelings out of complacency and, sometimes, the busyness of life distracts me from my most important role of helping her feel how treasured and truly beautiful she is.  But, all the excuses really come down to self-centeredness rather than God-centeredness.  When the Holy Spirit is in control of my life, He strengthens me to do whatever it takes to share how I feel.  Sometimes, I hear men say, “Well, I’m not good at this sharing-my-feelings thing.”  I certainly can relate, but it’s not about what we’re good at or not good at.  It’s about what our wives and daughters need!  I have a long way to go in this area; but, every time I risk the awkwardness of letting my wife or daughter know how much I love her, it fills both our emotional tanks and draws us together.  This is a love that the Bible says is marked by giving, not getting.  

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