** This is written as part of the series 30 for 30: Reflections on Life at My 30th Birthday **
Today I just wanted to follow up on yesterday’s anniversary thoughts with a brief note on the beauty of my wife. Regardless of anyone else’s evaluation of her, I know Stacey to be the most beautiful woman in the world. I know that because she lets me see her heart. I have the unique privilege, of all the men on the earth, to know my wife intimately on a personal, emotional, and spiritual level.
Here’s how the appreciation of beauty is related to relationship, specifically friendship:
The world thinks we idealize our friend, and tells us that love is proverbially blind. Not so: it is only love that sees…. We only see what dull eyes never see at all. If we wonder what another man sees in his friend, it should be the wonder of humility, not the supercilious wonder of pride. He sees something which we are not permitted to witness. Beneath and amongst what looks only like worthless slag, there may glitter the pure gold of a fair character. That anybody in the world should be got to love us, and to see in us not what colder eyes see, not even what we are but what we may be, should of itself make us humble and gentle in our criticism of others’ friendships. Our friends see the best in us, and by that very fact call forth the best from us. — Hugh Black, Friendship
If that is true in friendship, then how much more in marriage. Beneath whatever flaws anyone else might see, what I see is ‘the pure gold of a fair character… the very best’ in her. Love is not blind; love sees truly, more than what others are permitted to witness. As we have lived together, talked together, and seen each other in all manner of circumstances these past seven years, I consider it a privilege like no other to be granted access to my wife’s heart–to see what makes her so beautiful. The more I come to know her, the more I stand back and rejoice in her beauty.
I’m sure you men who are married would say the same of your wives. To see her heart is to see something so tender, so precious, so gentle and loving and kind that it is hard to put words to it.
I think that in experiencing this, we’re beginning to taste something of the heart of God. 1 Peter 3.4 says to women: ‘Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.’ Where once I spoke of ‘inner beauty’ with a vague idea of what it meant, after living with my beautiful wife these past seven years, I think my hard-heart (and hard-head!) is finally beginning to get it. And what I see is glorious. It makes me love my wife like I never thought I could. And it makes me love my God even more.