I am your greatest earthly treasure, but you’ve placed me upon a shelf. You pour yourself into things, that will be tossed away tomorrow. Look at me! Strangers, acquaintances and friends affirm me for a season, but you don’t see my gifts. Look at me! You see my adornments and your hands and lips examine the jewels, but you don’t see my heart and mind. Look at me! You praise my efforts, but always with a suggestion. Look at me! I am only a whisper away from you, but you don’t see the tears in my eyes. Look at me! What do I want? I do want you to be thrilled by my adornments, I do want you to praise my best, but I also want you to be amazed by my heart and my mind. Who am I? Don’t look at me, but look deep within me.
This statement could have been written by any married woman living today or throughout history. It is incredibly common for a wife to feel this way. She isn’t necessarily depressed or not functioning, but she feels emptiness. She needs encouragement. She needs her best efforts to be praised, without an added criticism, in the form of a suggestion. She needs to feel valued. She needs all of her gifts and abilities to be appreciated, instead of being seen as problems or complications. She needs you to be amazed by every part of her – her mind, body and soul. She needs you to believe, and show her, that she is the butter to your bread.
Husbands, I’m trying to help you to help yourselves. If any of the above sounds familiar, your wife is needing you to go to school. She needs you to love her, by studying her. She is worth the effort. Your marriage is worth the effort. Make her your lifelong learning project. A man learning about a woman, is an attractive man. I know it’s hard and probably foreign to you, since she is a strange and wonderful creature, but anything that is important, requires time and effort. She doesn’t find it easy and natural, but she tries to make your physical needs her priority and put you before the children.
Women are relational, soft-hearted and responsive. Women have a deep need to be understood. If you remove the outward beauty and all of the tasks that she completes, you will find her essence. Her essence is her qualities and character. It is her own unique set of gifts, given to her by her Creator. Does she seem to attract those that you deem as unlovely? Is she kind, thoughtful and generous – putting others above herself? Is she sensitive to the moods or hurts of others? Does she love others, even though she gets hurt? Does her heart of compassion move her to take action? Does she impressively deal kindly with you, the children and others outside of your household? This is her essence, which is to be appreciated, not viewed as a problem that needs to be fixed.
See and appreciate her essence. Praise her for all of her qualities, and brag about her to others. As a woman ages, her physical beauty will change, the volume of tasks that she can complete will reduce, but her essence will remain, and it will become even more beautiful in time. Give her the hope and encouragement that she needs, by looking deep within.