August 27, 2015

The Only Woman in the World

Gary Thomas — 

The Only Woman in the World

Men, if you would like to have superlative satisfaction in your marriage, if you would enjoy a love for your wife that has no comparison, go back with me to the beginning of time—when Adam walked the earth by himself with God. Adam watched little animals and bigger animals, he discovered a wide variety of plants, and he talked to a God who was beyond imagining.

But there was no one like him.

No one.

He lived like that for a while. How long was that “day?” We don’t know.

But then Adam was put into a deep sleep. When he woke up, he could hardly believe his eyes. Before him stood Eve, like him in the most important ways but also so unlike him in even more important ways.

There she stood with eyes that seemed curiously soft, legs that were like his but somehow gloriously different, soft lips, and breasts!

And she was his, as he was hers.

What made this moment especially powerful, momentous, and even enthralling?

There was no Holly, Shanice, or Sofia.

There was just Eve.

Adam couldn’t compare Eve’s shoulders to Camille’s or Eve’s back to Emma’s. He couldn’t say “Eve is kinder than Janet,” or “Eve isn’t as sensitive as Claire,” because there was only Eve, in all her glory, the woman who defined “woman” to the first man. He couldn’t imagine any other woman, because there wasn’t one. He couldn’t wonder what it would be like if she were taller, heavier, slimmer, darker, or lighter.

She just was.

The only woman in the world.

And Adam couldn’t have been happier.

If you want to be fully satisfied in your marriage, treat your wife like Eve. Let her be, in your mind, the only woman in the world.

Pray a prayer that I talk about in Sacred Marriage, one that I prayed early on in my own marriage: “Let my wife define beautiful to me. Let her be the standard for what I find most attractive.”

Do you think that’s a prayer that God will have to think about answering? “Hmmm, not sure I want to do that.”

Not a chance.

It is stunning to me that yesterday, after 31 years of marriage, my wife was standing in front of me feeling all stressed out, talking about how tired she felt, and how frustrating certain aspects of her day had been. While trying to respond with empathy on the outside, inside I was thinking, “She is gorgeous. Still gorgeous.”

I don’t compare my wife’s occasional frustrations with another woman’s peace just as I won’t compare my wife’s face to another woman’s eyes. If I want supreme satisfaction in Lisa, she must become to me like Eve and be the only woman in the world. The only one I will ever look at in that way.

I defy any man to honestly say he has derived any lasting, godly satisfaction from looking at another woman the way he should look only at his wife; after the short moment of excitement, there will be a much longer season of frustration and discontent. Has looking at another woman or comparing your wife to another woman ever led you to more joy, a happier marriage, or more peace with God?  Of course not.

No man’s marital happiness has ever been served by comparing his wife’s weaknesses to another woman’s strengths. That’s how you create discontentment, assault any attitude of cherishing your wife, and how you ruin your own happiness.

It’s a choice, men—it’s a choice. I have a choice to look at my wife like Adam looked at Eve, the only woman who matters. I have a choice to fill up my eyes and be so taken with her that there is no Juliet, Jada, or Anna.

Just Lisa.

Have you ever lived that way husbands? Do you think you could pray this week, “God, let me start looking at my wife like Adam looked at Eve—as the only woman in the world?”

It’s a prayer first, then a choice, then a recommitment. You will stumble. You will have to go back and pray again. You will have to choose again.

But if you keep doing it, eventually, it happens.

Your wife is cherished.

Your wife isn’t just your first choice, but your only choice.

You become happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.

Because your wife defines beauty for you, your picture of the most beautiful woman in the world ages with your wife. You won’t be a sixty-year-old man pining after a 25-year-old centerfold. Who wants to be that guy, anyway?

You’ll eventually be a sixty-year-old husband who is enthralled with his sixty-year-old wife and still finds his heart skipping a beat when she smiles in her own particular way, or she stands in front of you in that dress and the sun hits her just right and you forget about everything else, including time.

You want this men. Trust me. You do. It is one of the supreme blessings of marriage that is often overlooked.

It takes vigilance.

It takes intention.Small Sacred Marriage Image - Cropped

It takes practice.

But when it arrives—when your wife is Eve and there is no other—you will feel like the most blessed husband alive.

Your wife will feel cherished, because your adoration will be as genuine as the beginning of time. Your heavenly Father will experience joy because He delights when his daughter is richly cherished. Your kids will feel secure because their home is protected.

Everybody wins. Everybody.

But Adam wins the most.

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18 responses to The Only Woman in the World

  1. Wow! This is a good one!!

  2. Dude. This kicks. Excellent. May God grant me such wisdom as I counsel breaking marriages.

  3. My husband is a sex addict (diagnosed) and addicted to porn. (Since he was 10- he’s 54). We’ve thrown 1,000’s of dollars at it. After 20 years of marriage I am leaving. Just last week I found more- to which he again lied and rationalized. He has profaned his covenant. I’ve been patient but my GOd In His graciousness have me an out.
    To the women who aren’t get married: Be CAREFUL! My husband talks the Christian talk really well, but I don’t think he’s born again. Men struggle with lust- that’s comparing your wife hands down. Most of the men on here don’t get that. Gary- keep telling the truth. Not all men will ever get it, but keep the conversation going. Blessings.

  4. THIS is a bold word my friend. Bold and very wise and helpful. I have had discussions before on the subject of Adam not having choices. But he did choose her, and was not forced by God.
    That prayer is worth making, and am on it starting today. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lindsey Pennella August 28, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Incredible way to look at our spouse Gary! Brilliantly said my friend!!

  6. Great post and I, too, agree that it goes both ways. What defines a wonderful husband? All that MY husband is! Thank you for this wholesome truth.

  7. Thank you for sharing this post, Gary.
    My wife Gina and I are both sixty five. We’ve been married nearly forty years. Our marriage started out wrong in just about every way.
    When we married, I was a violent, manipulating rageaholic. I had swung from drugs, promuscuity, and alcohol to a legalistic Pharisee.
    But now God is healing us. And yes, Gina is beautiful to me. I recently told her, “Sometimes I get so lost in your beauty, one of these days they’ll have to send a search party to find me.”
    In our early years, I robbed Gina of the gift of being a bride. Now I want to spend the rest of our lives giving her back what I stole from her.
    Would love to meet you someday.

    • Phillip, this made me cry. Thank you for striving to be an amazing husband for your bride. I bet her heart leaps.

  8. Gary, I really liked this, being married to an unbeliever I find myself doing this. Comparing my husband to Christian men. Not in looks of course but in behavior and longing to have what other Christians wives have. My daughter said something the other day, although at the time she was making a funny it rang with so much truth, “Thou shalt not covet other Christians marriages”. I am the worst about watching Christian men and their behavior to their wives and wishing I had that. I know in my heart it’s wrong I love my husband very much but yet I find myself being discontent because he is not a christian husband. And all to often I myself do not behave as a Christian wife. I am always asking God to for give me because of something I’ve said or a bad attitude. My Pastor/ Counselor is always telling me “I can not expect my husband to behave as a Christian when he does not have the Holy Spirt guiding him as a Christian husband does”. This blog is a good reminder not only can a husband dishonor his wife by making comparisons but so can a wife do the same to her husband believer or not.

  9. That’s really beautiful, but I don’t know if it’s actually realistic in our fallen world. We don’t live in Eden. It’s a nice sentiment, though. Very sweet standard for husbands to aspire to.

    • With God, all things are possible. I have seen God move and clean house in me.

      Lord, help this become the truest desire of my heart.

      Thank you, Gary!

  10. God’s way is always best! In the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal and the entry “drug” of pornography—a heavy advertiser on that web site—we need to rethink what God designed intimate marital love to really be! After all, doesn’t every woman want to be “the only woman in the world” for her husband?

  11. Amen, Absolutely! I dragged my husband to one of Gary’s marriage conferences and something triggered in my husband’s heart when Gary challenged the men to make their wife his standard of beauty. From that day on, he has made a covenant with his eyes and makes certain that I know it.
    The result???? He has a confident wife. I don’t have to compare myself to other women either because I know beyond a doubt how valuable I am in the eyes of my beloved.
    I don’t concern myself with aging in appearance, I am able to relax and focus on my heart, and my relationship with Christ…which actually works to preserve my beauty because it flows from within.
    I want to be a beautiful old lady who can still make my husband’s heart skip a beat…that is my goal…and to God be the Glory all the way there 🙂

  12. I think this insight goes both ways.. If I start comparing my husband to every other man in the world, if I’m still living as if I’m single, as if I’m still looking for ‘the perfect man’ (who, of course, doesn’t exist except in Jesus), then I most definitely will be unhappy in my marriage, because I’m not living ‘in my marriage’; it’s an inconsistency of heart and mind and soul. It’s the same in our walk with God; if I make a commitment to Christ and profess to be a Christian, but live as if I’m not, it doesn’t bode well. Duplicity brings chaos and anxiety. Being made in the image of God, Who is One, and is perfectly consistent, we long for this unity of being. This is only attained through relationship with God, which restores the order and oneness we were originally created for.

  13. I am not married yet but this is what I have asked God for…a man that looks at me and sees just me. Thank you for capturing the beauty of marriage in this post.

  14. Beautiful post, Gary. Yes, comparing the worst of a wife with the best of a stranger will always result in dissatisfaction and contempt. A wife’s awareness of these comparisons will transform a confident, eager, vigorous woman into a shrinking, insecure wallflower — which only makes future comparisons even more lopsided.

    I am healing from fifteen years of such critical comparisons. The good news is that Jesus is able to HEAL these deep hurts, and He also loves me perfectly!!! Thank you, Lord, for your sufficient grace! Bring conviction and Holy Spirit empowering to husbands and healing and hope to hurting wives, I ask in your powerful name, Jesus.

  15. Excellent insight. The Bible warns us not to compare ourselves, so it makes complete sense not to compare our spouse, since we are one.