Tell me, tell me, who?

by MW Cook

With Pakistan’s Independence Day just around the corner I find myself
thinking about this neat country I’m a part of and wondering which
thing about Pakistan I appreciate or enjoy the most. As I was walking
down the street to day I asked myself, “What is you favorite Pakistani
thing?” The answer came quick. My ghar-walli.

Love is a neat thing, eh? When I first got together with Ruth, maybe
about five years ago, I was sure that I loved her. Turns out I didn’t
know what love was back then. When we got married, three years ago, I
was sure that I loved her. Maybe I didn’t quite know what love was
then either. When we had a son and kicked it off to Pakistan I was
quite sure that I loved her. I don’t know if I was certain about love
at that time. Today as I type I’m sure I love Ruth. What’s love?
That’s a tough question.

Is it attraction? Maybe. But what kind? Any kind? I’m certainly
attracted to Ruth. The nice thing about Ruth is that I know that when
her physical beauty fades (because everybody’s physical beauty fades)
I won’t mind. You see, Ruth is by far the most beautiful person I’ve
ever met. And I would still say that even if her face and form were
totally disfigured. Ruth has a clean heart. She is focused on one
thing. She loves Jesus and she loves me. She is sensitive, caring
and happy. She relies on God and she helps me to do the same. She
follows me wherever I go and doesn’t resent it when I run us into a
wall. She is beautiful, even without the pretty face. I don’t think
I love her because of her beautiful appearance. There are many people
in the world who are beautiful on the outside and I couldn’t dream of
enduring a marriage with them. Ruth’s best selling point is her
<em>other</em> beauty. The beauty that all who have spent time with
her can attest to. The beauty that turns and ogre into an angel and
without which a princess is a witch. The beauty that makes everyone
want to be my wife’s friend. My wife is attractive.

But is love only attraction? Probably not. Love that only lies in
attraction would just be a sort of lust or pragmatism. It’s certainly
quite practical to have an inwardly beautiful spouse. I suppose
there’s something else that’s needed to make love complete. Perhaps
joy. When my beloved is happy I find that I also am happy. Part of
love is finding your joy in the joy of the beloved. And so I do nice
things for Ruth. I try to make her smile because her smiles make me
smile. Some people make fun of husbands who dote on their wives.
These people are either silly or they just don’t understand this part
of love. I don’t treat my wife well because it’s my duty. I do it
because the greatest sound this side of heaven is my wife’s laugh.
Sometimes this might mean doing things that my wife doesn’t like
because I believe it will make her happier in the long run. Paul
suggested this when he talked about a husband helping to sanctify his
wife. He who loves his wife will certainly do whatever he can to
increase her joy, both now and later. He won’t care so much about his
own preferences because his love for his wife and her joy will be
greater than his love for his own comfort. The people who call
husbands who do this sort of thing ‘whipped’ are idiots.

So attraction and joy in their joy. I don’t know if I know what love
is yet, but I think I’ll stick with this definition until a better one
presents itself.

So hear me, my fellow men! If you would be men indeed go and find
your wife (or significant other). Tell her, “Happy Pakistani
Independence Day!” and do whatever it takes to get a smile and a laugh
out of her. Take the kid for the evening. Grab her some chocolates.
Do whatever it takes. Real men love their wives.