Upon reflection, marrying a beautiful woman isn’t that hard. I was an underemployed, college dropout when Brooke married me.

We later found out that someone literally planned to interrupt the ceremony when the pastor asked: “If anyone has a reason for these two not to wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.” When I learned that he hoped to stop our wedding I was, at first, offended and angry. Now, 21 years later, I’m thankful that no one drew attention to the fact that I had done nothing to win her. Marrying such a treasure was more of an act of larceny than of love.

Brides Are Chosen, but Wives Are Made

But if marrying a beautiful woman turns out to be relatively easy, making her into a more confident, lovely, and godly woman over many years is the kind of savvy work best left to real men. Here’s why: brides are chosen, but wives are made.

Wives are made of spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. Any clown can choose a beautiful bride, but can that same clown deal with the spots of a painful childhood, the wrinkles etched by being a working mommy, or the blemishes of selfishness and self-doubt? Of course not.

Behind every surly, insecure, sexually unavailable, nagging, sarcastic, and wounded/wounding wife is usually a man who simply doesn’t have what it takes to deal with spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. He will blame her, her family, or claim he just fell out of love. But in truth, he is just not very good at this game, and he doesn’t want to play anymore.

The Making of a Wife

Making a more lovely wife over many years requires the kind of man who handles his own spots, wrinkles, and blemishes while leaving the emotional margin for his dealing with his wife’s.

He is not a tired man.

Not a busy or hurried man.

He is a present man.

A tender man and sturdy man.

He is a prepared man.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

— Ephesians 5:25-27

Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman is the pastor of Valley Life | Tramonto, the first Valley Life Church planted in 2012. He planted his first NAMB church in 2004 in Portland, OR. Brian also writes for the Send Network Blog and Acts 29.