“The charm of a man (all people) is his kindness…” Proverbs 19:22
This was the marriage advice my dad had given me over twenty five years ago. Although it was true from a male perspective, I also find it true from a female perspective.
I did take it to heart but still didn’t understand just how important a woman’s charm really is to a man. It seems obvious that most men are visually attracted to a woman. That’s why some women will go to such extreme measures to look as attractive as possible. Charm, on the other hand, may be what makes an attraction go from the eyes to the heart. So decades later I found this truth confirmed in the Scriptures as the Hebrew word Taava. It usually translates into English as Desirable. But it is the persons Kindness or Chesed that is the desirable charm.
Could it be this Chesed or loving kindness, in her personality that makes him feel gallant when they are together? Is his masculinity complimented by her deference?
Charm may be what allures but what happens to the loving kindness after marriage?
If only we women knew how to avoid destroying this “charm” we so naturally attracted our men with.
What happens the first time we raise our voices in anger against our husbands? Yes, we may have had really good reason and of course we feel very justified but our charm instantly vanishes the second we began venting. He was once magnetized enough to promise his loyalty to only one woman, “until death do us part.” Now what could it be that changes between saying, “I do,” and “I want a divorce?”
My parents had been married 51 years when my dad randomly repeated these words to me again during one of our telephone conversations but this time I really understood how important his words were.
I’d spent the past decade recovering from a very painful divorce and now I was ready to give marriage another try. Still I was only focused on how I wanted my husband to treat me. It really never occurred to me that my charm, (how I treated him) had any influence on the way he treated me.
Isn’t it strange how naturally un-charming we become when we feel offended, unloved or dishonored? Psalm 119:165
I’d never gone to “charm” school but all I had to do was look back to the qualities I had when my husband and I began to date, right up to the day he asked me to marry him. I knew better than to yell at him or called him names; I never criticized him or demanded my own way. I wasn’t disrespectful or impatient, I didn’t nag him about things he did that bothered me, I wasn’t grumpy or depressed and I never missed an opportunity just to be with him.
In other words, it’s not really that difficult to be charming until the first time you feel hurt or offended and since he’s also on his best behavior that first major offence may not occur until after marriage.
What happens when the inevitable happens?
That first painful misunderstanding or disagreement can feel like an open flood gate of raw emotion being fueled by an adrenalin rush. I used to believe that I would explode if I didn’t vent all that steam because it isn’t healthy to hold anything in. I honestly thought it was good for to spew all that ugliness onto my husband so he would know exactly how I felt.
Little did I know, (believe it or not) this snaps a man right out of his rightful place of honor, the expected apology is sabotaged by defense, retaliation or even worse, a cold silence. Yet I continued reacting the same way every time I was offended, expecting him to respond differently and that’s why it’s called the “crazy cycle.”
If venting causes defensiveness, withdrawal or retaliation then wouldn’t maintaining the charm increase the odds of an apology? So how does an offended woman communicate in a charming way when her blood pressure is so high she feels like a pressure cooker about to blow? Psalm 4:4; James 1:20; Ephesians 4:26
Keeping your husband in that place of honor even as you let him know of his offense, in love. Matthew 18:15.
It is not easy but it is possible to master or control our tone of our voice and the words we say. Anger in a normal emotion but I can refuse to speak during the adrenaline rush of anger, Ephesians 4:26. I have found, personally, that I do not feel better when I vent and I do not explode and die if I don’t let it all out.
Here are some words of Wisdom that have convinced me it is possible to be angry without being ugly and losing my charm.
Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (don’t ignore anger, ask God to reveal the underlying cause and give it to Him to heal, don’t stuff it or try to convince yourself that it doesn’t bother you.)
Genesis 4:7 …sin desires to control you but you must master it. (anything we give into is our master)
Luke 6:45 … out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (our words reveal to us and to others just how much ugliness we have stuffed and hidden inside)
Anger is a God-given emotion, it gives us energy so we’re not complacent, strength to stand up for what’s right so we can fight for the oppressed, the fatherless and the widow, Isaiah 1:17; James 1:20-27. On the other hand when anger is selfish, it’s just ugly.
It is possible to remain charming at all times when we humble ourselves and ask God’s Spirit for help, James 4:10 God’s Spirit transforms us by renewing our minds, Romans 12:2.
Thank you dad for sharing from an experienced male perspective, the importance of a woman’s charm in marriage, I finally get it:)
P.S. Matthew 25:40 “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” When you are offended by your husband remember that how we treat others is how we treat the Lord, it works every time 🙂