The Eight Cow Woman
Mahesh Chavda tells a story about a woman who lived in a village in India. The woman was very plain to most, having nothing distinguishable or desirable about her to anyone in her village. Her father knew that the most anyone had ever gotten for a daughter in the village was three cows so he thought that maybe, if he was lucky, he’d get one for his plain daughter.
One day a wealthy dignitary came to the village and saw the woman and thought that she was absolutely breathtaking. He offered her father eight cows in exchange for the girl. The father accepted and off she went to live in a palace with her new husband. A year or so later the woman came back and not one person recognized her, for she was now stunningly beautiful.
The Falkners told us this story in marriage counseling. They explained to Jesse if he made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world it would have a lasting affect on my demeanor, my appearance and my character.
I was reminded of this the other day when we were in Weston and a little girl, no more than three looked up at me while we were in this shop and said “Look mommy, a pretty girl!” The mother said “A pretty girl?” the mom said “Yep, I want to look just like her some day.” I was embarassed, but it made me think of the eight cow woman. It made me think of how every single day my husband tells me that I am beautiful on multiple occassions. He makes me feel loved and valued and like there is nothing in the world that means more to him. Since he’s done this there is rarely a week that goes by that one of my cashiers or just a friend doesn’t tell me how beautiful I am.
At first it was super weird and really awkward, but as time has gone by something crazy has happened, I’ve started to beleive it. I’m not all that bothered by a zit or a bad hairday because my husband tells me, no matter what I look like that I am beautiful. I look at pictures of myself from before we met and truly my appearance is different (not just my hair). I don’t look harsh or hard, I look dare I even say approachable. I am now the girl the little girl wants to look like as opposed to the girl that the little girl is rightfully afraid of. My character has been built in untold ways just in nine months, my countenance has improved and really I’m just a nicer person and a little more whole on the inside.
It makes me think of Jesus. It makes me think of the way he speaks of us with all of our spots and wrinkles He continually tells us how much He loves us and how beautiful we are to Him. It is this very thing that produces obedience in us. He likes us, He wants us to be with Him and therefore His words are always kind whether they be chastisement or encouragement. No where in the Bible is there a command for a wife to love her husband, not one time, but Husbands are commanded to love their wives. It is in this reality in God that we see so clearly illustrated His desire for voluntary lovers. I love God because He loves me, it could never be the other way around. If He chose to be stoic there would be nothing that I could do to get God’s attention ever, He’s God. But, because He chose me and He wants me to love Him it’s easy, just a yes, just a heart response, just a choice for righteoussness and I can say that today I loved Him back, not because He commanded me to, but because I can’t resist His love.