My friend, Richard, has told me something on several occasions that took me by surprise and caught me off guard the first time or two that I heard it. He would see Julie at one place or another and tell me that she was “radiating.” He was not being inappropriate in any way, but recognizing the presence of God within Julie in her countenance and demeanor. He was right.
It wasn’t that comment that caught me off guard, though, it was what followed. He said to me, “well done.” He said that when she is so obviously prospering, it is to my credit. I wasn’t sure what to make of that at first, but he is right, and that’s not arrogant. When we put our brides on display, we are presenting them for the Glory which has been fostered within them. The opposite of that is a defeated wife where there is no radiance, just dullness from disappointment.
The Bible says that our wives are our “crowns” (Proverbs 12:4) and our “glory” (1 Corinthians 11:7). In Ephesians 5, Scripture describes how Jesus treats His bride like this: “Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. (MSG)”
Julie and I were at a gathering of pastors the other day and she was one of only two women in the room. She was asked to pray at the end and, I mean to tell you, she called down heaven. She spoke to the Father on behalf of the men in that room with familiarity, conviction, declaration and authority. She blessed us with the prayer that she spoke over us in a way that was tangible. It brought me to tears and I was not the only one.
I was so honored to know that I have been given the privilege of making a way for her. It’s not stealing her glory, as her glory is my glory. She was, and is, appropriately on display that the beauty of the Lord shines through her. She stands before a church of people almost every week in similar fashion and I step to the side with great appreciation for the gift she is.
The only thing I could think about when Richard first told me “well done” was that I had done so much to screw it up so how could I get credit for the Glory in her? That only shows me another glimpse of the fullness of His grace, for which I am in awe.
Husbands, take a look at your wives and consider whether or not your bride reflects His glory . . . thus, your glory.