In Her Eyes
Dr. T. D. Worthington
“The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart.”
The glow from an eye that shows a pure and joyful disposition, rejoices the heart of him on whom it is turned. There is something infectious in the joyful look of another. It has a cheering effect upon those who observe it. We all want to see that light in the eyes of those we love, and when we see it our heart rejoices.
When a doctor looks into your eyes, he can see a lot. The eyes are sometimes a window to your overall health and well-being. I understand that a trained physician can see everything from allergies to autoimmune diseases by looking into our eyes. Signs of diabetes, some cancers, and a host of eye disorders and diseases can also sometimes be first observed in the eyes.
But what do you see when you look into your wife’s eyes? Well I suppose that depends. It depends on if you have trained yourself to really see what is there. But, it also depends on her. St. Augustine famously called the eyes “the windows to the soul”; so, if her soul is dark and cold, you will not get a lot of encouragement from gazing into her eyes. It can actually be a bit depressing.
But, if your wife loves you, and if she consents to be the kind of help-meet God wants her to be, then her eyes can minister to you in a positive way. Her eyes can speak volumes. They can bring conviction, and they can give you answers. Her eyes can show you things you will not see anywhere else.
When I look into Sherry’s eyes I can see love, compassion, mercy, and a host of other positive attributes. From time to time I have also seen pain, disappointment, and uncertainty; although she often tries to hide these emotions from me.
However, mostly what I see when I look into her eyes is myself. It is an image clearer than I can see anywhere else. It is a humbling image. I am not referring to seeing a literal reflection of myself, nor am I referring to seeing similarities in our way of thinking, although there are many. What I am talking about is seeing myself the way she sees me. Much clearer than looking in a mirror, she can see the deeper side of me that I sometimes fail to recognize. I see the tip of the iceberg, but in her eyes, I can see what is under the water. In the depth of her eyes, I can often see the hidden answers, possibilities, and dangers. In just a few seconds of eye contact, it seems like everything else stands still, and all I can feel is a connection that goes straight into my inner most being. Looking into her eyes has always been the easiest way for me to gaze into the depths of my own heart.
She sees strength in me when I feel weak. She sees faith in me when I feel doubt. She sees success in me, when I struggle with failure. I see a lot in her eyes. Her eyes reveal the snares along the pathway that I may be too blind to see. Can your spouse say that?
If I had the ability to always see myself through her eyes, how different things might be. She sees the big picture; although sometimes distorted by the blinding light of love, whereas I tend to focus on the little fragments of my life that have little to do with the complete picture. She always sees more. Seeing myself through her loving eyes is an ongoing journey. But, the more I learn to do it, the better person I become.
In her eyes, I have on occasion seen pain, confusion, and a bit of uncertainty. But, even then, there is always faith, empathy, calmness, and composure. I’ve seen her eyes tired and weary. But, I have never seen them lose hope. I’ve seen love, courage, beauty, strength, virtue, honesty, trust, and a burning desire to follow Christ.
Of course, the same should be true when my wife looks into my eyes. If I could give her one thing in life, I would give her the ability to see herself through my eyes. Only then, would she begin to understand how special she is to me. She would behold the beauty and grace that I see. She would never be tempted to be preoccupied with how the world may see her. She would see the beauty that is so much deeper than what is on the surface.
Unless they are really prideful and hung up over themselves, women often tend to see themselves as a black and white X-ray. They see themselves like a gray, dull, flat, single dimensional surface. This vision lacks the depth of information needed to motivate them to understand who they really are. In her husband’s eyes, she should be able to see a multi-dimensional and colorful view of herself. Only then will she comprehend her value and place in his heart.
Cherish Your Mate.
Most husbands and wives promised, “to love and cherish…as long as we both shall live,” during their wedding vows, but what does it really mean to cherish each other? The dictionary defines the word “cherish” as to hold or treat as dear, to feel love for and to care for someone tenderly. Now, the way you cherish your husband or wife is unique to your relationship. Remembering what it is you cherish, even in the most difficult of moments, may help you stay focused on the positive elements of your marriage.
When you honor your vows, it shows that you view your spouse as a priceless treasure. Safeguard the intimate and emotional bonds of your marriage. Seek comfort from each other, openly communicate your feelings, give each other the benefit of the doubt and remember all you mean to each other. Protect your relationship from negative outside influences and put your marriage above your job, friendships, and leisure activities.
To cherish your mate is not to treat them like a piece of rare, fragile, and expensive china, but to treat their successes, their secrets, their self-image, their thoughts, their opinions, and their heart like priceless china. You learn to treasure and care for all the little things that compose who they are.
You have been given the opportunity to see the deepest and most tender part of your mate; their heart. But, an exposed heart is easy to pierce, so we must be careful to treat it gently and tenderly. If not, you will eventually be shut out, leaving you distant and alone in your relationship.
A commitment to cherish our mates involves not only self-sacrificing love, but also the responsibility of being an agent of sanctification in their lives. The goal of our love is to see both of us become more like Christ. This is no job for some mushy, nagging, self-absorbed individual, whose only wish is to be served. Cherish your mate, and demonstrate your feelings often. When you cherish your mate, you will not be afraid to let them really look into your eyes.
Let Them See the Depth of Your Love.
The main reason we don’t want our mates to look inside is fear. We’re afraid of what might happen if we really open up. We avoid transparency because we’re afraid of how our spouses will react when they see our failures that would tend to make usunlovable. However, real love will give us the courage to be transparent.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
I John 4:18
Can you see it? Love cannot be complete until it’s given the opportunity to love completely. Your spouse can only love all of you if you are willing to let them in. It is interesting that we want our mates to love us totally and completely, but we are unwilling to reveal ourselves to them totally and completely, so what we seek is impossible. She cannot love the areas of life we hide from her, so we close the door to real intimate communication.
You reserve the transparency level for your spouse and perhaps a few others who are very close to you. Becoming transparent with many people can be dangerous. When spouses reach the transparency level, they operate with oneness. Reaching this level of meaningful communication is not easy, but the rewards far outweigh the cost. The most natural place for real openness is within the safe harbor of a healthy marriage. That “safe” harbor can be created and maintained only by a couple committed in love to each other. A couple so committed will unleash their worship by demonstrating to the world who their God is.
So, what do you see in your mate’s eyes? Have you ever really bothered to look? Have you tried but they are unwilling to be transparent and let you in? Have you looked only to find bitterness, anger, and darkness? What do they see should they look into your eyes?
I hope every husband sees what I see. I behold a bigger than life image of the pedestal she placed me upon. I see the encouragement and motivation I need to face tomorrow. I see me being held to an ideal that I must strive to reach, because I love her too much to be less than the man I see in her eyes.
Can your spouse see that light in your eyes? It is a different kind of light, but can your children and those you work and fellowship with see that light in your eyes? Or, are you afraid to let them get that close? Are you afraid they might see the cold, bitter, and selfish darkness that resides within?
They say “love is blind”, but it is not! Perfect love sees the possibilities and potential others cannot see. As I grow older, the mirror becomes less flattering every day. So, I have found it better to look into Sherry’s eyes and see myself the way she sees me.
“The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart.” Proverbs 15:30
Dr. Worthington has been in the ministry over forty years and serves as President of Pathway Ministries.