A Lesson from King Arthur
King Arthur—yes, Arthur of Camelot, that storied kingdom of days gone by—King Arthur had been captured in battle and was awaiting execution. The victorious king came to him and said, “I’m willing to spare your life if within a year’s time you come up with the answer to the question of the ages—that question men have been seeking the answer for since the beginning of time, that most pressing question of the ages: What does a woman realty want?”
Well, Arthur didn’t know the answer, so he called all his scribes and all his philosophers and all his wise men together, and they didn’t know either.
Just then Bruhilda the witch stepped forward and said, “I know the answer and I’m willing to give it you, on one condition—that you give me the hand of your most wonderful knight, Sir Lancelot, in marriage.”
Now you have to understand what she was requesting, because, you see, Bruhilda the witch was ugly. She was uglier than ugly. She was the ugliest ugly you have ever seen. Her face was ugly, her hair was ugly, her body was ugly, she had bad breath, she had body odor—she was just plain UGLY.
Lancelot, however, feeling compassion for his king, consented, and thus he began to court Bruhilda. He began treating her with tenderness, and with kindness, and with affection—not that she ever responded, you realize—that’s just the kind of man Lancelot was.
Finally the day of the wedding came, and true to his word Lancelot went through with it. That evening he went to the marriage chamber just dreading it—absolutely fearing what he would find. But when he opened the chamber door he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on.
“Who, who, are you??” he mumbled.
“I’m your wife,” she said. “I’m Bruhilda.”
“But, but, you’re beautiful!” exclaimed Lancelot.
“That’s right,” she replied. Then she said, “You treated me beautifully—you treated me as though I was beautiful—and as a result I have become beautiful. You treated me beautifully, and therefore I am beautiful!” She added, however, “There’s just one catch. I can only be beautiful half the time. But I’ll let you decide when I will display my beauty and when I will have to resort to my former condition.”
Sir Lancelot thought about this and mused, “Well, if I ask her to be beautiful during the daytime, I can take her out and show her off in front of all my friends. But if I ask her to be beautiful at night…” (the reader will just have to use his imagination here). However, being the kindhearted man that he was, Lancelot said to Bruhilda, “I will leave that decision totally up to you. As for me, I will continue to treat you as though you were beautiful all the time.”
Immediately Bruhilda exclaimed, “That’s it!”
“That’s what?” asked Lancelot.
“That’s the answer to the question of the ages: What does a woman really want? What a woman wants is to feel secure in the love of her husband. And because you have made me feel secure in your love, I have decided for you, and for you alone, I will display my beauty all the time!”
Bruhilda paused for a moment and then added: “But if you should ever stop loving me, and if I should ever stop feeling secure in your love, things are going to get ugly around here again real quick.”
When a husband understands his headship and manhood in the biblical sense, he will consider it both a privilege and a grave responsibility to make his wife feel secure in his love. Christ “romanced” the church (Ephesians 5), and Paul is eager to show how one great lover, Christ, loved His chosen one. When a husband loves his wife in this manner, she will be overwhelmed with his love and a willing companion to him as a very special “help” (Genesis 2:18).
Strange how we can celebrate Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and even Secretary’s Day, but there is no Wife’s Day. But perhaps that is only fitting.
Let each day be Wife’s Day. Full of joy and “sick with love” (Song of Songs 2:5), the Bridegroom knows nothing more lovable than she.
April 28, 2003
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.