On an isolated Pacific island, it was the custom for a young man to announce his intention of marriage to the entire village. After the announcement, he and the whole community went to the young woman’s home. Her father would come outside and then, in front of the whole community, the father and the future groom would barter.
The main item of value on the island was the cow. Therefore, a suitor would offer the father a certain number of cows for his daughter. The typical marriage would bring two cows to the bride’s father. On rare occasions, he might get three. The record was four cows, going to the father of a bride who had finished school.
Johnny Lingo was the island’s most eligible bachelor. He came from a wealthy family. Talented and good looking, Johnny was the dream of most young girls on the island. One day, Johnny announced that he had selected a wife. He announced that her name was Lisa. Everyone was shocked. Lisa seemed rather plain and was very shy. The community thought Johnny could have done better. Some even suggested that Lisa’s father might have to give Johnny a cow or two. The community gathered at Lisa’s house for the bartering. Johnny’s opening bid for Lisa was eight cows! Her father almost fainted, but managed to say ‘yes.’
That evening, Johnny and Lisa were married. They departed to another island where they were to live. For a full year no one saw Johnny or Lisa. Then on their first anniversary, they returned to visit their parents. From the moment they arrived at the dock, the news spread. Everybody said, “Come and see Johnny and Lisa! You won’t believe it!”
Everybody came, but nobody noticed Johnny. All eyes were on Lisa. She had been transformed! She was a vision of loveliness. She was poised, warm, friendly, and confident. At the end of the day, as Johnny and Lisa were preparing to return to their home, one of Johnny’s friends pulled him aside and said, “I want to know the secret of this amazing transformation.”
Johnny said, ” I will tell you. From the time Lisa was born, she had been treated as though she was not worth very much. She had begun to believe that about herself. But I announced to the community that she was an 8-cow wife, and I have treated her just that way. She has become the vision of herself that she sees every day in my eyes.”
If you want an 8-cow wife or husband, start treating her or him that way. Give it a year and see what happens.
“You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet 3:7)
—Kevin Harrington; Queen’s Way church of Christ