The beginning of the perashah relates how, following Avraham Avinu’s circumcision, three angels came to visit him. After having been served their meal, the angels enquired of Avraham: “Where is Sarah, your wife?” He answered that she was in the tent, meaning, that she was attending to the matters of the home.
What was the purpose of the angels posing such a question to Avraham? Being angels, they certainly knew where she was, and Avraham also knew. Our sages tell us that the angel’s motive was to make Sarah even more beloved to Avraham, her husband. He knew that his wife was the personification of modesty and privacy, shunning the limelight. However, now that he was questioned about his wife’s whereabouts, he was made to understand that she was more private than any other woman. Other women would have been there serving their guests, while Sarah chose to remain behind the scenes. After he realised this and verbalised the answer, he internalised that her real beauty was that she was more modest than any other woman.
Every woman wants to feel that she is unique in her husband’s eyes and “the best in the world.” This is part of her natural makeup. It is therefore incumbent upon her husband to generate that feeling that he considers her to be the most exceptional woman in the world. How can a man achieve this? By giving her the three “A”s: Attention,
Appreciation and Affection. Firstly, a man must work at giving his wife attention, constantly acknowledging that he is aware of her. Secondly, he must show appreciation for all the kindnesses that she does, however small they may seem. Moreover, he should tell her sincerely: “You are the dearest present that G-d has given me in my entire life”. Lastly, he must show her affection, to intensify their relationship and their feelings towards each other.
“Many daughters (of Israel) have succeeded, but you have surpassed them all” (Eshet Chayil, Mishlei 31:29). When the man truly feels this way about his spouse, she will intuitively detect this. The more she feels it, the more her emotional focus will be directed towards him. She will then find within herself the ability to strengthen, encourage and inspire him to higher goals and aspirations. Often, a man’s ability to initiate and to attain is stunted by his lack of belief in his capabilities. When he receives an injection of emotional strength from his wife, though, his belief in his ability to achieve his aspirations soars. No boundaries or obstacles will limit his rising and achieving, especially and most importantly, in spiritual endeavours and goals.
May we be granted the sense and understanding to work on making our spouses feel “the best in the world”, thereby strengthening our relationships and commitment in marriage.