FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Appreciate Her Inner and Outer Beauty

with Jess MacCallum | June 5, 2009
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Does your wife know she’s beautiful in your eyes? Today Jess MacCallum, committed husband of a Proverbs 31 woman, encourages men to not just compliment their wives' outer beauty, but to make it a point to deliberately focus on those things in her that God finds attractive – patience, goodness, and kindness, to name a few.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Does your wife know she’s beautiful in your eyes? Today Jess MacCallum, committed husband of a Proverbs 31 woman, encourages men to not just compliment their wives' outer beauty, but to make it a point to deliberately focus on those things in her that God finds attractive – patience, goodness, and kindness, to name a few.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Does your wife know she’s beautiful in your eyes?

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Appreciate Her Inner and Outer Beauty

With Jess MacCallum
June 05, 2009
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Bob:  Yes, Cindy Crawford said even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.


Bob:  Which is a good reminder as you think about this whole subject. 

Dennis:  You’ve got to like this one.  I’ve heard this one before.  The average girl would rather have beauty than brains because the average man can see better than he can think.


Dennis:  Well, this is from the book by Jess MacCallum.  Jess welcome back.

Jess MacCallum:  Thank you for having me.

Dennis:  Jess is a businessman who claims that doesn’t mean he’s accountable for his theology.  

Bob:   We challenged that claim.

Dennis:  We have already tested that and his theology is sound.  He was just trying to find an easy way out and we didn’t let him have it.  He is a COO of a commercial printing company in Columbia, South Carolina.  He is the husband of one, the father of three.  He’s got a son and two beautiful daughters.  He’s written this book as Bob mentioned, I Married Wonder Woman, Now What?  Let’s talk about this subject of beauty.  You wrote a whole chapter about this.

Jess MacCallum:  That’s probably the most famous single verse from Proverbs 31.  Charm is deceptive.  Beauty is vain.  But a woman who fears the Lord should be praised.

Well, I looked into that a little bit because I’m the classic mush mouth pushover for an attractive woman who shows me any attention at all.  That leftover immaturity from when I was a kid I guess but most men if they were honest would admit to be given any attention by an attractive woman is flattering. 

I looked into this thing and I find it is not the thing you can base decisions on.  It is what it is and it aint what it aint.  We’re supposed to find out spouses attractive and if you married one you didn’t think was attractive you’d probably need to go to a therapist and figure out what it was that you were doing because you’re supposed to find your spouse attractive. 

The whole concept of female beauty and I guess masculine beauty but I don’t know much about it.  I don’t study that either.  Feminine beauty is so variable.  Age by age.  Culture by culture.  I mean, the Mona Lisa.  The Venus Demillo.  I’d of stayed single in those generations. 


It’s hard to pin down. 

Dennis:  The warning of scripture I think is the story of Sampson.  He looked on the woman and said, go get her for she looks good to me. 

Jess MacCallum:  Yes, and that was the end of the thinking process.

Dennis:  That was it.  He didn’t think about her character and whether or not her heart was toward God.  She was just beautiful.  Go get her.

Jess MacCallum: And there’s a little bit of a personality temperament make up you’d have to have Tim LaHaye or someone like that to talk about temperaments.  I don’t know but I saw my wife and was blown away.  Adam saw Eve and he was blown away.  Jacob sees Rachel and he’s blown away.  So I have a pattern that I can find for myself in scripture other men I know didn’t notice their wives out of a crowd got to know her and later on boom.  She becomes beautiful to him. 

There’s the flip side of this coin.  Where we’re holding them to some high standard of looks and have we looked in the mirror lately at ourselves.  Are we doing anything?  My plan right now is to age kind of masculine and graceful and rugged like a Sean Connery thing going on there.  But that’s why there’s one Sean Connery. 


Dennis:  You’re going to have to work on the accent too.

Jess MacCallum:  Yes, I’ll get that but you know the verability is so great but to make serious life decisions based on beauty.  And charm is worse.  Charm is bogus.  That’s why a charmer is known as a flatterer and someone you don’t want to trust because they are throwing charm at you. 

At least beauty is focused on the individual that you are looking at.  Charmed is aimed at you to take you away.  So when the enemy uses—it says beauty is fleeting and charm is outright a lie.  It’s trying to entice you away from what God would have you do.

Bob:  It’s costume jewelry.  It’s not the real gem stone it’s just the stuff that’s two dollars and common, right?

Dennis:  So when it comes to woman’s beauty, specifically your wife’s beauty what’s a man to do?  He’s to praise her and thank her and tell her she looks pretty and find ways to appreciate the beauty she brings to his life. 

Jess MacCallum:  Yes.  I like to say and I’m stacking the deck because my wife is great.  You know red hair and just awesome looking and takes care of herself but the point is I have to remind myself during my busy schedule when it’s all about me that I need to focus on her.   I need to compliment her.  I need to make sure she feels one hundred percent secure and she doesn’t think I’m lying.

Bob:  I whistled at Mary Ann the other day when she walked in the kitchen.

Dennis:  Did you really?

Bob:  Yes, I did.  She was looking pretty good.


I’m telling you when that happens.

Dennis:  (laughter) And I can see Mary Ann.  She’s probably rolled her eyes back in her head and got this smirk on her face but she loved every minute of it, didn’t she?

Bob:  (laughter) You’ve got to think she did, you know?  And I wasn’t being disingenuious with her because she walked in and she looked real cute.  What she had on and the smile on her face she looked attractive.  I think it’s wise for a husband when his wife looks attractive to acknowledge that she is attractive.  But then we have to be careful that in acknowledging it we don’t just jump right away to boy, you look attractive guess what that’s making me think about right now?  You know what I’m saying.

Dennis:  Exactly.

Jess MacCallum:  Manipulation you know is we may not even know we’re doing it.  But our wives are in tune to any kind of manipulative comment that they are suspecting has a string attached to it.  Even if it’s 72 hours in the future. 


I can plan ahead and she knows it.


Dennis:  Well, we’ve talked about a number of tools that men have in a tool belt.  We’ve been talking about Batman and the tool belt that

Bob:  The utility belt that he carried around with him, right?

Jess MacCallum:  No, and I’m probably pushing the envelope a little bit but I’m not a scholar.  I’m not a theologian.  I have no degree.  I’m a businessman.  You have to give me some slack here. 

Dennis:  Yes, it had all the gagets the provided help and hope and strength and kinds of ways out of impossible situations.  We talked about a number of them.  Let’s just quickly go through the list that we’ve talked about here. 

We’ve talked about valuing your wife above everything.  Trusting your wife and reaping the benefits.  This was one I hadn’t thought about before Jess, and it’s not that I don’t trust Barbara because I have implicit trust in my wife but in Proverbs 31 it says that the husband trusts in his wife immeasureably.  I forget the exactly…

Jess MacCallum:  The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain.

Dennis:  Yes.  That meets a need in our wives when they know we truly trust them.

Jess MacCallum:  I guess that would go back and again I’m not a theologian.  I’ll hide behind that again but in the garden of Eden You created this woman to be a helpmate not just a helper and assistant garden keeper.  Her identity is designed to be right alongside of you doing whatever God’s called you to do as a couple.  So when you trust her you validated her existence.  If you don’t trust her what is she to do with her identity?

Dennis:   The way you communicate you trust her is by asking her opinion.  Telling her that you do trust her.  You thank God for her faithfulness to you and the family.

Jess MacCallum:  Let her make a big financial mistake.  Let her make a decision.  This woman who takes on a vineyard.  She buys land and plants a vineyard and she’s got all this going on. 

I’m going to tell you what.  I don’t do well with trusting my wife with money because I don’t like to have anything bad happen to my money.  So when she’s allowed to make serious decisions you go with it.  And if it’s a flop.  If I make the flop I have a hundred reasons to defend my choices.  If she has a flop I jump all over it and that’s kind of the typical pattern.  If you can actually let her make a mistake or at least take risks with money and then make these decisions.  And then say we’ll just pick up the pieces together and go on.  You have to kind of literally put your money where your mouth is some days.

Dennis:  Yes, but if you wife is not expressing ambition in those areas you wouldn’t necessarily prompt her to start thinking about buying a piece of property. 

Jess MacCallum:  No, but if she has that it ought to be something…I mean I would rather her learn that the way I get to learn it.  I think it’s been good for me to be in business.  I was never going to be in business.  I was an art major.  I was going to be an artist maybe a missionary.  Something cool and Bohemian.  Here’s this opportunity came along and she pushed me.  She said, “You know you can do this.”  She kind of pushed me into business and I’ve learned a tremendous amount.  I ought to give her the same opportunity. 

Dennis:  How have you encouraged her to step out like you’re talking about?

Jess MacCallum:  Well, this is a specific and very current one.  She’s just produced her second CD.  And when I say she’s produced it I mean she’s produced it.  We’ve done it ourselves and financed the whole thing.  The first one just about broke up our marriage.  It’s a lot of work.  I had no idea what we were getting into financially.  It was all done locally.  It was fantastic.  Her music to me is about the only Christian music that I listen to regularly.  The others cycle through but I keep playing her stuff again in my car.  It’s just good.  So we put that in there.  Well, I didn’t know if we would ever do a second one and here comes the second one. 

Because she pushed me to finish this book and send it in I got a small advance and I was going to buy myself a classic BMW.  I’d always had my eye set on a BMW late 80’s model.—635 CSI with a sun roof and leather interior.   I had found one that was about the equivalent of the advance I got from doing the book.  I was so excited and the Lord said you need to give that money to your wife’s next CD project.  I said oh man there goes my classic car.  So I took the whole money and put it in the account that I made for her and all right go ahead and start your CD.  So she spent all that plus a good bit more but that’s the point.  It didn’t wreck us financially but it was certainly it’s not a money maker to do your own music ministry.  So we put this together.  The blessing is so great beyond anything else but I have to rearrange my value structure to appreciate that.

Dennis:  Bob, he gave you a copy of his wife’s CD did he not?

Bob:   He did. 

Dennis:  Do you have a favorite song on there that we can play a verse of to let our listeners know what you invested in?

Bob:  We’ve got some samples of the CD on our web site at so if folks wanted to listen it’d be great.

Jess MacCallum:  My favorite on the second CD is the title track and it’s called “Shine.”

It’s somewhat autobiographical and I just love that because she’s just so honest.

“Behind the moon is where love lives.  It’s what I’ve always believed.  On those nights I could see it shine and I felt special.”

Bob:  Again, you can go to and listen to a sample of other songs and maybe.

Jess MacCallum:  Hey can I plug her web site since I am a businessman? 

Bob:  We’ve got a link to her web site on our web site

Jess MacCallum:  Okay.  Go to and look for my wife.

Bob:  If they want to buy the CD and help Jess get that classic BMW.


Jess MacCallum:  No that’ll never happen.  That was in my less mature days.


Dennis:   You know what’s going to happen is your wife’s going to become a best-selling artist and she’s going to buy you the car.

Jess MacCallum:  I’ll be happy. 


Jess MacCallum:  Listen, like I said in the book.  I don’t mind being known as Anne’s husband and if she ever hits it big I won’t mind being known as Anne’s rich husband either.  I’m good with that.


Bob:  You know one of the things we haven’t talked about is how the man married to the Proverbs 31 woman appreciates the fact that she has ambition and that she has drive and that she is intelligent.  He doesn’t feel threatened by those things.  He actually encourages that, right? 

Jess MacCallum:  Yes.  I’m going to say I just probably did all this in my own head.  Nobody else has ever made this mistake.  But there’s a verse that Peter talks about beauty from a woman shouldn’t be from outward appearance but the gentle and quiet spirit that’s how they should do it. 

I think that maybe some of us took that and said well we have to marry a demur woman who’s an introvert.  Who’s quiet and gentle spirit and she doesn’t ever…listen I married a red head with all the accompanying stereotypes.  She’s an extrovert.  We both have tempers and we both have a love for people and action and activity.  We always have people in our house.  She struggled a little bit with the stereotype of a gentle and quiet means I have to kind of hold myself back and I don’t have an opinion.  I can’t engage in heated political debate.  All that stuff was a misunderstanding of what that verse is.  It’s about beauty.  And a gentle and quiet spirit does not mean you’re not an outgoing, excitable, energetic, intelligent person. 

I have come to not feel threatened.  It’s taken me 20 years but I’ve come to feel excited about being around strong people.  Especially my wife.  Strong women raise strong kids.  I don’t want my kids to not be able to face the future and if there is anything to some of the groups looking at the end times prophetically and if in their generation they see things get worse I want some kids who stand their ground. 

Dennis:  Jess just because you’re married to a strong woman because you’ve decided to step up and not become passive and let her take over you’ve become a stronger man than you would have been if you had married a woman who was not that strong.

Jess MacCallum:  Yes, in fact Peter Parker, that’d be Spiderman in case you don’t remember you’re wasted childhood.

Bob:  You knew that, right?

Jess MacCallum: Did you know Peter Parker?

Dennis:  I can’t lie.  I didn’t remember his name.  Bob’s a big fan.

Jess MacCallum:  In the movie the remake of the original movie he talks about M.J. his love.  He says, “you know when you’re in love you don’t know what to call it you just know what kind of man you want to be.” 

It is true.  I hate to say that sometimes Hollywood gets it right but I am more motivated to be a different man.  It’s like being married to a personal trainer.  You know you’re just not going to be able to sit and eat those donuts.  You’re not.  She’s going to slap my hand.  It’s just her nature. 


Well, if you hitched up to a race horse and you thought it was a plow horse then you better get ready for a race.  Or you’re going to have to try and beat the character out of that horse and that’s just stupid.  That’s not biblical to not take your wife’s natural gifts and play the hand you’re dealt.  Take her on to the next level if you can but you’re going to have to get in shape to do it. 

Dennis:  Yes, and it is your assignment as a man to whatever that package of gifts God gave her initially when you first were married.  You have responsibility to develop those gifts and like the steward take the three talents and turn them into six. 

Jess MacCallum:  That’s right.

Dennis:  Take the five and turn them into ten.  And if your married to a one talent woman double it.  Over your lifetime you’re supposed to love her and care for her and expand her borders.  Help her look out and about to how she can make a difference. 

It’s interesting.  I have some advantages over Bob right now.  He may whistle at Mary Ann but Barbara and I are empty nesters and because of that we really go home to a quiet house and it’s just us.  So we’ve got conversations now that we’ve not had in years.  Being able to talk about the future.  Being able her future and what she’s going to do and her visions.  What she wants to accomplish and how she wants to use her gifts and her abilities.  And I’m seeing my wife motivated at a whole new level that I haven’t seen and the reason was six children zapped the motivation.  That takes it all off the top right there.

Bob:  It directed it toward the six children. 

Dennis:  Oh, yes.  They didn’t discourage her.  They invigorated her around being a mom but now that season is over and it’s time to take on a new assignment.

Jess MacCallum:  Well the responsibility angle and I don’t want to belabor the theology of this but there is a responsibility angle that men resist.  Adam didn’t want to do what he was supposed to do slap that fruit out of her hand and wring that snake’s neck and so here we are.  So he’s pulled back from this. 

The guy with the ten talents here’s the reward.  Take over ten cities.  Well, what kind of reward is that?  What happened to the vacation or take ten years off and go do what you want to do.  Now, you’re not only good with ten small things.  I’m going to make you responsible so you’re reward is more responsibility.  Well, that stinks if you don’t like responsibility but if you do like responsibility you can feel how great that would be. 

But even saying it sometimes inside you can feel who on earth would take on ten cities to administer and to run but the guy who likes it or who’s wanting it will think that’s the greatest thing he ever had.  Well, your wife my wife did I don’t’ know about your wife.  My wife has pushed me out there to take responsibility that I would have sat on the couch and passed to someone else. 

I tell you a real quick little story.  I’m on a plane to go to a business trip a couple of weeks ago and I’m in that seat right behind the one with the extra leg room, the emergency exit.  And there’s this tall young man with an army t shirt on a strapping young kid and he sits down there and the stewardess asks him like everybody else, this is the emergency exit and in case of an emergency you have to grab this.  Do you feel comfortable with that responsibility?  He looked at her and said, no, I don’t want responsibility. 

I don’t even know why I did it but I popped my hand up and said I’ll take it.  More leg room.  But it was so not like me in my past.  To say yes put me in the row where I’m going to have to save the passengers.  That was not me.  Anne has pushed me to take responsibility to the point where now I’ll say, “All right. We crash I’ll save you.” 

Dennis:  Jess this week you have exhorted, implored, you’ve equipped and you’ve challenged.  You’ve given men some tools to put on their tool belt and their equipment belt to be able to love their wives.  I’ve got one last assignment for you.


Dennis:  That I want to give you that’s going to be very special for your wife, Anne.

Bob:  Before you do that I want to let our listeners know how they can get a copy of the book Jess has written called I Married Wonder Woman, Now What? 

We’ve got copies of it in our FamilyLife Resource Center.  You can get a copy by going to our web site and the information is available there.  Again, it’s  The book is called I Married Wonder Woman, Now What?  On the same page we’ve got information about other books we have available to help guys get engaged in their assignment as men and as husbands. 

Go to the web site or call toll free 1-800-358-6329.  That’s 1-800 F as in “family” L as in “life” and then the word TODAY.  Someone on our team can let you know how you can get a copy of Jess’s book sent to you.

We’re making the book available to those of you who are able to help support the

ministry of FamilyLife Today with a donation of any amount.  FamilyLife Today is

listener supported and as some of you know over the last several months our ministry like many other ministries has been affected by the current economic downturn.  Now more than ever your donations for the ministry of FamilyLife Today are extremely significant.  When you make a donation this month either online or by calling 1-800-FLTODAY you can request a copy of the hardback book, The Christian Husband

Speaking of books to help men in their assignment as husbands this month we are making

available the book The Christian Husband.  A book I had an opportunity to write a

number of years ago.  It gives a job description.  A manual for men to understand what is

fundamental assignment as a husband.  

We are happy to send it out to you as our way of saying thank you for your financial support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today.  If you’d like to receive the book when you make your donation online simply type the word “husband” in the key code box on the online donation form or call 1-800- FLTODAY and make your donation by phone and ask for the book, The Christian Husband.   We’re happy to send it out to you and we do so much appreciate your partnership.  It means a lot to us.  Dennis,

Dennis:  We’ve been talking to Jess MacCallum about how he married wonder woman his wife Anne and Bob I thought it would be good.  I don’t know that we’ve ever had a husband give a tribute to his wife here on FamilyLife Today. 

Bob:  In a way your book is a tribute to your wife just by the very title, I Married Wonder Woman

Jess MacCallum:  Testimony of my hardships


Dennis:  Well, it’s more of a confessional.

Jess MacCallum:  You’re exactly right.

Dennis:  It’s kind of the tongue in cheek confessional.  Very entertaining I might add for this next generation of couples getting married.  Here’s what I’d like to do.  I’d like to seat Anne across the table from you.  This beautiful red haired gemstone that you married.  That you’ve shared 20 years with.  Who has become the mother of your three children.  Who believed in you and has helped you become the man you’ve become.  Look her in the eye right now and tell her what she means to you because she just might be listening.

Jess MacCallum:  You can be sure she’s listening.

Dennis:  At the end of the broadcast.  It’s not in a studio.  It’s over a candle lit dinner with the candles burning.  This is not Jess the businessman.  This is Jess the husband, the lover.  Speak to your wife and tell her.

Jess MacCallum:  I’m not sure you could repeat what I want to tell her.


Jess MacCallum:  If you give me a candle lit dinner without the kids there will be very little conversation. 


Anne you’re my best friend and you know it.  I’d rather spend 15 minutes with you than a year with anybody else I could possibly imagine.  You’re all there is to me in a biblical framework of course.  She doesn’t compete with God. 


I always have to qualify these things it’s just in my nature.

Dennis:  Not on this broadcast. 

Jess MacCallum:  Well, I’m not telling you I’d worship her but if I weren’t a Christian I’d be darn well tempted to. 

Bob:  FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.  Help for today.  Hope for tomorrow.

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