A number of years ago I read an article about “A 6 Pig Wife.” I recently tried to locate the article to assure accuracy of this story, but without success. I believe the details I remembered are correct . . . but even if not, the principle is valid. The story goes like this:
A man who was conducting business in one of the Polynesian Islands heard a rumor about “a 6 pig wife.” He was very intrigued by this. If it was true, he wanted to meet her.
Let me interrupt the story to explain what the phrase “6 pig wife” means. In that culture, in order to marry a young woman, one had to negotiate a “bride price.” The bride price was to compensate the father of the bride for her moving out of his family and moving in with the groom.
The typical bride price was paid in pigs, usually from one to three pigs, four at the absolute most. The girls that had the most desirable qualities would require the largest payment in bride price.
It shouldn’t take too much imagination to speculate that a wife’s standing in that society would depend upon her bride price. Everyone knew how much each wife cost the husband’s family. The greater the cost, the greater her standing.
Now, back to the story. This man traveled from island to island, tracking down the rumors of a “6 pig wife.” Many people had heard about her, but no one knew which island she lived on. Finally, he met someone who directed him to one of the more isolated islands.
He traveled to the island, asked about, and was eventually introduced to the “6 pig wife.” When he met her he was astonished. After weeks of speculation, he anticipated finding a woman of extraordinary appearance and ability.
His first impression upon meeting her was that she was a “plain Jane.” There was nothing extraordinary about her. However, upon further observation, he did notice that she seemed to have a quiet confidence about her – she seemed to glow, especially when around her husband.
As he left that island, he contemplated what he had seen. He asked himself, why did the husband pay 6 pigs for his wife, when he probably could have married her for several pigs less?
This was his conclusion: The husband understood that everyone in that society evaluated a woman’s worth by how much she cost her husband. This man wanted everyone (his wife, her family, her friends, his family, his friends . . . everyone) to know that in his opinion, she was worth more than any other woman on that island.
Can you imagine what that information would do for the woman’s self esteem, especially if her husband treated her like she was worth “6 pigs”? In return, how much would that affect how she treated him?
Husbands, would you like your wife to have a quiet confidence? Would you like her to “glow”, especially when she is around you? If so, then treat her like a “6 pig wife”.