The King’s Portrait – A Powerful Message for All Married Couples

There was once a very important king who ruled his kingdom wisely with strength and love, but he had some physical disabilities. One leg was crooked, he had an unseemly hunchback, and one eye protruded unnaturally from his face.

To celebrate his fifty years on the throne, he ordered a portrait of himself made for the occasion. When the cover was removed from the picture, the king got angry: “This is how you paint an honored king?” Immediately he punished the painter.

A few months later the king threw another party and again he ordered a portrait of himself. The portrait revealed the king in all his glory and splendor, straight legs, erect spine, and beautiful eyes. The king was offended: “This person resembles me, but it is not me.” Immediately he ordered the artist to be punished.

At the final party of the fiftieth-year celebration, the king’s men searched for another artist, but they were all terrified to paint the king’s picture except for one old and wise painter from a distant village. He bravely agreed to paint the king’s portrait.

When the cover was lifted, the portrait revealed the king riding on horseback with his bad leg covered by the horse. It was a frontal view so his back was not visible, and he was wearing a pair of binoculars which hid his protruding eye. Everybody loved it, including the king, and the artist was greatly rewarded.

A key to a successful marriage is to cover up our spouse’s failings so they don’t stand out and are not even visible, and we do this by looking at the good in one’s wife and the positive things she does, despite her shortcomings and limitations.

The king in the story was holding binoculars, riding on a horse, and the hunchback was totally unnoticeable because of the angle. What a pleasant king was portrayed there! It’s the same in a marriage. My wife doesn’t respect me enough? Look how hard she works to care for the children and how exhausted she is! How should she have time for me?? Similarly, it is said (Proverbs 10:12): “Over all sins, cover with love.”

Adapted from 'Happily Married – The Complete Guide to a Successful Jewish Marriage' For Men, by Rabbi Zamir Cohen. Click Here to Buy Now


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