Body Image Purgatory
I have posted a couple of times about husband’s frustration at getting an argument when they say, “You are beautiful.”
I have also heard your complaints about how he looks at other women. I understand why these two seem related, but they are not – not for men. Honestly, I think this is more about body image.
I cannot tell you how much I hate what the world has done to women’s body image. I hate how it has hurt my wife and my daughter. I hate how it hurts other women, and how that causes harm to their marriages and their husbands. It is gross, evil, and downright demonic! The “standard” is twisted and perverted. Looking the way the world says a woman should look would cost a huge amount of time and money, and at best, it is a losing battle against age.
Maybe a bit of Bible will help.
“Your adornment must not be merely external -braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses ; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” [1 Pe 3:3-4 NASB]
Odds are your Bible says something a bit different from the above. The passage contains an ellipsis – a part of the sentence is left out. This is a not..but ellipsis, and it was a common idiomatic speech pattern of the time. It is used to compare two things, and show one is more important than the other. First Pe 3:3 tells us there is nothing wrong with a woman making an effort to look nice, but true beauty and value comes from within. If a woman fails to develop inner beauty, no amount of make-up, weight loss, or plastic surgery can help her. If she works on her inner self, a wise person will see her beauty. Your husband says you look beautiful because he is wise enough to see true beauty.
Yet his eyes are drawn to women who “look great”, and you should feel insulted, right? Can you honestly tell me your eyes have never been drawn to a man because he had a handsome face of a fine butt? If so, you are unusual. We are all drawn to things based on how they look. Most of us learn looks are an unreliable predictor of real value, but we are still drawn to certain looks. I am not justifying lust here – but short of blindness, most men and women will be drawn to look at certain people.
My advice is to put a reasonable amount of effort into looking nice outwardly, and far more time and energy into your more important inner self. And, when you husband compliments your beauty, thank him and feel good about yourself.
BTW: A great related article from Gaye of Calm.Healthy.Sexy. When Your Body Feels Like Your Enemy…
~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife is soooo beautiful!