You are either fighting for her or against her in the battle of her body image.
A Men Only Monday post
Listen up, men! I’m talking directly to you, husbands.
Your wife is in a major battle. It’s an important and difficult battle. In this battle you must choose sides. You can choose to fight for her or against her. There is no middle ground because if you are not fighting for her, in her mind you are fighting against her.
The Battle is Real
What is this battle of which I speak? It’s the battle of her self-image. Specifically, I’m speaking of her body image. My family is vacationing at the beach this week. As my lovely wife and I strolled hand in hand along the shoreline this afternoon and beheld the vast array of body shapes and sizes, I was reminded of the battle so many women face.
Who is the “enemy” in this battle? Almost every influence around her. Advertising, movies, magazines, television, and books all tell her that her appearance is unacceptable, that her body is unattractive and inadequate. They tell her that in order to be sexy she must be a certain dress size or body shape. They tell her that her breasts are too small or her hips too curvy, her backside too large and her thighs too flabby. They tell her that her hair is too thin or too thick or the wrong color or the wrong length. The barrage of negative messages is nonstop.
Fight For Her
As her husband, you are more than likely one of her few allies in this battle, perhaps the only one. At least you should be her ally. But are you really? Or have you bought into the lies of the ever-present enemies as well? And remember, if you are simply silent on this important topic, thinking that withholding criticism is enough, you are as much an enemy of her body image as anything else, and maybe more so.
Regardless of her age or how things may have shifted through time and babies, more than likely your wife has many features to which you are attracted. These are the things you found alluring when you met, the things that struck your heart. The way her eyes crinkle when she smiles, the shape and taste of her lips when you kiss, certain places that you’ve always liked to caress…
I could get more explicit, but there is no point. Only you know the things that you find alluring about your wife. If need be, remind yourself again. If need be, find new things about her body to take delight in, regardless of how long you’ve been married.
You see, your job as her husband is to look through the imperfection into the genuine beauty of your bride. You have to get past petty preferences and unrealistic expectations and let your heart come alive to the truly incredible, amazing, gorgeous woman you are bound to for life. “Why should I?” you ask. Because you are called to be like Jesus to your bride. When God looks at you through the work that Jesus did for you on the cross, he sees you as the spotless, beautiful bride of Christ. Really! He sees you in perfection. Yes, it’s amazing, but Jesus is just that good.
Jesus beautifies his bride, and so must you.
How do you beautify your bride? Quite simply, it is up to you to convince her that she is beautiful just how she is. It is up to you to “make” her beautiful. It’s a daunting task because the enemies are many and the allies so few. Even if you do as I have, and resolve to tell your wife every day something you find attractive about her, the counter-messages are still at least ten to one against you (and against her). No matter how dedicated and relentless you are to the task, it’s a battle that never ends. Ever. Don’t’ think to yourself, “Oh, she already knows I’m attracted to her.” She doesn’t know. Even if you told her an hour ago, she doesn’t. Trust me on this. It’s one area in which it is difficult to be too vigilant.
What do you do to beautify your bride? What did you do today?