I think one of the biggest questions women have revolve around the question of beauty. There seems to be this innate need to be found beautiful, to know that you are captivating. Open up Google and type “Does my husband”, and the first suggestion is “… find me attractive?” That’s a topic I’ve written about before, we even did a survey on it.
But, I’m going to touch on it again, because I was reminded of this question a few times this week. One of them was in a comment from a reader who asked this:
I’m not sure if this topic has been covered, but a lot of women are very shy when it comes to sex and the naked body. So maybe a post to help the husband make the wives more comfortable and come out her shell.
Now, I don’t think it’s the husband’s job to make their wife come of her shell, but I was curious how much it did affect their sex life. So, I took another look at the results of our latest survey and found a couple of stats that you may find interesting.
Wives who said the reason they haven’t taken naked pictures, or haven’t had them taken of themselves, is because they’re afraid of how they look, have sex on average 40% less often and are 32% more likely to be dissatisfied with the quality of sex in their marriages as well. By contrast, those who have had nude pictures taken themselves by their spouse are 47% more likely to be satisfied by the quality of sex compared to the general public.
Now, I’m not saying you need to go out and start taking naked pictures of yourself. But, I think there is an underlying truth here that I want to pull out:
Your contentment with your body directly, and drastically, affects your sex life, and ultimately your marriage.
Did you read that carefully? Your contentment. Not your actual body, and not even being happy about your body. Many wives who have had pictures taken had comments like this:
- I was struggling with my body after having 2 children, my husband continued to tell me that I am sexy though I did not feel that way
- He loved it, which I was 99% sure he would. I was happy to be able to gift him with this experience. I was very nervous, very body conscious, and have low self esteem, especially with my weight gain after having children.
- I hate my body, but we were having some rough spots in our sex life and I was trying to improve it by taking sexy selfies, something hubby had brought up.
- Again, with body issues, it did take a lot for me to do it, but I am learning that my husband thinks I am hot no matter if I have love handles and stretch marks.
- I was hesitant at first because this is something I never thought I would do and I do have issues with my body image. What made this experience enjoyable was his positive response to my pictures.
A lot of them mentioned body image issues, that they see faults in their bodies, that they hate their body even. But, even with all that, they decided to be content with what they had at the moment and use it in a way to bless their husbands.
I particularly like ones like this:
- He tells me I’m hot and sexy, and I believe him
- Feel like my husband enjoys my body even though I am able to see faults in it routinely
- I was excited that my husband was so interested in having pictures of me, especially after having children
- While I hate how I look, I know that he loves to get pictures of me, and when I actually do take the pictures, it’s kinda fun to try and get the best pose and keeps my head in the game for later on when we can have some fun
Where they have decided to act on their spouse’ view of them, instead of their self-perception of their body. And I think this needs to be taught more. I know we often throw out the “It’s not the outside that matters, but what’s on the inside”, and that’s true, but, I don’t like that this teaching seems to bolster the idea that women have that they aren’t beautiful. It basically tells them “yep, you’re not, but it’s okay, you have a fallback with your personality”. And that’s just horrible. No wonder wives have so many body issues. I think a lot of them have given up and went with their backup-plan.
Instead, I think we should be teaching our daughters, our young women, our wives that they are beautiful as they are. For example, look at this verse:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Your body is the temple of God! Not your personality, your body! Think God’s not interested in beauty? Go read 1 Chronicles 28 and 1 Kings 6, and see what God all put in His temple. It was full of beautiful wood carvings, gold and silver. This was a beautiful building. Then look in Haggai 2 and hear God say that after His temple was destroyed, the new one would be even more beautiful! And when it too was destroyed, God chose to move into an even more beautiful temple…you.
What body image issues really are
And instead, we have managed to make a generation, multiple generations really, of women who are ashamed of their bodies, are self-conscious of them, even with their own spouse. They look at their bodies, these glorious temples that God dwells within, and say “it’s ugly, it’s fat, it’s stretched, wrinkled and worn” and in so doing, they declare that God’s temple is not beautiful.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
They, unknowingly, declare that what God has made holy, is unholy. They degrade God’s holy place by failing to acknowledge its holiness, and it’s no wonder. That’s how they’ve been taught to view it. They’ve grown up being told that it’s not important, but unfortunately, they’ve been taught a habit of blasphemy. Because this is the Biblical definition of blasphemy: to treat something that is holy as if it were not holy. It’s not intentional, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less true, or damaging. I think this behaviour, this pattern for living, is hurting many women’s relationships with God, and many wives’ relationships with their husbands.
How can you stop?
I think ultimately God wants you to be as good a steward with the body you are given as you can be. But, I think it starts before that. I think it starts with accepting that it’s God’s temple, and that it’s beautiful just as it is, that you are beautiful, just as you are.
If all you see in the mirror is a shack in the woods, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult to transform that into a temple worthy of God.
So, I’d encourage you to read through the Bible. Find the passages that discuss beauty, and God’s love for you. Read about the temple and see that that’s how He sees you, and not just your personality. Then, when you feel how much He loves you, including your body, then work on making it an even better temple, if you feel so convicted.
And please, stop speaking ill of God’s temple. You’re beautiful, just the way God made you. Stretch marks and all.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13
Are there some negative views you need to change about your body, God’s temple?