The following is an excerpt from our book True Intimacy.
For the next month we will be posting a chapter a day for your reading (and marital) pleasure. However, if you would like to purchase an electronic or printed copy for yourself or someone else we would greatly appreciate your support! To go to the web page for more information click here.
Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him. … The King’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is interwoven with gold. Psalm 45:10, 11 & 13
I think that it is just in womanly nature to want to be seen as beautiful. Don’t you think? Ahhhhh, but to be seen as “all glorious within“, now THAT’S beauty! A beauty that makes the KING desire us. You see, Jesus sees us, sinful and broken, and beautiful just the way that we are.
The other day my 3-year old daughter was quiet, a little too quiet if you know what I mean. When I found her, she was covered from head to toe in marker and was so proud of herself. As I was cleaning her off I told her “Honey, God made your skin beautiful just the way it is. It doesn’t need any decoration.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth it was like God tapped me on the shoulder and put it all into perspective for me. When God sees me putting on my make-up and nail polish He sees His daughter coloring on herself with “markers”. I realized that a lot of times we see our bodies as a blank canvas. But God sees them as a finished masterpiece, a true work of art; worthy of protecting and cherishing, with no need of further ornamentation.
Pascal once said “Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it.”4 As women, when we are told a hundred times a day by our commercials, that we’re not young enough: “here THIS makeup will make those wrinkles disappear”. We’re not skinny enough: “buy this weight loss program and shed those holiday pounds”. We’re not pretty enough: “buy this hair color – you’re worth it”. All day long we hear the ways that we’re not enough this or enough that. After awhile we start to believe it! Then, when our husband comes home and tells us he’d like to have sex, we don’t feel good about ourselves and IF they’re lucky enough to get lucky, many times it’ll be with the lights off. We have got to GET OVER IT! We’ve got to stop listening to the advertisements and start listening to our husbands! Listen to GOD! Our real beauty lies in how HE sees us anyway.
For example: One weekend, while camping in Brown County State Park in Indiana I had been continually amazed by the scenic vistas. All weekend long I desperately wanted to see a spectacular sunset that would color and tint the whole sky above an endless span of tree tops, rolling hills and valleys filled with trees while comfortably seated next to my wonderful husband. *Romantic sigh* It would’ve been amazing. But, alas, the whole weekend I did not get to see that sunset. However, as we were driving home on Sunday evening the sun began to set, and as it did the sky began to light with bright reds and blues and the clouds turned purple. It was magnificent! And although it wasn’t as impressive over the Indy skyline as it would have been over one of those vistas, I WAS sitting next to my wonderful husband watching the sunset after a great weekend together. And then the beauty of it all hit me. God still gave me my sunset! And then I heard His voice, the one I love so much. “I think YOU, Beloved, are more beautiful than anything you’ve seen this weekend.” I, of course, started crying. MORE beautiful than the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen? Me? “Yes my Beloved, you all are; My precious creations.” Tears welled up in my eyes and a sob choked in my throat as I stared over my husband’s shoulder into the beautiful purple and blue fading sunset. “Wow! More beautiful than that?” What better words can a very self-conscious woman hear than, “more beautiful than the most beautiful landscape or sunset you’ve ever seen!” And YOU ARE too! You are THE most beautiful piece in God’s creation collection.
In 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 Paul writes about his struggles and imperfections, so to speak. Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me – to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. Paul sums it up perfectly doesn’t he? It is through our weaknesses that God’s power is perfected! Our strengths are our strengths and we very easily get caught giving ourselves credit for them. But our weakness, now that’s a different story isn’t it! It is through our weaknesses that God’s power working through us is the MOST evident! Think about it, God chose a man with a stammer to be His spokesperson to all of Israel during the Exodus! He chose a regular old girl to be the mother of Jesus Himself! There was nothing impressive or special about her, she wasn’t even rich or anything! The only thing it really says about Mary is that she was “Highly favored” by God and willing to be used by Him. God takes ordinary people and does extraordinary things with them, through their weaknesses and willingness!
God is not all tied up about how perfect we already are, what He cares about the most is our imperfections, and how He can redeem them. Take an opal for example. I’ve always enjoyed the way that the rainbow sparkles through them; and I was amazed at what I found when I researched them a bit. Opals are mainly made from silica, which is round in form. As an opal is created over hundreds of years the little silica balls line up next to each other. Since they’re round they can’t line up perfectly which creates gaps or “imperfections” between them. When the light shines through these imperfections it creates that “fire”, or rainbow sparkle, in the opals like a prism. The red color in an opal is created by the light reflecting through the largest imperfections in the silica formations. The funny thing is, the more red there is in an opal the more it is worth. So in other words, the way opals are valued is by their imperfections rather than their perfection. You see, to God, our value lies in our imperfections because it’s through our imperfection that His light shines through us and glitters like a rainbow! Those things in our lives that the devil meant for harm, God rejoices over us when we repent of them and then uses them for His good purposes! God works in you, and in doing so He makes you shine and glitter like the priceless jewel that you are; His most precious family jewel, His work of heart.
Your wife is beautiful! I wouldn’t know personally, but if she wasn’t beautiful to you, I’m guessing you wouldn’t have married her.
Husbands, look at your wife. Go ahead, look away from this screen for a minute and look at her. I look at mine all the time. Look at her “imperfections”. They are what make her unique. Think back to Tamar’s example of the opal; the bigger the “imperfections”, the more valuable the stone. Another example is coins. If a coin is stamped incorrectly, its “imperfection” makes it more valuable.
You guys need to tell your wives that they are beautiful. Let them know that they are the beautiful jewels that they are. Tamar doesn’t wear makeup anymore. I think she is more beautiful without it and make it a point to tell her so every chance I get. You guys need to do the same (not my wife, but yours). Do it when she is at her most vulnerable, when she’s naked. It is when she’s naked, that all of her “imperfections” are on display. That’s when she needs to hear that you think she is “perfect”.