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.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you, on the day that you were created they were prepared. Ezekiel 28:13
One morning God gave me the following vision of a jewelry store. As I walked into the store the first thing I saw out on display was some costume jewelry. Out. Where anyone could look at it, touch it, or take it if, and whenever they wanted. This jewelry was not special, it was not expensive and it was definitely not something you would hand down to your children. This jewelry was not valuable. It would be pretty at first, nice to look at, but it would tarnish quickly, and could easily be replaced or thrown away.
As I continued into the store I came to some nicer jewelry. This kind of jewelry took up the majority of the store. It was still on display where anyone could see it, however, it was locked in a glass case where you had to ask permission from the jeweler to open the case and take the jewelry out before you could touch it. This jewelry was nicer and more expensive than the costume jewelry, however, pretty much anyone who walked into the store could ask to touch it and be granted permission. ANYONE could come and look. And stealing it would take a minimal amount of effort.
Finally I came to the priceless jewels; 4+ carat diamonds, huge and rare rubies and sapphires, and heirloom collector’s items. THESE were NOT on display. These priceless jewels were hidden, locked up in a safe with a combination that only the “high up” jewelers knew and only the special customers, that had enough money and intent, could see them let alone touch or buy them. These items were SO special that they were NEVER advertised, they were never on display, they were a secret, because they were so precious.
Ladies, WE are that jewelry; our bodies. The way that we see ourselves and treat ourselves are the different levels of jewelry and display. How do you view yourself? Do you see yourself as the costume jewelry, cheap and disposable? Nice to look at but after a little while the niceness rubs off. Or, do you see yourself as the nicer jewelry? More expensive, the men have to ask permission to touch, but anyone can still look, because hey, you’re nice to look at? Or are you the priceless jewelry? Locked, hidden in a safe for the one and ONLY person who’s shown enough interest to have you and the ability to take good care of you. *Sniff* As I was just typing that, God said to me “I see them as the priceless jewelry, even if that’s not how they see themselves.” *Sniff* You. Are. So. Beautiful to Him! You are priceless, covered in priceless jewels set with gold! YOU! He is talking to YOU! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Start believing it for goodness sake!
For the longest time, as far back as I can remember anyway, I saw myself as the jewelry on display, not the costume jewelry, but not the priceless jewelry either. I’ve always been petite and for the most part relatively skinny and not too bad to look at if I say so myself. When my breasts started developing I, of course, wanted to show them off to the boys. I wore revealing clothing, not too revealing my parents wouldn’t let me, but once I was out of the house… well that was a different story. I was trying to attract the boys’ attention with my body, because honestly, it worked and I didn’t know any better way. I enjoyed their looks, they made me feel good and worth looking at. When I got married my necklines somehow dropped even lower than they were before! And even if the necklines weren’t low, they were loose so if I bent over to care for one of my children I was showing the goods off to anyone with eyes! Oh how God has opened my eyes to the folly of my ways. My body belongs to my husband and my husband alone! My breasts are for HIS eyes only. Before, when they were on “display” for everyone to see – not all of them mind you, but the cleavage and fleshy parts – they weren’t specifically for Christian’s eyes only. However, since God has led me to change my dressing habits and to cover things up more, my breasts are for my husband alone. Making them more special and “entertaining” for him. Think about it, when you know that your husband ONLY has eyes for you, how does that make you feel – pretty special and important right? Now put the shoe on the other foot, when your husband knows that your body is ONLY for his eyes and enjoyment, how do you think that would make him feel?
Do you know what the verse BEFORE our opening verse says? …You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (Ezekiel 28:12b) WOW! In the Garden of Eden, they were naked. And this verse is telling us that while in the garden and still naked they were PERFECT in beauty. The next verse tells us that not only were they perfect in beauty; every precious stone covered their bodies. In our natural state, naked, our bodies are perfect. Period.
God created you just the way that you are. I think Dawn McConnell said it best in “God’s Plan for Married Sex” when she said,
“He chose your legs, your thighs, your dress size, eye color, hair type. You didn’t make you, God did.”6 We should be comfortable in what we look like and who we are as God created us, women. Have you noticed that subdivisions these days don’t have straight roads anymore? Do you know why that is? Curves are more pleasing to the eye than straight lines. One of the main characteristics of the woman’s body – is curves!
OK, I have a challenge for you today. It is something that you will probably read this and say “No way am I doing that!” But, that’s why I’m challenging you. I’m double dog daring you to do this! Write down on a note card: Psalm 139:14 Take it into your bathroom and stand in front of your mirror, full length if you’ve got one. Then start at the top of your head with your hair, and work your way down to your toes. Study your body and as you study it say to God “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful and I know that full well.” Then, I triple dog dare you to do the exact same thing naked! The effect is amazing, believe me! Through God’s amazing love and this exercise, (which I learned from Lorraine Pintus and her amazing book Intimate Issues) I am in love with my body just the way that it is. I love the silver in my hair, because it’s proof of how I’m getting to grow older with my husband, who is already blissfully bald. I love the lines on my face, because they’re proof of years full of laughter and smiles. I love the way that my breasts sag, because it’s proof of all the time that I spent holding and nursing my infants, watching them grow and bonding with them. And I love the fact that my husband still loves my breasts and is still obsessed with them, I’m sure you can relate! I love the “pooch” of my belly and the gigantic scar under it, because they’re my Mommy badge of honor! I was blessed beyond measure to carry not one, but TWO babies in that belly, and some women never get to do that. My hands, oh my hands! The things that they’ve done! Both good and bad, but either way, it’s been my hands that have done it all from comforting my children, to writing this book, to pleasing my husband. I love my legs and feet, and the fact that they have taken me everywhere I have ever gone. My body is amazing and full of “proofs” of a life filled with happiness, hard times and mistakes that I’ve survived and God has turned into “glittering rainbows”.
Just like the leaves that God paints in the fall of their lives, full of new color and light, we too grow old beautifully (no matter what those pesky commercials tell us). Our lives can be full of light and color, but we have to allow “THE light” to shine through us like the opals, the jewels, that we really are.
Yup, God only made so many perfect heads, the rest he covered with hair. I was in college when I first started losing my hair. I would wear a hat all the time and try to hide it. When my forehead started getting further back, I started cutting my hair shorter and shorter. Then, on my thirtieth birthday, I shaved it with a razor for the first time. Tamar really liked it, and I never went back. I have embraced my baldness (my flaw) and it is now a part of me.
How many of you husbands were like me? In jr. high and high school, how many of you chased after the costume jewelry? Go ahead, raise your hands. No one is looking. When my hormones were raging, I went after a LOT of girls that fit into the costume jewelry category. Most of them would have “the goods” on display for anyone to see. I would chase after them because I was only after one thing and they seemed to be the easiest way to get it.
Luckily, God had other plans for me. Most of the girls wouldn’t even go out with me. I wasn’t enough of a “sure thing”. Whenever one would go out with me, we could never seem to hook up, no matter how hard I tried.
As I grew older, I started dating girls that fit in the nice jewelry category. And, surprise surprise, the relationships lasted longer and were more enjoyable. There was less pressure. I didn’t have to worry about the girls dumping me for more of a “sure thing”.
At last, halfway through my senior year, I found my priceless jewelry. My Tamar. Husbands don’t become distracted by the costume jewelry that you see day-to-day. Don’t even give it a second glance. Instead, concentrate on the priceless jewelry you already have.
On a side note: Husbands and wives please pay attention to what your daughters are wearing out in public. Seems like everywhere I go I see young girls wearing skimpy tank tops and short shorts. They are barely wearing more than bathing suits. And don’t get me started on those! Please teach them some modesty. They don’t seem to understand the attention they are getting from wearing the skimpy clothes is not the attention they want. They aren’t just attracting the attention of the boys their age, but from dangerous people who really want to do them harm. Please help your daughters to not become pieces of costume jewelry. Please teach them to respect themselves. Help them to see that they are priceless jewels.