Oh, body image...nothing can affect a wife's confidence (or more often, lack thereof) quicker than a poor body image.
So many of us women suffer from low self-esteem, myself included. I've shared my struggle openly on my blog. So often of our self-esteem issues revolve around our physical appearance. We are obsessed with our weight, hair, skin, facial features and so many other areas. You would be hard pressed to find a woman that would not change at least one thing about her appearance. Why do we find it so hard to love ourselves and the body we were given?
Advertising, pornography, Hollywood, our own unrealistic expectations and possibly even hurtful comments from our husbands have merged into the perfect storm. Time and time again we are told that to be beautiful we need to look like a certain way. The media tries to make you feel lower than low every single moment of your life. An unfathomable amount of damage has been left in that storm's wake.
But the war rages on.
It is no wonder that so many wives (maybe yourself included) are not overly thrilled about getting naked in front or a mirror, let alone with the man they married.
I don't know about y'all, but my body certainly doesn't look like it did when I was 20. I've had babies, nursed those babies, I have stretch marks, widened hips and gravity has certainly not been my friend. Not to mention the uncountable scars from the surgeries I've had. My body has transformed. Each transformation seems to ingrain more body shame.
How can we stop this body image war? What is the secret?
Well, first of all, I wouldn't hold my breath for the media, advertisers and the porn industry to change. I'm not so sure that is going to happen anytime soon.
Don't believe the lies. Chances are you are basing your actions on lies rather than truth. If you are like most women, you have been told (either directly or indirectly) that your worth is rooted in your appearance. And that, sweet girls, is an absolute lie. It's not that pretty and girly things are bad, it's that those pretty things are not who we are. We are all made in Gods image. Every single one of us. Do you know what that means? I am beautiful and so are YOU. We are daughters of the King and we were made in His image. Take a moment and let that sink in. You are perfectly perfect and what He wants you to be. Your value is not in your breasts, hips, hair, lips, eye color, skin tone or stomach muscles.
Talk to your husband and be completely honest with him. Study after study would show that the vast majority of husbands desire their wives - and they want wives who want to fully participate in sex and embrace it for the gift it is. The hang up about body appearance is more about our own insecurities than it is about their expectations. Nurturing sexual intimacy to its fullest in your marriage has so much to do with embracing the beauty and femininity of who you are. And you are beautiful. When he tells you he thinks you are beautiful and sexy, he really does mean it. Believe him. Accept the compliment and embrace it. Embrace him and his love.
I can be confident. You can be confident. We can all be confident. We can walk through this world with heads and hearts held high as daughters of the King. Daughters who are messy and broken. With Him, we are transformed into beautiful simply because we are His. Understand your identity in Him and the beauty and freedom He bestows on us and the love He extends to us.