I’m continuing my small series on loving our spouses effectively with this final installment. It’s been rolling around in my head since my husband & I had an “intense moment of fellowship” about these very topics. Honestly, that was the catalyst for this series of posts.
The first one was addressing the issue of wives feeling unlovely to their husbands. The second was a wake-up call to wives about guarding their hearts from idolizing their husbands. This third one is a tougher one to write. Not because I don’t believe it’s needed, but because it’s hard to write to an audience of men. Men are much more logical, less emotional, in their thinking. This is why it’s taken me a bit longer to finish this one.
So, here it is. The wake-up call to husbands.
Before drifting off to sleep one night, I complimented my husband on a particular aspect of his physique that is especially attractive to me. We laughed together, and then I asked him what about me physically had the same effect on him.
I was met with silence.
Now, to be fair, I had no idea that he was already going to snooze-town. However, as a wife who wants to be wanted (found attractive) by her husband, I was absolutely devastated that he couldn’t tell me one thing. I cried myself to sleep and barely spoke the next day.
We did have a big heart-to-heart the next day and that’s when I found out he was actually asleep when I asked the question but as we talked, we still had differing views that needed to be understood, which led to this series of posts.
** I recommend, if you haven’t read them yet, please read the previous two posts: When a Wife Feels Unlovely and Wives, Free Your Husbands (from the Burden of Your Self-Worth)
Women want to feel wanted
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.” — Proverbs 5:18-19
This passage is directed at the husband. It’s a call for him to delight in his wife, to look at her with desire. It’s not directed at the wife to make herself appealing to her husband (and I’m not saying wives ought to “let themselves go” or not try to be appealing to their husbands), but my point is that God calls men to view their wives as their standard of beauty — even when her body changes.
I say “when her body changes” because it’s not a matter of “if”, it is a matter of “when”. Our bodies are not meant to stay the same as we age. We decay over time; it’s a natural part of life ever since death was introduced into the world. Apart from plastic surgery, our bodies get older and change. Husbands need to find wives beautiful in these changes, which means his taste (standard) of beauty will change over time, as his wife’s beauty changes.
This is evidenced when my husband states that he is enthralled in certain aspects of my character, my love for the Lord and sharing what I’m learning through Scripture with him, or when I keep him mentally engaged. Over time, his attraction to me has moved slightly from “mostly physical” to “mostly mental/character”. Yet I still want to be physically attractive to him because we are sexual beings as well.
For men who refuse to give grace to their wives in their physical appearance – those who demand a certain body type in order to be attracted to her – my question is this: Is your standard of beauty something other than your wife? Are you viewing porn? Even action-adventure movies have a certain type of body for female leads.
Perhaps you ought to pray about where your affections truly lie. Perhaps you need to repent and ask for her forgiveness in this precious area to protect your marriage and build her up.
Ways You Can Show Her that She’s Attractive to You
When a wife feels that her husband is attracted to her, her mood tends to improve and she’s more confident in her marriage. Fears in her mind will subside. Your words and actions will tell her that you value her — it’s the effort that she’s looking for. This also increases her security in emotional and physical intimacy, both of which are valuable for successful marriage.
Typically you should know your spouse well and make efforts directed toward what she values but here are some ways you can tangibly show her that you are attracted to & cherish her:
1. Regularly tell her, with genuine and specific words, that you find her attractive. Compliments which are sarcastic or come across as insincere tend to do more harm because she sees right through them.
2. Write her notes sharing with her what you find appealing or how you appreciate her. Even doing this a couple times a year will encourage her a great deal.
3. Physically pursue your wife. Greet her with hugs & kisses when you come home from work; leave her in the morning the same way. Find moments to hold her, caress her, cuddle with her.
4. Let her catch you looking at her affectionately. Seeing you admiring her, whether or not you know it, makes her feel like a million bucks!
5. Give her a gift. Whether it be a beautiful piece of jewelry, a gift card for a day at the spa, a mani-pedi or massage, some extra cash to go buy a new outfit, a bouquet of flowers, or simply an afternoon to visit a bookstore or coffeeshop for a few hours without kids. It means a lot that you put forth effort to think of her.
6. Date Nights. Schedule regular dates with her, even if it’s just for a dinner away from home without kids. It shows her that alone time with her is important to you and she didn’t have to do all the planning, like finding a babysitter.
7. This last one is very touchy: Counter any self-cutting comments she makes, no matter what your assumptions are for her motivation in saying them. If your wife tells you she feels ugly or fat today or that she can’t find something nice to wear, respond by saying she looks beautiful to you. Now, this is a touchy one because it stems from doubt and sin on her part. While you want to press her toward her identity in Jesus, you also need to be gentle and encouraging to her. Meet her where she’s at and counter her wrongful thinking with both the truth of how you value her and also a challenge to find her identity in Jesus rather than the world (where these thoughts & questions stem from).
Is this an area that you struggle with in your marriage? What are some ways that you tangibly show love to your spouse?