One of my favorite books on marriage is called “For Men Only”. If you haven’t read it – I highly recommend it! It actually comes with a ‘quick start guide’ – the perfect thing for men! One chapter is titled ‘The Girl in the Mirror’ and it’s a really important subject, so this week is a summary of that chapter. For a more complete understanding of it – and the rest of the book – get it and read it!
If you have daughters you know, and if you don’t you can easily observe, that built into little girls is a desire to be pretty. It’s how God made them. Pretty clothes, bows and hair things, pretty shoes – and all the time a desire for things that are lovely – and they don’t just want to possess pretty things – they want to be pretty.
Would it surprise you to know that your gifted, hardworking, secure, grown-up wife is still (silently) asking the same question: “Do you think I’m pretty?” Only now it’s you watching! It’s you she’s asking and you who will decide her haunting question. Not just “Am I beautiful” but “Am I beautiful to my husband?”
We live in a culture where our wives are bombarded with expectations to lose weight, look younger, look sexy – actually – to look perfect and although they may not voice it – they are asking us this question with an anxious heart “Do I look pretty to you?” And we don’t realize how deeply our words and actions affect them – how import what we do and say is to them.
They gave us everything when they said “I Do” – not just their name and their bodies, but their future, and all their hopes and dreams and said “I trust you with all of this”. And we WANT them to depend on us – to turn to us with their wants and needs. Well, the little girl in her needs to know she’s pretty to you. And we do this by starting one thing and stopping another
First, we Start. We start making an effort towards expressing ourselves – in words and actions – that your wife is pretty to you. Tell her. Show her. Prefer things – tell her your prefer a different shade of lipstick because you find her more pretty that way – give her small gifts that accentuate her beauty – it doesn’t have to be every day and it doesn’t have to be a lot of money – but start demonstrating to her that you find her attractive and beautiful and pretty. Start noticing what she’s wearing – and say something! Let her get a perm, or pay for her to have a manicure or pedicure – you’re showing her that you find her pretty and it’s important to you.
If you’re spending any time at the beginning or end of the day asking yourself how you can be a better husband (and we all should be doing this), ask yourself when was the last time you told her she looked pretty – or that you find her eyes, or lips, or fingers or something else pretty (keep it non-sexual!)?
Second, we Stop. They want to be pretty for us – and only us – and it’s not too much too expect that we look at them – and only them. In this culture of over-sexualized everything – it’s hard not to be confronted daily by immodesty in some form. But we CAN control what we read and watch and look at. Our wives may not say anything, but when we make little effort to guard our eyes, or we watch movies or shows that have lots of immodesty, or we read magazines or visit websites that have a lot of immodesty with no care or effort to limit what we see, it hurts our wives, and it hurts them A LOT. We have to STOP. Right NOW!
And this isn’t a do it and forget it thing. This should become part of our lives. God made her this way, and it’s something we love about them. So if she’s important to you, and if you love her – make a daily effort to limit the flow of immodesty that you take in, and start showing and telling her that she’s pretty to you.