Tag Archives: feeling beautiful in your marriage

Is Your Spouse Flawless?

A college girl died last week. Unexpectedly. Of natural causes.

I didn’t know her, but she hailed from my town and attended my older son’s university. So there was a lot of buzz about her death, and I knew several people with connections to this young lady. I looked up her obituary and was surprised to see that she had chosen a life verse — but not one you might expect from a single, college-aged woman. Rather, it was a verse I’ve cited many times before from the Song of Songs: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (4:7).

Song of Songs 4:7How wonderful for this young believer to settle so quickly on the truth of her value in God’s eyes! For all those daughters out there worrying so much about their appearance or trying too hard to be like someone else, I pray that they can learn and accept that they are “altogether beautiful.

There is definitely this larger meaning, but the context of the verse itself is a husband speaking to his wife. After going through a long list of her physical attributes that the husband finds captivating (eyes, hair, teeth, lips, etc.), he concludes with that statement: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Look, I never saw his wife. We have no idea what she looked like. But I can pretty much guarantee she had a flaw. If nothing else, she had a mole in a weird place or one hair on her arm that grew longer than all the others or stubby toes that would never grace a pedicure ad. Because everyone has some flaw.

Yet her husband didn’t see any of that: He saw her as flawless.

Altogether beautiful.

His darling.

They say that love is blind. I don’t think that’s true, but it is rose-colored. That is, when you love someone so very much, you don’t see all their flaws. In your mind’s eye, your darling is altogether beautiful — flawless.

It’s the reason parents of “ugly babies” think their kids are the most precious things ever. It’s the reason we put our five-year-old’s terrible art on the refrigerator and beam with pride. It’s the reason teenagers overlook each other’s awkward stages and date anyway. It’s the reason you used to not mind so much when your husband — then boyfriend — wore that ratty Green Bay Packers T-shirt. It’s the reason you didn’t think anyone could possibly be more handsome than your groom standing at the altar and waiting for you to walk down the aisle.

Somehow, we seem to think it’s “growing up” or “getting realistic” to lose that lens. But I don’t think so. I think this verse shows what God intended — that as we deepen our love, we should become even more starstruck by our beloved’s beauty.

Maybe it becomes more of a choice we make: to overlook our spouse’s flaws, to focus on their amazing attributes, to remember that we have a special bond (my darling) that colors how we see one another.

What if you memorized this scripture and said it about your husband? Or wife? What if you practiced it in your mind? Even said it aloud sometime? How might that encourage you toward an attitude of appreciation? Toward gratitude for the spouse you have?

Say it with me, and say it about your spouse: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” See your husband the way love sees him.

And believe he sees that in you too.

♥   ♥   ♥

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Truly Beautiful with Lori Byerly

What can I say about Lori Byerly? She’s been a champion for godly marriage and healthy sexual intimacy for years, on both The Marriage Bed (a site run with her husband) and The Generous Wife. Early on in my blogging, I was delighted to connect with her and find such wisdom, encouragement, and beauty.

Lori has influenced me in many ways, including the post I wrote about 3 G-Words to Improve Your Marriage. Generosity definitely had to make the cut. If you’re looking for daily tips and insight for your overall marriage, I strongly encourage you to check out her site and follow her on social media.

In the meantime, let’s hear what she has to say about feeling beautiful.

Truly Beautiful with Lori Byerly

When I think of someone beautiful, the first person that comes to mind is my grandmother.

As a child, she was so good to me. Back then she was in her sixties and seventies with white hair, plenty of wrinkles, and a comfortable body just right for hugging grandchildren. She made the most amazing biscuits and gravy from scratch, and I knew she prayed for me every night before bedtime. I was special in her eyes, and she was special in mine. She was truly beautiful.

It’s hard for me to reconcile this kind of beauty with the beauty found in Cosmo or reality TV. How do you compare the latest color in lipstick to a hug that says you are wanted? How do you compare the airbrushed figure of a model to the body of a woman who has birthed several children, whose arms have cuddled, held, and comforted?

At its heart, I think this is a clash of kingdom values.

The kingdom of the world values outer beauty. If you have outer beauty you have value. Work hard to make your outside look great!

Now let me say, I think it’s good to take care of your appearance. There is nothing wrong with a change in hairstyle or buying pretty new shoes. I love it when my husband notices my new earrings or tells me I’m pretty.

But appearance is not worth. It does not represent all of who you are.

Appearance is not worth. It does not represent all of who you are. - Lori Byerly Click To Tweet

Outer beauty is a gift that fades in time.

The beauty of the Kingdom is timeless and never fades.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:4 ESV

Jesus has a special kind of beauty. As we become more like Him we grow in this truest form of beauty.

I don’t know if my grandmother ever knew how beautiful she was. She came from a different generation and was the practical sort.

My grandmother had this lasting kind of beauty, the kind that makes a profound difference in the life of a child. The kind that tends flower gardens and feeds hungry people. The kind that serves and stands for things of value. I wish I had time to tell you the stories of her life and how many people she touched by simple acts of kindness and love.

Like my grandmother, I will never grace the cover of a glamor magazine. I have graying hair, a growing array of wrinkles, and a body that’s just right for hugging grandchildren. At times I struggle with my culture’s views on beauty, but when I “gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” or when I remember my grandmother’s sweet beauty, I know that I am enough and that I am beautiful.

Lori ByerlyLori Byerly is a wife, mom and grandmother. She blogs at The Generous Wife (the-generous-wife.com) and works as a marriage and sex educator (themarriagebed.com) with her husband, Paul. They live full time in an RV (thegenerousjourney.com), traveling the US, encouraging folks to grow their marriages.