In my last post about body image, Facts and Figures, I talked about how real women are typically bigger all around than the gorgeous gals we see in magazines, movies, and dolls (thanks, Barbie!). I addressed women feeling good about the bodies God gave them, as well as our need to take care of those bodies.
So guys, what if your wife used to be a stunning woman who made your heart clamor to fall out of your chest and now you two can’t even connect chests because of the extra 30 pounds she’s sporting around her midsection? What if you wish the rolls around her body were replaced with toned muscle that you could stroke with sweaty palms? What if your wife isn’t as lovely as she used to be?
Ultimately, you may be right that your wife should be in better shape. But the question is: How you can truly help her?
Affirm that she is beautiful now – as is. This seems like a contradiction. If I tell her she’s pretty like this, will she ever want to look like that? But women who already have a strong sense of self-worth tend to take better care of their bodies. If you affirm her beauty, she is far more likely to go to extra lengths to be beautiful for you.
Avoid commenting on other women’s bodies. Women are inclined to compare themselves to other women. Whether you compare us to another woman directly, comment on women you think are beautiful, or point out women you consider ugly or fat, we soak in information about what you like and don’t like and evaluate ourselves accordingly. Rarely will we measure up to where we want to be in your eyes. Drop the comparisons, focus on your wife, and even train your eyes to look away from other women and toward your wife’s beauty instead.
Focus on health, not numbers. Our society is number-obsessed when it comes to beauty. In fact, I talked about body measurements in my last post because that is one of the ways we gauge female attractiveness! But counting inches and pounds isn’t God’s idea of caring for our bodies. We need to maintain our health, and when we do so, we will lose extra pounds, trim tummies, tone muscles, and look good. If you are concerned about your wife’s weight, talk to her about her overall health — how you want to grow old together and be able to tour Europe without an oxygen tank in tow. How you want her to have the stamina to enjoy you pleasuring her for hours when the kids have finally grown up and moved out. How you want the two of you to be able to flop down on the floor and play with the grandkids one day without anyone experiencing a heart attack. She will appreciate you caring about her full package, not merely the outside wrapping.
Make exercise a joint recreational activity. A lot of gals would love to have more one-on-one time with hubby. What if you made exercise an activity you did together? How about suggesting a daily walk around the neighborhood, holding your wife’s hand and chatting as you go? How about gifting her with a round of ballroom dance lessons which get you both in shape and bring your bodies into steamy embraces? How about tackling the Fit Marriage Thrive90 Fitness program as a couple? Find out what she likes to do and join her in it. It can be anything from golf to sailing to an exercise class to a square dance club. Suggest time together and make it active.
Pray for her. It isn’t easy to deal with the constant messages from society about how women should be young, thin, and gorgeous. It’s a struggle for a lot of us. Cover your wife in prayer over this issue. If you’re comfortable doing so, let her know that you are praying to God that she will appreciate how beautiful she really is in His eyes and in yours and that you are requesting divine help to properly care for the bodies God has blessed you with.
Any pep talk to a wife from me or a girlfriend can’t balance out continuous negativity about her body that exists within her home. Husbands have a lot of influence to help their wives feel and become beautiful. Think about positive steps you can take to bring out your wife’s inner beauty.
“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!”