Category Archives: Feel Beautiful Series

Is Your Husband A Liar? with Debi Walter

Debi Walter is a marriage blogger with The Romantic Vineyard—a fabulous blog that inspires and encourages biblical marriages. Debi and her husband Tom are also masters of date night ideas.

I’m thrilled to welcome Debi to Hot, Holy & Humorous for her take on Feeling Beautiful. (For more about the series, check out the introduction video.) Take it away, Debi!

Is Your Husband a Liar? with Debi Walter

Is your husband a liar?

I’m sure most of us would answer this question with an emphatic, NO! However, many of us treat them as if they are. It’s true that most husbands see their wives as beautiful, yet we roll our eyes when they compliment us, or say, “Yeah, but…” pointing out the flaws we see staring back at us in the mirror.

I was thinking about this attitude recently and wondering why it is so common for wives to think their husbands aren’t telling the truth when it comes to how they see them. It has to be discouraging to our man to hear his compliments so quickly disregarded on a regular basis. It’s a wonder he doesn’t stop all together!

It’s led me to ask God why we do this? Why are we so quick to dispute with our husband on something they see as good?

I believe there are three reasons:

1.  We have allowed our culture to influence our definition of beauty. We are bombarded daily with women who seemingly have it all, and tempt us to see how poor we look in comparison. We measure how far short we fall in comparison with the outward beauty on display on TV, in magazines and at the movies.

They draw us in to buy whatever it is they’re selling, and it obviously works! Statistics show that in 2013 we spent over 56.6 billion dollars on cosmetics alone in the United States. We spend so much time trying to improve the outside of our bodies, when what will really make us the most beautiful is left wanting.

2.  We think more highly of ourselves than we do our husbands. When our husband takes time to compliment us and we are quick to disagree, what we’re basically doing is saying my opinion matters more than yours. We walk away thinking we’re being honest, but in reality what we’re really showing is how deceived we are. We’re deceived into thinking we can never be what our husband is already saying we are in their eyes. We are craving something based on our own opinion that will never be satisfied.

The Bible calls it the “lust of the eyes.” What?! Have you never considered lust to be used in this way? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (which by the way, is the original dictionary that Noah Webster wrote using the Bible to define all the terms used in that day) says that LUST is a longing desire; eagerness to possess or enjoy. If our husband is our priority, shouldn’t we believe him when he compliments by offering a sincere, “Thank you?” Instead of allowing our unsatisfied lust to reject his words or worse—his love?

3.  We have forgotten what true beauty is. The Bible defines beauty with a well-known verse: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 ESV). When we focus on outward beauty it will always disappoint because such beauty doesn’t last.

We are like flowers fading away, but inside God has placed the beauty of His grace which will never fade. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:4-5 ESV). True beauty is found beholding the One who is eternally beautiful—Christ, our Bridegroom. As we behold Him, He will transform us more and more into His image. This is true and lasting beauty. Seek this and no matter how many birthdays you celebrate you will become more and more beautiful.

The next time your husband compliments you, I challenge you to look in his eyes and say, “Thank you.” His opinion is all that matters.

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Also check out these posts from Debbie’s blog with her husband, The Romantic Vineyard:
Biblical Love Language
Finding Love Right Where You Are
Everyday Romance – Life Giving Words

Tom and Debi WalterTom and Debi have been married for 36 years and have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. They have called Orlando, FL home for most of their married lives. They are enjoying the empty nest stage for the first time in 33 years, and would be quick to tell you that in this season they have discovered a whole new freedom in expressing their love to each other. It’s wonderful! 😉

Through the Eyes of Grace book coverDebi has written her fist novel—Through The Eyes Of Grace, an historical fiction based on the life of her grandmother set in Indian Territory in 1904.

Pain brought on by the ill motives of another forces Grace to abandon the only security she has ever known in the hopes of finding the lasting love she has only dreamed of.

It is 1904 in the township of Ceres, Oklahoma Territory. Fifteen-year-old Grace Stella Kirwin’s life is blossoming like the prairie flowers she has grown to love, yet she is unaware of the encroaching storm about to ravage her heart. It will seek to destroy all the hope she has of finding genuine love.

A protective ultimatum by Grace’s father leads to a violent response by the only man Grace has ever wanted. Shattered and bruised, Grace fears she’ll never be free from the nightmare caused by Doogan Maguire. Hope dawns when she moves to the new township of Jenks in Indian Territory, only to discover a darker night awaits her. Will she find the lasting love she’s longed for?

How Do You Feel Beautiful? with Sheila Wray Gregoire

I’m brimming with excitement. Overflowing really. Like splashing excitement out into the streets. Why? Because I have two favorite things happening today on the blog:

  1. I’m kicking off a new Thursday series focused on helping us wives Feel Beautiful. It’s been my personal and public goal in 2015 to get us wives believing and feeling the beauty God created in us. I’ve had a few posts on this subject (Feeling Beautiful: From His PerspectiveFeeling Beautiful: 8 Things I Learned While ShoppingFeel Beautiful in 2015: “Fight the Frump”!Feel Beautiful: Dust Off Your Exercise Shoes!), but I’m now inviting other marriage bloggers to chime in on the subject in whatever way they choose.
  2. We’re starting this series with one of my favorite people! Sheila Wray Gregoire has been a friend for years, and she’s a go-to resource for marriage, parenting, and authentic Christianity. I encourage you to follow her blog and check out her books.
Sheila and Me at Girl Talk—holding each other's books!

Sheila and Me at Girl Talk—holding each other’s books!

And now, heeeeeeere’s Sheila!

How Do You Feel Beautiful? with Sheila Wray Gregoire

When I give my sex talk at churches, I often ask the women, “how many of you can name 5 things you LOVE about your body?”

The women glance around awkwardly, and a few raised hands pepper the audience.

Then I ask, “now, how many of you can name 5 things you HATE about your body?”

Almost every hand in the room goes up—often to various cheers around the room.

We all feel it—that body insecurity. We want to be beautiful, but how can we, with the stretch marks, and the wrinkles, and the muffin top? Our bodies change. And after you’ve pumped out a couple of babies, you can never sneeze in the same way again.

We’ve all heard plenty of pep talks: your beauty is on the inside, not the outside! Women of all sizes can love sex! Sex is about a deep and abiding love, not about two perfect bodies.

And to a great extent all of that is true.

But it’s not the whole truth, because sex, even if we may not like to admit it, is actually done with our bodies. It isn’t done only with our beautiful hearts or our gorgeous minds. It’s done with the muffin top, stretch mark, pock marked bodies. And that means that if we feel lousy about our bodies, sex is going to be affected—as are other areas of our marriage. When we feel lousy about our bodies, we’ll feel lousy about our self-worth. And that is a recipe for a pretty unhappy woman.

Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage: Because a Great Relationship Doesnt Happen by AccidentA wise woman (hint: her name is J) once told me that “happiness is a gift she could give her husband.” I interviewed J for my new book 9 Thoughts That Can Change a Marriage, and we talked about how finding peace and joy ourselves is such a gift to our men who feel like they have to make everything better for us. And when they can’t make stuff better, they feel lousy. Inadequate. So they retreat.

If your man can’t make you feel beautiful, because you yourself don’t feel beautiful, then he’s going to retreat. He’s going to feel inadequate. And that’s going to drive you even further apart.

So how in the world do you feel beautiful?

1. Think of yourself as a beautiful woman

This sounds odd, but the things that we tell ourselves become the things that we act out. What are you telling yourself? “You gained 5 pounds again!” “You look so much older than you are.”

Try telling yourself something else: “That top flatters you.” “You have lovely eyes.” “God gave you a great nose.”

Everyday, tell yourself something good about your body.

2. Have a Go-To Beauty Routine

That’s easier to do, of course, if the top actually DOES flatter you. Sometimes we feel frumpy because we get in a rotten groove. We’re so tired with little kids and with work and with just plain life that we give up. Why wear earrings if the kids are going to pull on them? Why do your hair if every time you head to the bathroom someone calls for you?

And so yoga pants and T-shirts become our wardrobe.

Listen, ladies: it takes no more time to put on a pair of jeans that fit and a shirt that flatters than it does to put on yoga pants and a T-shirt.

And you can brush and gel your hair, and put some foundation, blush, lipstick, and mascara on in less than 4 minutes. I swear.

The trick is knowing what makeup to use, and having a hairstyle that’s easy to wear.

Go to a drug store and ask the makeup artists to show you how to do a simple, 2-minute face. Go shopping with a fashionable friend and ask her to help you find 5 quality outfits. When we hate our bodies, we tend to buy stuff on clearance that looks awful because we figure that’s all we deserve. Buy 5 outfits that make you look great. That’s all you need—and it will make the world of difference to your confidence level.

3. Feel Your Body

When we hate our bodies we tend to ignore them. We don’t want to notice anything below our necks because then we’ll be reminded how ugly we are. So we stop listening to our bodies’ cues. We forget that maybe we do have a libido!

Take time to FEEL your body everyday. Do 5 minutes of stretches. It’s luxurious! Do 10 minutes of a basic yoga or pilates routine off YouTube. Of course I could say exercise, but how many of  you will actually do it? Even if you don’t work out, I think stretching is a great way to remind yourself, “I have a great body! It can feel wonderful.”

4. Look Great for Your Husband

When my husband would say, “let’s go out for dinner,” I used to rush upstairs, put on some makeup, change my clothes, and be I’m ready to go! And a few years ago I realized that I was getting “prettified” for strangers, but never for my husband. When we went out I looked great. If he were coming home, I’d still look my worst.

But my husband is the only one who is supposed to enjoy my body!

So now, 15 minutes before my husband comes home, I head upstairs to get into a flattering top and put on a bit of makeup. It tells him, “I’ve been waiting for you!” And it reminds me that I like feeling pretty for him.

If you do these things, you’ll start to think of yourself differently—you’ll be concentrating on what you like about your body, rather than what you hate. And you’ll be feeling more confident! That makes you a lot more likely to want to embrace sex.

But I can hear some of the protests now.

But what if my husband is doing things that make me feel ugly?

Maybe he looks at porn. Maybe he watches Game of Thrones—and then wants to get it on (with you). Maybe you caught him texting another woman.

And all you can think is: am I not pretty enough? What’s wrong with me?

Oh, my sweet friends. That’s so sad.

There’s nothing wrong with you. He is choosing to devalue marriage and to devalue sex. He is making sex into something which is only physical, rather than something which is also spiritually and emotionally intimate. And the more he does that—the more he trains his brain to be aroused by an image, rather than a person—the less he’ll be able to be aroused in  your marriage.

And hear me, ladies: it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with the lure that porn has—a lure that often started for many guys right around the age when they were getting their first sexual feelings.

But even though it has nothing to do with you, that doesn’t mean that God hasn’t placed you right here to do something about it.

Your husband isn’t just hurting himself by looking at porn, or by watching nudity on TV. He’s hurting himself. He’s wrecking his sexuality. He’s harming his marriage. And he’s putting a huge wedge between him and God.

You may be tempted to do nothing. You may run from conflict. Like I say in 9 Thoughts That Can Change a Marriage, many of us are peacekeepers, trying to keep the lid on issues, rather than peacemakers—people who confront and solve issues.

Be a peacemaker. Put your foot down and say, “no more porn. No more nudity. This stops here.” Get a third party involved if you have to. But whatever you tolerate will continue. It is okay—it is MORE than okay—to say, “this needs to stop.”

So think of yourself as a beautiful, capable woman. A woman who takes pride in herself and her marriage. A woman who believes in real beauty, not in the false beauty our culture sells us. A woman who stands up for pure beauty in marriage. And when you start doing those things, I pray that you will start to feel beautiful—just as God made you.

Sheila GregoireSheila Wray Gregoire blogs at To Love, Honor and Vacuum, where she talks mostly about sex. And sometimes gets people riled up! Besides 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, she’s also the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. And she’d love to give you her free downloadable ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sex Back to Your Marriage! Get it here.