and I paused long after the question left my mouth. We’d been discussing Chapter 4 of Tim Alan Gardner’s Sacred Sex:
the chapter on being “Naked and Unashamed”. The conversation had been refreshing; it was good to know that another woman had struggled here in the mire of shame. And we had bounced around the main idea of the chapter: Being Naked and Unashamed only comes from Unconditional Acceptance of your Spouse.
And we both laughed joy that our husbands constantly expressed this Unconditional Acceptance of our bodies even after the birth and nursing of twin baby girls had stretched and sagged and molded our bodies anew. And as the laughter ended, one of us finally admitted the truth:
“But I don’t believe him.”
Together we nodded, long distance agreement carrying strong over cell phone signals. And the question left my mouth before I could stop it, the one we pondered in silence now.
“How can we train our minds to hear truth when our husbands express unconditional acceptance of our bodies?”
How could Julia and I hear and believe for truth those words: “You are so beautiful!”?
This one word haunts women everywhere regardless of location or culture or even socioeconomic status. Himba women in Africa smooth their hair into elaborate dreadlocks with the clay from the earth and rub their skin down with it until they appear wholly red-brown burnished and lovely. Women in China, once obsessed with the beauty of small feet, would bind their feet until bones broke and their feet were permanently deformed; the most beautiful feet were a mere 3 inches. American women starve themselves to be as thin as the Photoshop edited models; and as they age they resort to tummy tucks and Botox and expensive creams hoping to achieve the impossible standard of Beauty.
Our hearts were made to crave Beauty.
But what is Beauty? And does it reside in me?
And when my husband says that I’m beautiful, how can I receive those words as truth in a culture that says the opposite?
What am I going to teach my daughters about Beauty?
And most importantly, what does the Word of God say about Beauty?
and I on Fridays as we explore the meaning of Beauty, intersect Beauty with the word of God, and let Beauty live in our lives.
Feel free to grab a button and follow along as we explore Beauty. We’d love to hear your comments, toss around your questions, but most of all to share a piece of our hearts with you.
I can’t wait to see where this journey to discover True Beauty leads us.