Skip to main content
63444_475711561226_574291226_6400505_7260085_n

Seeking Godly Beauty – by Nikka

niks lounge 2005

 

One more post about beauty and body image. Then we will switch gears. πŸ™‚ I am not going to be very close to a computer today. But I am praying for each of you! I know that you will bless, encourage and exhort one another as you always do, sharing the truth in love.

My prayer is that we might all be able to accept our bodies, that we might take good care of ourselves in a healthy, God-honoring way – realizing that we are stewards of these bodies God has given to us. I would love for us to learn to find our identity, purpose, contentment and joy in Christ alone as we care for ourselves and seek to find health in every area of our lives and set a godly example for our children and those around us.

I pray that we might joyfully do things that we know will bless our husbands – wear our hair the way they like it if possible, wear clothing they like to see us in when we can, embrace our femininity, put a bit of effort into looking nice (out of respect for ourselves, for God and for our husbands – not out of vanity, idolatry of beauty or sinful motives) and cherish the gift of being a woman. That is going to look different for each of us. And that is fine! But I want to see us find freedom from the cutting words, the negative labels, the critical voice in our heads and the snare of attempting to find satisfaction in worldly beauty – it can so easily become an idol and a trap in countless ways. I pray for any woman here who is ensnared in an eating disorder or who is imprisoned by an unhealthy body image or negative thoughts or self-loathing might find hope, healing and freedom in Christ today!

I long for each of us to seek Christ far above all things – including beauty – and that we might discover He is a far greater treasure than anything this world or this life could ever offer. We are just jars of clay, carrying the most precious treasures of heaven. I pray that even in our appearance, our attitude, our confidence in Christ, our humility, our meekness, our grateful hearts, our words, our bodyΒ language, our tone ofΒ voice, our facial expressions, our actions, our joy and our supernatural peace, we might bring great honor and glory to God as His Spirit works in us to empower us to be the women He has called us to be.

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh– Philippians 3:3

 

PLEASE SHARE:

If you have experienced your husband being critical and negative about your body or appearance – AND God has given you wisdom about how to handle this very painful situation in a godly way – I would love for you to share in the comments. God may desire to use you to bless and minister to many hurting women about this issue. How did you learn to accept yourself? How did you learn to honor and respect your body, yourΒ husband and God? How did you learn to seek to bless your husband but not become consumed with beauty and appearance? How did you heal from the hurt in Christ? I am praying for all hurting women today, but especially for those whose husbands tell them they are not attracted to them. How I long to see God heal that pain. I know I cannot heal. But I am praying for those sisters in Christ to find healing in the hands of Christ Jesus.

A QUOTE FROM THEJOYFILLEDWIFE:

In many ways, I think that whether you’re happily married, your spouse is absent because of a sin issue, you are separated, your spouse is distant and doesn’t find you attractive, or whether you are single…our deepest desires were created to be fulfilled by Christ. Beth Moore gives the example that we should go to Christ first for our value and fulfillment. When we do, we are so satisfied in Him that any love we receive from others is just the gravy on top, which is nice to have, but isn’t necessary for wholeness.

—————–
From my precious sister, Nikka, at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

April,

I went to the other post immediately and felt your frustration at β€œlooking like a 12 year old in face and figure” when you were very much already a grown-up. How disheartening too that comment from the lingerie store. πŸ™ Thanks for sharing about your insecurities, April.

I, too, suffered from a distorted view of my looks.

beforeafteranorexia

At 12, I was told by my father that I was β€œfat and that I needed to lose weight; and that with my grouchy attitude, nobody would be interested in marrying me.” πŸ™ That started my more than a decade battle with borderline anorexia. In that short summer, I lost 30 lbs and came back to school not looking like my self at all. That eating disorder hounded me all the way to adulthood, even as a mother and wife. Every pregnancy where I gained as β€œlittle” as 25 lbs to as high as 60 lbs was a constant struggle for sanity. I tried to lose the baby weight each and every time with a passion.

I no longer battle with it now, since the Lord freed me from my bondages (proof of this is I am taking my sweet time getting back in shape post-4th baby πŸ™‚ but when I do remember how much I wanted to commit suicide as a growing teenager and young adult because I felt fat and ugly and stupid, I pity my younger, pathetic self. πŸ™

I grew up seeing all flaws in my body and my face β€” that I was too curvy when I should be thin; that my nose was too upturned when it should be straight; that I was too brown-skinned when I should be lighter, etc.. The list was endless. I felt SO ugly that I dreaded the thought of having a child in the far-off future (musings of a young teenager), lest he/she come out into the world looking like me, and he/she would condemn me for bringing him/her into existence! πŸ™

It was only Dong’s loyal and steadfast love and appreciation for me and my looks (as my boyfriend of 7 years and husband of 10 years) that made me look at myself differently. He was never wanting in telling me and showing me how attractive I was in his eyes. <3

But even that was not enough to stop the struggles with self. I was too bent on looking like how the world perceived a “beautiful woman” to be; and not meeting that standard, it depressed me. It made me feel unworthy to live. It made me feel useless. πŸ™

before and after

It was when I finally surrendered my all to the Lord last year that God removed my “world goggles”, and allowed me to peek into His Vision of me. Minus those worldly spectacles, I started seeing myself for who and what I truly was…

– that I was a sinner in need of God’s Grace
– that I was too much in the world and too tied up to self
– that I was in need of repentance to God and His Mercy

And with that total letting go and letting God, He:

– freed me from ALL my bondages including my eating disorder
– instilled in me a desire to be modest in apparel and manner
– showed me that I was beautiful in His Eyes

I know I can now “achieve” beauty because of this verse:

1 Peter 3:3-4

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

A gentle and quiet spirit. πŸ™‚ That’s what I want to have. That’s what I ask the Lord to give me. That’s what the Spirit has put in place of my old self-righteous, take-charge, depressive self. πŸ™‚

I praise God for what He has done in my life, and I encourage all of you sisters to embrace your God-given beauty. When we are insecure or unhappy with how we look, we act ungrateful towards our Creator. Let’s always remember we were “fearfully and wonderfully made”. πŸ™‚ (Psalm
139:14)

<3 ,

Nikka

 

68 thoughts on “Seeking Godly Beauty – by Nikka

  1. Beautiful, Nikka. What a blessing your transparency is. You may never know just how many hurting hearts the Lord will heal through your courage to share your story.

    And to you, April…

    Thank you for being so steadfast, sensitive, and strong for all the women on the blog who so needed to hear what was said thesw past few blog posts. I know we have had many conversations about this…but I am truly excited to see how many hearts the Lord is healing here. While there are many unfortunate societal changes resulting from misuse of the world wide web, God is so good at taking something meant for harm and using it for good. In this case, the anonymity of the internet has allowed women who hadn’t the courage to ask for help in person to find it here. Our God is faithful.

    Thank you, ladies, for sharing the striking beauty you have within. Love you both so much. <3

    1. Hi thejoyfilledwife! πŸ™‚

      I am sure so many could relate to what I went through, but during that time, I felt so alone. πŸ™ If through the sharing of lives, like what we do here in April’s blog, we are able to tell one lonely soul, that she is not alone and that somebody understands, then all this transparency will not have been in vain.

      Praise God for what He has done in your life and marriage, and praise God for what He has done and continues to do too in mine. God is really a good God. πŸ™‚ God bless you more! How I wish I could see you too through pictures but I believe you want to be anonymous. So, I’d be content just imagining what you most probably look like, beautiful sister in Christ! πŸ™‚

      <3 ,

      Nikka

        1. PS-
          Yes, sweet sister, I believe the Lord is able to allow me personally to minister more fully at the present time by remaining anonymous. Although I wish all the women here could look in my eyes and see the tenderness I feel for them, my ultimate desire is to bring glory to the Lord and obey the steps He lays out for me. Who knows what the future may bring, though? Only He can answer that. <3

  2. Reblogged this on Peaceful Single Girl and commented:

    I am praying for each of us to seek godly beauty far above worldly beauty, to be able to be content and satisfied with our bodies, comfortable in our skin and confident in Christ. I pray we will each honor our bodies and honor God with our bodies and that we might be a blessing to all we come in contact with. Much love to each of you!

  3. April…

    I am so grateful for these posts. I have two teenage daughters that get caught up in how society defines beauty. It is difficult as a father and husband to convince my them and my wife that they are beautiful. I’ve dealt with eye rolling and dismissive comments. It is discouraging at times. It has been helpful to learn about the struggles that women must overcome in this area. God’s word is the best beauty treatment. I am going to continue to share my feelings about their beauty. I am going to start backing it up with God’s definition of the beauty that He created in them even more.

    Paul

    1. Hi Paul! πŸ™‚

      That is admirable of you to do as a father and as a husband. May God bless you in your desire to teach the women under your care the true definition of beauty. πŸ™‚

      I think women get a “power trip” from being admired for their beauty, in the same way that men get a “power trip” from money and status. It’s part of our fallen natures – we are all children of our fallen first parents.

      But it is through Christ that we are given new natures, and with these new natures, we take on new “standards” of behavior and thinking. We let go of our worldly ways and worldly selves and base our worth not on what the world deems as “good” or “beautiful”, but on what is of great worth in God’s Sight.

      God bless you, brother! πŸ™‚

      Nikka

      1. About a year ago – I made a discovery that might help all of us men that are confused and discouraged in this area. It seems silly, but it seems to provide a little insight to our wives thought process. I tiled a kitchen back splash once. People would see the kitchen and compliment me on how great it looked. But I knew it wasn’t perfect. I could point out every crooked tile…every mistake that I had made installing the tile. Nobody would see it. But I knew. Transition to my wife getting ready in the morning. I am checking her out. She looks great. But like I shared when I her and she rolls her eyes. Why? Because she can see every imperfection that she believes that she has or that society tells her she has.

        1. Yes, I think you got the analogy quite right, Paul. My husband looks at me as a whole too, but I was prone to dissect myself into body parts and into sections. I oftentimes felt he was just pulling my leg! But, he was as sincere as sincere could be. Now, I try to accept the compliments generously, but sometimes old habits do die hard. I am still prone to self-deprecation, even after Christ changed me. An area that the Lord really has to work on still!

    2. My dad starting answering my phone calls, “Hello Gorgeous!” several years ago. I probably would have rolled my eyes as a teen, but as an adult, I appreciate it. He has always been encouraging and has been the voice of reason when I was on the fence with an eating disorder. Keep being that voice for your daughters. They need you!!!

    3. Paul,
      Please don’t give up! Maybe you can teach them like my Daddy taught me. He said, “When someone gives you a gift, smile and say ‘thank you!'” A compliment is certainly a gift. The proper thing to do when someone gives us a compliment is to receive it graciously.

      A daddy can certainly teach his daughters these things and have them practice receiving compliments graciously. They will thank you for it one day! πŸ™‚

      Yes, God’s Word is the best beauty treatment to create an unfading, radiant beauty that God and other people will always enjoy and cherish.

      Love this. Thanks for sharing a father’s heart.

  4. I have seen mention of studying about Godly femininity. Can you direct me to some study helps?

    1. Hi learningever! πŸ™‚

      I believe April has some resources in this blog and among the dozens of books she’d read, which she’ll link us to, as soon as she has free time to comment. πŸ™‚ Let’s wait for her and for those. πŸ™‚

      <3

      Nikka

  5. Thank you, Nikka, for being so honest about what you went through as a child, about how it affected you, and about what your husband did to help you with your self-image.

    This information will be very helpful to me when I remarry.

    Jim

    1. You’re welcome, Jim. Praying for your house to get sold so you could move on with your life for good. Praying too for the godly woman the Lord may be preparing for you as we speak! πŸ™‚

  6. Nikka, you remembered! Thank you!

    I want a woman who will be as good to me as I will be to her, because surely I will be good to her. Thanks to you and the other ladies here on these blogs, I have a much better understanding of how to do that.

    1. That thought got stuck in my head because you mentioned you were still living next to each other. The proximity of somebody you would, at the moment, want to forget, makes it quite difficult to do so. Out of sight, out of mind. So, in sight, in mind. πŸ˜›

      But with God, all things are possible! And I believe at this time, more than at any other time you’d be called by Christ to “love your enemy, do good to that certain person who ‘hates’ you and pray for that certain person who persecutes you”…. (Mt 5:44)

      But having said that, my prayers still go to having your house sold Godwilling, so you can start on a clean slate! God bless you, brother!

      1. I do pray for her. I pray not that God would bring her back, but that He would open her eyes to the sin she has committed in abandoning her marriage, and her other sins, so that she can repent while she still has time.

        To my knowledge, I am doing good, not evil, toward her. That is what I sincerely try to do. I simply avoid her as much as possible, because of the pain she continues to bring to my life.

        My post-divorce depression causes me to move slow on cleaning out the house to prepare it for sale.

        Thank you so much for your prayers and your words of encouragement!

        1. World beauty is different everywhere you go. No two people or two cultures are attracted to the same type of people. Unless everyone means what they see in magazines as worldly beauty and that’s not real it’s all airbrushed. We can’t compare ourselves to altered images of models it’s not real.

          1. Hi, hopefuls.

            I believe you replied to me.

            To me, if a woman is humble, kind, feminine, and loves Jesus, she is beautiful. If she cares about her appearance and tries to make herself pretty, she will be pretty to me. I have no interest in a glamour girl or in Miss America, unless she is beautiful on the inside.

            Humility and kindness were not present in my first marriage.

            Thanks for your thoughts.

          2. Hi hopefuls! πŸ™‚

            Great point you said there on world beauty not being the same in different parts of the world.

            Just to share a brief historical fact: Here in the Philippines, we are very “Westernized” so to speak. Filipinos know the latest in Hollywood, the latest trends in America, the latest TV shows.. you would think at times, that we are one of the U.S. States! Having been conquered by the Spaniards for a good 333 years, then freed by the Americans after that — the Filipino race is a mix of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, American, etc.

            To the Filipina, who is by nature, “kayumanggi” or tan, with a lower-bridged nose, and petite in height (Average is 4″10′) , the “ideal look” is usually to some, if not most, to be a mestiza, which is half-Caucasian, half-Filipino — lighter/fair skin (All our soaps have whitening ingredients in them!), a higher-bridged nose, taller stature, etc.

            Having been chubby as a grade schooler and not fitting the “mold of what was beautiful” as a teenager, it was really terrible and pitiable feeling and being so unpretty, especially since the world was so much in me. πŸ™ My insecurities debilitated me and my depression went on for years… πŸ™

            It’s great that now as a 38 year old mother of 4, I have already grown into my features and I have learned to appreciate my looks too, especially because I see so much of my own features in our four little ones, whom I find so adorable! πŸ™‚

            Your comment: “World beauty is different everywhere you go. No two people or two cultures are attracted to the same type of people.” is so insightful and just drives in the point to really aim for godly beauty that will surpass all races, cultures and nationalities.

            To God, beauty should be “that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” πŸ™‚ Now, that is the kind of beauty that is “attainable” by all Children of God, who love Him and serve Him. πŸ™‚

            Thanks for the comment! And, yes, I believe there’s lot of Photoshopping going on nowadays! πŸ˜‰

            <3 ,

            Nikka

          3. hopefuls,
            So true! And even the models who are in magazines don’t look like that in real life. I personally have no use for looking at beauty magazines, fashion magazines or celebrity gossip magazines. Those things often produce a spirit of discontentment, materialism and dissatisfaction in many areas of our lives. Not worth my time in my book! πŸ™‚

            Thanks so much for sharing!

            1. April,

              “Funny” (more like crazy) how I used to think that the TRUE TEST of my being a “good Christian woman” was how strong I was to not be affected by worldly suggestions, pictures, or articles — even if I plunged head-on into temptation. Like, reading worldly magazines that promote self-empowerment, achieving your dream job, getting your dream love life, etc… I felt that if I were close to God enough, I SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED AT ALL…

              And yet, nothing could make my self-esteem go pfffft faster than opening a glossy magazine or watching a glammed up TV show. Just looking at the cover photo alone could make me go into fits of envy. Just sitting there watching the show for a mere 5 mins could already make me discontented and insecure!

              How wrong I was to go about this kind of thinking. I felt that I was too weak, that’s why I was always “victimized” by those. If I were stronger, it should not bother me at all! I mean, many people I know peruse and even subscribe to those mags, and watch day after day worldly TV shows, and it doesn’t seem to have an iota of effect on them! (At least, they do not divulge their reactions to it to me. I am not privy to their REAL thoughts.) So, I figured, I was really not a “good Christian” because I was easily swayed or affected.

              Going into my submission and respect journey after I have let go and let God, I have realized that it is NOT a sign of WEAKNESS to avoid those mags and those shows, in fact, it is what God wants for us, His Children, to do!

              To personalize 1 Peter 5: 8ff: “Be sober-minded; be watchful, Nikka. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. RESIST him, firm in your faith, knowing that the SAME KINDS OF SUFFERING ARE BEING EXPERIENCED BY YOUR SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

              So, I’ve realized, I should RESIST the devil by guarding my eyes and my thoughts! It was foolish to think that I should pounce head-on into temptation because I wanted to prove to myself that I was a solid Chrisitan! Yikes! πŸ˜› Such poor understanding of my fallen nature!

              For those sisters prone to insecurity, pull from the roots those “triggers” that may cause you to stumble and fall into depression or comparisons with others — It may be any one of the ff: TV, magazines, movies, internet articles, conversations with certain people, etc– But since we cannot really uproot them all since we are still earthly creatures living ON earth after all, we just hold our thoughts captive for Christ if and when we are faced with our “triggers”.

              In the Philippines, our main thoroughfares are lined with billboards of beautiful women. I am not blind, nor could I close my eyes the whole time (especially when driving!!!) so instead of envying them or wishing I were them, I now just ask the Lord to bless them and praise Him for making such beautiful creatures! Those beautiful girls are God’s Children too! He does as He wills, and who am I to question Him why He made that person pretty enough to warrant a billboard/s and not me? Then, I think of my own blessings, and praise Him for those too. πŸ™‚

              Gratefulness really is the key that unlocks peace and joy. You cannot be bitter and be grateful. It’s either you are thankful or you are resentful. We choose how to react to our Creator. I now am choosing gratitude more and more. πŸ™‚ There is just SO MANY things to thank the Lord for! πŸ™‚

              <3

              Nikka

  7. I often battle with trying to please my husband visually yet not find my contentment in what he thinks but what God thinks of me. I try so hard to wear what he likes and please him, but I have to stay so close to Jesus and know my identity is in HIM not my husband or I get insecure. Anyone with a similar struggle? My husband is very opioionated about my looks, hair, ect.

  8. arusher22
    my previous boyfriend thought I was beautiful and ALWAYS told me. he never had an opinion about my outfits or my hair, always seemed to love everything no matter what but when I married my husband, who likes my hair a certain way, certain clothes/even shoes he prefers, and sometimes my makeup a certain way I took it as he doesn’t think i’m “beautiful no matter what” and I got really upset at this at first and started feeling ugly? But the truth is, that’s not what my husband means by it at all! I too like certain outfits/hair for him and he just expresses what he likes more than my ex. there is nothing wrong with that and the more I think about it im glad I know what my husband likes so I can try to please him, even though this is not my main goal, but pleasing Jesus is. Your husband MARRIED you, he thinks you are beautiful inside and out or else he wouldn’t have married you. keep that in mind, I think you have a great view on it, I wouldn’t look to much into it, unless of course your husband is being verbally abusive I think he is just letting you know. Praying for you sister πŸ™‚
    Nicole

    1. Arusher22,

      I think Nicole is right. It sounds like you are married to a man who is outspoken and there’s nothing wrong with that, provided he’s not sinning in what he says. My husband is opinionated as well. He has even told me ways he likes when I do my eye makeup. He doesn’t force me to follow his preferences, and he says he appreciates that I always make myself look nice anyway, but he’s made his wishes known and I do my best to bless him by doing things the way he likes. I don’t get offended by that. I find it nice that he’s willing to share his preferences because I think most husbands are afraid to do that and chance their wives misinterpreting it as him not liking what she looks like naturally.

      When it comes to my hair, my husband has more than a preference. Although he has told me the decision is ultimately mine, he has told me that it would make him upset if I cut it shorter than it is because he thinks it’s absolutely beautiful very long. My hair is already to my waist, but he has asked me if I will please let it grow another 12 inches and then maintain it there. My husband even knows exactly where on my body he wants my hair to go to. πŸ™‚ While that is a bit longer than I would keep it on my own, I think it’s sweet that he’s given my hair so much thought. He said again last night, when I mentioned to him that I thought it was time for a trim, that he wants me to trim as little as possible. That he thinks my long hair makes me look like royalty and he wants me to always keep it that way.

      Sister, we have husbands who communicate their preferences and that is a blessing! I love knowing where my husband stands. Ambiguity has never settled well with me. I am counting my blessings. πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks so much for sharing. What an encouragement in the midst of struggles. Blessings. Juli

  10. Nikka,

    Great example in sharing that story. I love that you chose to take his directives as helpful, instead of getting offended. A truly great example to our fellow sisters of how to respond when our husbands notice something.

    My love languages are Physical Touch & Words of Affirmation and my husband is Quality Time and Acts of Service. Just like you and Dong, we are very different!

    Although I compliment my husband a lot (and I know he appreciates it), he is happiest when we are out traveling together or when I am doing things for him. We are business owners and although there are aspects of running our business that are way outside of my natural comfort zone (an opportunity to stretch and grow!, right?), he is absolutely ecstatic when I push through and do them. Although my husband is a “Command Man”, he is a also a big visionary and is much happier when we are doing things together.

    Some people have shared that they didn’t care for the Five Love Languages because they don’t like “being put in a box” but I don’t see it that way at all. If something can help us show our spouses love in the way they understand it best, I think that is well worth any issue we have with being labeled”. Just my 2 cents. πŸ™‚

    1. thejoyfilledwife,

      I love categories and types! There’s much wiggle room in all of them, but generally, they are correct in their β€œassumptions” or careful studies. πŸ™‚ It allows me to understand myself as well as others. πŸ™‚

      β€œActions speak louder than words” is Dong’s mantra, so he got the surprise of his life, when ACTS OF SERVICE was at the bottom of my LOVE LANGUAGE list. πŸ™‚

      Me? I LOVE sweet words! I get extremely pained by hurtful words. At the bottom of my list was Dong’s LOVE LANGUAGE – Acts of Service. Words are not cheap with somebody like me. We got a good laugh out of being so different! Like night and day! πŸ˜€

      In the story I shared above, my eating disorder started because of Papa’s comments. πŸ™ He passed away 5 years ago, and praise God, he had apologized to me for saying those words way before his HomeGoing, and I too had apologized for the resentment/anger I had felt towards him because of that and other issues. He was a Command man of few words, so the few words that do come out of his mouth, I took seriously! That is water under the bridge, and whatever happened in the past, the Lord had allowed to happen, so I praise Him for all the joys as well as the hurts! “All things work together for good to those who love God are called according to His Purpose”! (Rom 8:28)

  11. Nikka,
    Thank you for your response. I have just been a little confused lately when people speak of worldly beauty because I can’t put it in my mind as what it is exactly. But I guess when people say world beauty they mean what’s beautiful to the people that they are surrounded by.

    1. Worldly beauty is defined by the world. By judges of beauty pageants. By people around us. By our family. By us. It is skin-deep.

      Godly beauty is defined by God. It is a deeper kind of beauty, one that is not defined just by our five senses alone. It is not visible to the naked eye. It is our spirit that the Lord wants us to cultivate. It is our gentle and quiet spirit that He finds BEAUTIFUL. πŸ™‚

      Remember, our bodies are just our “earthly dwellings”. The real us are our spirits in us. πŸ™‚

      “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor 4:18

      1. Thank you nikka for your reply. I have a better understanding now πŸ™‚ I think your Godly and worldly beautiful. My husband already things I’m worldly beautiful and is starting to see me Godly beautiful which feels great πŸ™‚

        1. Yay! πŸ™‚ I am sure that the more you are able to develop your godly beauty, the more your husband will find you attractive both physically and spiritually. He’ll say, “Something has changed about you. I just cannot put my finger on it… but you are radiant!” πŸ™‚ God bless you, sister. <3

  12. I just feel the urge to share this for anyone who does struggle with acceptance of their looks. What has worked for me is I just do my best without obsession. I eat as healthy as I can, I exercise several times a week, I take care of my hair and my skin, I also dress as a nice as I can. If I feel down or see someone more attractive then me I remind myself I do the best I can and that’s all we can do.

    1. hopfuls,
      I agree. I think it is a difficult, but necessary balance to do what we can. Seek to be healthy. Dress nicely, take care of our bodies and eat well and exercise some – not to extremes. But these things can easily become idols and we must guard our hearts from seeking our value or worth in these physical things. We must keep our hearts and eyes on Christ as our Greatest Treasure and find our acceptance, purpose, identity, joy, peace and contentment in Him alone.

      Great insights! Thanks!

      1. You are right about being careful about not making things an idol. I had to pray today about not wanting to make my husband’s dinner for him to take to work because I either had time to cook or exercise. I prayed for a minute and cooked his dinner πŸ™‚ I can make selfish decisions if I don’t pray.

      2. I couldn’t agree with this more. When I lost a lot of weight, I started to make my diet and exercise my idols. I had to eat the “good” thing, not the “bad”. I couldn’t miss a day of exercise, I would hate myself if I slipped. And when I got to where I wanted to be I wasn’t satisfied. I lost more, I still wasn’t satisfied. I weighed myself at least once a day, sometimes 4 or 5 times. My weight was an obsession. After gaining a lot of it back with my last pregnancy, those old diet tricks stopped working. I knew in my heart God was telling me that this was not the problem, that no diet would fix what I needed. That no amount of weight loss would bring me joy. But that he could. So instead of working out I read the bible every night. Then I started to see what I have done to myself. I started to see the sin that my binge eating, that my healthy diet plans, calorie, carb counting were, my weight was my idol. My food was my idol. It controlled me in everyway. I’ve experienced it both ways the sin of gluttony, and the sin that was my obsession with food and exercise. Food is a good thing, eating healthy is a good thing, and exercise is a good thing. But it is so easy to take these good things to an extreme where they become our idol. I am finally being set free from this obsession. And still 20 lbs more then what I was before my 4th pregnancy feeling so much more peace and joy with myself and body then I ever did then. If I fill myself up with the lord, I treat food as it was meant to be treated, as nourishment for our bodies, and yes even pleasure, as long as my greatest pleasure is found in Him, and Him alone.

        1. Glad you’ve made “peace” with food, Sarah! πŸ™‚

          I too had food as idol for a looooong time.

          When I had an eating disorder as a teenager, I memorized every calorie count in every snack, meal or drink. I weighed myself before and after eating. When I didn’t like what I saw on the scale, I starved myself and did not eat till I got my desired weight.

          Fast-track to my mid-20’s, I got obsessed with the gym. I worked out daily and punished myself with more exercise if I did so much as eat “bad” foods which should be eaten only on “cheat days”. I joined every fun run I could, and was obsessed with gaining muscle and losing fat, this time. I was still obsessed with food, but more so with working out.

          There’s freedom in winning over this battle. I too have just given birth to our 4th baby a year ago. In my earlier childbirths, I lost my baby weight within 2 to 3 months (from as little as 25 lbs to to as high as 60 lbs weight gain), but now, since the Lord had freed me from that bondage, I am taking care of my body and taking my sweet time to restore my fitness and my body, without anguishing over them.

          I am happy for you, Sarah! πŸ™‚ God bless you more!

          <3

          Nikka

          1. Nikkia. Thank you for sharing your experiences on here. I also tend to make my weight an idol. I count calories and exercise daily. I lost a lot of weight from childhood and always fear I will get back to that place. I am trying to let go of controlling this area and be free. You encouraged me.

            1. You’re welcome, arusher22! πŸ™‚

              I am glad that my transparency with my struggles and victories (Yay!) have encouraged you. πŸ™‚ Fear is not a good emotion to feel with regards to the body. It brings with it so many other unwanted feelings like: insecurity, envy, disappointment, discouragement and even anger. I pray that you too would be set free from the bondage that is obsession with the body/body weight. Not a good place to be.

              Enjoy your food, not everyone are given the chance to eat. Here in the Philippines alone, with the high poverty rate, many are happy just eating one meal a day, if at all. πŸ™

              Enjoy taking care of your body, but not to the point of vanity. It is the temple of the Spirit, so we should also not abuse it nor neglect it.

              Enjoy your health. It really is wealth. At 38, I still enjoy relatively great health and I am grateful for it. πŸ™‚

              It’s okay to be conscious. It’s part of self-control. But it’s not okay to be obsessed or to feel afraid of losing control, all the time.

              The battle can be won, sister. πŸ™‚ God will help you. You’ve just got to be more patient with yourself. πŸ™‚

              <3

              Nikka

  13. I haven’t read any comments yet, so this might have been said in a similar way by some others, but anyways…

    I began struggling with body issues when I hit puberty. If you had asked me to rate my looks on a 1-10 scale, I would’ve given you a negative number. It wasn’t until adulthood that I understood that I look exactly as God made me. That’s what it means to be “fearfully and wonderfully made” ~ that you were designed by God to be what you are. Just to be clear ~ this only applies to those things we have zero control over. Things like our bone structure, the shape of our face, our height, the size of our breasts hips and rear-end (when we are taking proper care of our bodies and are at a healthy weight). This does NOT include things involved with taking poor care of our bodies, like binge eating every day and thinking it’s acceptable to God when we become very overweight, for example. Or wearing grungy, unfeminine clothes.

    But basically, when we look at the things we don’t have the ability to change and think “this makes me ugly”, we are actually slapping God in the face because we’re saying that he somehow made a mistake and made us wrong, just because he didn’t make us to look like someone else. When I remind myself of this (which I have to do often) I can then be comfortable with my looks. When I hone in on the things I wish I could change but can’t and meditate on them, that’s when I struggle with body issues.

    1. femininebutnotfeminist,

      “But basically, when we look at the things we don’t have the ability to change and think β€œthis makes me ugly”, we are actually slapping God in the face because we’re saying that he somehow made a mistake and made us wrong, just because he didn’t make us to look like someone else.”

      So true, sister! It’s the clay questioning and complaining against its Potter.

      “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ (Isaiah 45:9)

  14. Hi Refined! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing about your struggles. It’s a blessing to know how changing your attitude and focusing on Jesus alone has allowed you to hurdle your marriage problems.

    Could you expound, dear sister on this sentence? “I’ve even learned how attractiveness + submission does not work well with other men. The response is immediate and dangerous.” I would appreciate to know more on how you arrived at the conclusion that such a combo could be detrimental to a married couple.

    Looking forward to your answer.

    God bless you!

    <3

    Nikka

    1. Hello Nikka!!!

      To be honest, it took me awhile to turn to Jesus about not being affirmed by my husband regarding my beauty. I carry myself modestly and usually have children in tow but am very friendly. While I am attractive, I’m rarely approached by men. I used to fantasize about being hit on by other guys so I could at least have someone to turn down! So for awhile I got too lax with my boundaries. I read Laura Doyl’s book ‘The Surrendered Wife’ years ago and in my immaturity, just wanted to experiment to see if what she had written really worked. I tried some things on my husband and I tried them on other men too. I realized how alluring a woman’s keen attention could be when these conversations went way too long and the men revealed way too much in just one conversation. When the man was still standing there and a weird awkward moment came between us, I thought, “Am I this desperate for attention?”

      That question made me mad because I didn’t want to use another person to feel good about myself and I sure didn’t want to flush my husband’s trust down the toilet and become that vile woman Proverbs speaks of. My husband’s inclination to provide complements mattered much less to me after that. I learned I cared much more about my own integrity and I no longer wanted to leave it up to a man to determine what that was.

      My real journey towards biblical submission began in November. How Christ sees me truly means so much more to me now that I don’t want to ever again put myself in a beggar’s position. That would insult me, the daughter of a King.

      These days I stay clear from the other gender. I’m not extreme and my husband and I have had an ongoing rule to avoid being alone with the opposite sex if at all possible our entire marriage, but now I’m more aware of how I truly benefit from that. April’s also written about keeping submission for one’s husband only. Yes and amen! I respect these powers because that’s what they are and like sex, are meant to be a blessing and should be protected in marriage. I’ll respect authorities, yes, but I’ve got one man I’m ordered to ‘help’ and submit to.

      1. Refined,
        WOW! I REALLY would love to share this, too, Refined! Such powerful truths. I have some posts about using caution with other men with respect and keeping the “respect volume knob” turned down with other men and other ways to guard our hearts.

        Thank you for this!

      2. I think, Refined, men these days are so hungry and craving for respect, they’d lap up any respect they can get from any woman, especially a godly and biblically submissive woman!

        Since I have gone on this respect and submission journey myself, I have been more wary of my opposite sex acquaintances and friendships. In the past, being insecure and needy of approval, I kinda reveled in all the attention I got from male friends/acquaintances/strangers who showed hints of admiration for me, and I sort of fed off from that. πŸ™

        It was, in retrospect, not really very respectful of my husband nor was it very becoming of married Christian woman such as myself. Flirting or being overly sweet or attentive to a man not your husband, is really treading on rocky ground. There’s no such thing as “innocent flirting”. I read far too many Cosmopolitan mags and such in the past that I have been led to believe that it’s ‘normal’ and ‘cute’ and ‘fun’.

        Well, good thing the Lord always shielded me even when I was so clueless! What if all my “innocent flirting” (I am innately friendly and touchy-feely) with males, led to something more than that?! Or if I consciously/unconsciously led them to think I was “available” even when I was really just hungry for some validation on my looks, and only that? πŸ™ How I maligned God’s Word in the past too with my not so modest choices of clothes. πŸ™

        Yes, we should/can still have male friends, and we can still love them as brothers in Christ, with the love of Christ, but we should be AWARE that temptation lurks in all corners, and NO CHRISTIAN WOMAN IS EXEMPTED FROM IT. How foolish or proud of us to think otherwise. May we not be snares or stumbling blocks for them. Once married, we should guard our hearts and our marriages fiercely, especially since we’ve already submitted to our husbands, as unto the Lord.

        James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

  15. My, yes, that is a difficult situation to be in. πŸ™ Why do you think he withholds his encouragement and words of affirmation for you? Maybe, he believes once is enough? Some men even say, “Why do you keep on asking if I loved you?!? I MARRIED you, didn’t I? Isn’t that proof enough?!?”

    My father was a man of few words, and at my most hurt state, I asked him if he loved me. His reply was: “Of course I do. I love you AND your sister.” Even at my most vulnerable, he could not just tell ME he loved ME for me. He had to include my sister. It was better than nothing. It pained him to express himself through words. I don’t know why. πŸ™ And he was also, like your husband, “generous” with his criticisms, but very “guarded” with his compliments. My healing with him started when I accepted him for what he was and knowing his family background, I realized he just COULDN’T GIVE WHAT HE DIDN’T HAVE.

    I could empathize with your hurt feelings.:(

    I prayed for you this morning. God bless you, sister.

    <3

    Nikka

  16. Refined and Patricia,

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing! I would love to share your comments as posts anonymously in the future if you would allow me to, please. πŸ™‚

    1. Please do share what you think may be helpful, April. Thank you for pointing out how sour some of the Hollywood marriages are and how beauty may snag a fella but that’s not enough to keep him. Your words are very wise.

      Nikka, you rock! Thanks for the post today and your lovely insights. I think I’ll go hug my husband…just because. :0)

  17. I love this discussion! Thank you so much for sharing your hearts, your struggles and what God has been teaching you – everyone!!!!

    Much love!

  18. My husband is definitely a acts of service guy, hates being touched by anyone. I of course am the opposite. I adore touch, I could snuggle and love him all day. He almost never touches me on his own. But I am thankful that he does let me snuggle up on him, and hug him, and that, even though I try to keep it to a limit, or it bothers him. But what I have found with my husband at least is that when I do things with the expectation of getting something in return it makes him want to do it less not more. And he somehow always can sense my motivation. I think its so important with the love languages to not get wrapped up in what we need, and what our husbands should be giving to us, but what we should be doing for them. Of course it would be amaizing if he tried harder to meet your needs, but our husbands aren’t perfect. Instead of focusing on how he’s not showing love the way you need it, try looking at the way he is showing you love. Like mine who has only said I am pretty a handful of times, even after losing a lot of weight, but he will put my picture on his phone screen, or buy me a new outfit out of the blue, things like that. I try to remember

    philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

    when I am thinking discontented thoughts with my husband. If what I am thinking doesn’t fit into these categories, than I am not in the right place.

  19. Oh!!

    You can learn the language of words of affirmation. You don’t have to lie. You can learn to truly use words to give LIFE, hope, healing, peace, joy and love. It is a very powerful thing. I know it will feel foreign and awkward because you didn’t experience it growing up. But God can give you the power to learn this. Then you can build your house instead of tearing it down with your own hands. prov. 14:1

    You can use your words to give death or life. You have that choice. You don’t have to stay in the dysfunctional mess that your family may have been in. You are an adult now and you can ask god to help you learn His ways. You can find healing. It is yours for the asking and taking. It is all totally available to you in Christ. πŸ™‚

  20. My husband does have a temper and tends to yell (loudly) when he gets angry. It has been rare for us to have a calm argument (though it’s been happening more frequently as I’m learning what triggers him and how to be more submissive and respectful, to keep him calm).

    He has told me that he respects me more when I “stand up to him” and he hates it when I just sit there and let him blast me. The last time we started to argue on the phone, he cursed and hung up on me. I sent him a text asking him to please not curse at me again, it was not okay, and I’d like to have a calm conversation about the issue. He came home and we resolved the issue with ZERO yelling (though it did take me swallowing some pride, and accepting and apologizing for some mistakes I’d made).

    That felt like a breakthrough to me. We have a wonderful marriage in every other area – I just haven’t yet learned how to handle his anger. But I’m making strides every time, and letting him know that it’s not okay to yell and curse when he’s angry has helped a lot. He has said he wants his wife to have confidence and be able to stand her ground. Not something I’ve been able to do, ever, but my husband is helping me grow in these areas!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: