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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

 

99 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

          1. thejoyfilledwife,

            This was in my thoughts before I slept last night: “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.”

            Beautiful! Compliments are but icing on the cake or a bonus. They cannot add further to what is essential. πŸ™‚ Thanks for this!

          2. Thanks, Nikka. I heard her say that over 6 years ago and I never forgot it! Since she’s from Texas, mashed potatoes and gravy were an obvious choice for her example. :-p

          3. Thank you, Nikka’s for sharing this Beth Moore quote. I needed to hear this. God is so good!

  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.

    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

      1. Learningever,

        Hey, there!

        You can search my categories on the right side of my home page for godly femininity. Or you can search my search bar on my home page for godly femininity.

        You can also check out my list of my favorite marriage books and descriptions of each one that I recommend.

        You can also search my home page or the categories for:
        – femininity
        – feminism
        – modesty
        – attraction
        – attractive to husbands

        Much love!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

          4. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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™‚

  8. I want to please my husband as every woman I guess. The main problem is my husband is a perfectionist. Whatever I do or look, it’s never good enough. Well, when I do look good he doesn’t say anything. He just scan me from head to toe. When it’s not, he’ll make me wear something different or put my hair in a different way. In 2 years of marriage, I think he told me 4 times I’m pretty. Thanks God for ladies at church to fill my empty affirmation vase. I still fish for compliments time to time knowing it doesn’t work.

    A part if me still want to please my husband, and another one is so tired do his constant criticisms that starts to be indiffent. Whatever I look or do, it’s never good enough. I do love the way I look even if getting older sometimes make me freak out, I am in the process of loving and accepting myself inwardly but I am still confuse of what to say or not say to the person who should love me and accept me unconditionally but doesn’t. I guess I try to learn to not get offended and let it go over my skin. But I’m a human being and it still hurts sometimes.

    Just try to focus on the fact that I’m good enough for my heavenly husband.

    1. Hi sonadewonderful,

      I wish I could give you a hug!

      I could feel your desire to be validated so badly by your husband from across my computer screen! πŸ™

      Maybe he just is not the type of man who gives out compliments? Have you told him that it mattered to you? What if by his “suggestions” to wear your hair a different way or to wear something different, he is not really criticizing you but encouraging you to look your best?

      Last week, I had a girls’ lunch out and I was all set to leave and my husband said, “Are you leaving now? Is that what you are wearing? It looks like a house dress.” I could have opted to pout and get insulted, but I took it as my husband’s way of saying, “You should change into something more dressy since you are going out with your girl friends, so you should look your best.” And so I changed clothes, and he liked what he saw. My own husband rarely gives me directives on what to wear or how to look. I believe Command Men-types are more prone to say what they think. My Mr. Steady only suggests or hints, but rarely “commands”. So, when he does, I take heed.

      Maybe too, you have different love languages?

      It was only recently that Dong found out my LOVE LANGUAGE was WORDS OF AFFIRMATION. I found out his was ACTS OF SERVICE. When I found out about it, I upped the ante on SHOWING him I loved and respected him, and he upped his ante in TELLING me he loved me.

      I am glad you are focusing on what is heaven-bound. My thoughts and prayers go out to you today.

      <3

      Nikka

      1. Thanks Nikka. No, he is definitively not somebody who gives compliment. But it’s important and I already told him. When he suggest things, I do it and even ask him what looks best. It is just hard to deal with constant criticism of who I am physically and inside. He just doesn’t accept me as I am.

        We do have 2 different love languages. Mine is touching and guess what: he is everything that a touchy guy. And the second one is word of affirmations. Got it wrong all the way! And his is acts of service. He did improved quite a bit about touching and I do get usually daily a little hug but not what I would have thought getting married. It just letting go of what you need and of expectations. This is the hardest thing.

        1. 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

          1. Thanks Nikka. I think this is true for my husband too. His father was very hard and was beating his mom. He was very macho -as my husband-, very rude especially with women…. The difference is that my husband is Christian but his father not (yet).

            On the other way, his mum admire him or should I say idolize him, do everything for him even now cause he is an only child. He still choose everything for her mum and let him decide of everything for her. Kind of dysfunctional co-dependence relationship.

            I guess he’d like me to be a silent doll, be submissive and don’t say anything when he treats me wrong. But I’m also a strong temper trying everyday to walk by the spirit. It’s not easy to find the right balance.

            I try more and more to pray and try not to speak and let him know what I think cause it always backfire me and I’m just tired of being in a tense situation.

          2. Sonadewonderful,

            I don’t want to see you say nothing and just be silent. That is not a godly wife, either!

            My prayer is that you might seek God’s Spirit above all else and find your contentment in Him alone and that you might be sensitive to His promptings so that you will know when to say something, how to say it and what to say and when it is best to be silent – from a position of God’s power working in you and all the treasures of heaven flooding your soul – not from a position of defeat, despair and discouragement.

            What happens if you say, “Please be gentle with me.” or “Ouch.” or “That hurt.” Or, “I care very much about doing what I can to please you, but I sometimes feel that it is impossible. I could really use some encouragement and words of affirmation when I do things well. That would inspire me to want to do those things more for you.” Or “I want to hear about what is important to you, but I do get discouraged when it seems that I can never please you. I would appreciate it if you could tell me the times I do things right, too, please.”

            How is your walk with Christ going, my precious sister?

          3. Sonadewonderful,

            “Normally” as in, you are full of God’s Spirit and overflowing with all of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control? And you are focusing in the good things (Phil 4:8), living in total submission to Christ, trusting Him with your husband and with your life, and anticipating all that He is doing and filled with thankfulness for your blessings? These are the “normal” things for a believer from God’s perspective.

            Or are you filled with fear, anxiety, worry, stress and depression, my sweet sister?

            Are there any areas you are holding back, not trusting to God? Are you holding in to any bitterness or expecting to find contentment, purpose, fulfillment, acceptance and identity in anything other than Christ?

            I wish I could hug your neck! I pray you can get some time with God alone and lay your heart before Him and allow Him full access to everything in your soul, mind, heart and life and allow Him to work in you to remove anything that is toxic, that He might fill you and flood your heart with His Spirit and the treasures of heaven.

            Praying for you today!!

        2. Sonadewonderful,

          I am definitely a “words of affirmation” girl – and affection, sexual intimacy, quality time – but not gifts or service so much. Of course, Greg is primarily a gifts and service man.

          Yep.

          But these differences do so stretch us and help us to grow in holiness and Christlikeness as we pursue God with all our hearts!

          Greg doesn’t give many compliments. Maybe just a few per year. I used to be upset about that. But – now, I know, he is just not super verbal. I also know that he shows his love by DOING things for me and by picking up things for me at the flea market or the store.

          I definitely began to do much better when I laid down my expectations and focused on being the woman and wife God calls me to be – regardless of what Greg is or is not doing.

          These struggles can be a chisel and a refinery to sculpt us and cleanse us and to help us to become more and more like Jesus. And marriage teaches us much about loving as God does – with no strings attached and with no thought of receiving anything in return. That kind of love does not come naturally.

          I like to think of marriage as a “love lab” where we learn to put into practice the theory we learn in God’s Word. We need God’s Spirit desperately to be able to do that!

          Much love to you!!!! Praying for healing and for God’s love and tenderness to be more tangible than ever and that you might truly find in Him your greatest Treasure. πŸ™‚

    2. Sonadewonderful, I hear you. I was the smart, chubby kid with buck teeth in gradeschool and rarely picked for the team in gym class. My parents and especially my grandfather told me I was beautiful. I worked hard to believe them. I went through a great change in highschool and became the “swan”. I just assumed that when I married my husband, he would be just as validating as my grandfather, especially since I was, from the world’s perspective, attractive.

      We’ve been married 11 years and I’ve heard I’m “kind’a pretty” about 3 times. I’ve asked about his preferences for clothing, makeup, shoes, etc but he initially says it doesn’t matter. I’d find out much later via a joke or side comment how he didn’t like x,y,z about my appearance. That was super hurtful and frustrating when I often tell him how handsome he is.

      It took me awhile to put together what he does like when he’d say things like “hey, that lady really likes your hair” or “since you’ve dressed up and look nice I guess I have to too” or a rare “I wonder what guy will hit on you tonight”. I finally could ask him very direct, yes or no questions and he’d give more information.

      Have I struggled hearing so little validation from my husband? Absolutely. It is very difficult for me to understand why that’s so hard for him since I’ve worked hard to love him in his languages. But I also know that he also felt ugly as a kid and didn’t grow up in a validating home. He seems to think I don’t need this from him or that this desire to feel attractive by my husband is shallow. My attempts to control him or get complements from him have always backfired.

      It’s been difficult with my grandparents gone. I didn’t realize I leaned on them so much for strength and my husband was unequipped to fill their shoes. He is no Jesus, just a fellow traveler. In reality, he owes me nothing. I had to accept that.

      Our relationship went from flat line to going beyond the breathing machines. I’m thankful for where we are. I’ve enjoyed what empathy and genuine validation (even through jokes) he’s been able to give. (Honestly, he’s clumsy outside the bedroom, I’m the clumsy one inside it. We all have the areas where we don’t quite measure up to ideal.) But I see his tenderness towards me increasing. One day I may share with him how I remember when we were dating he’d say, “one day I’ll tell my wife how wonderful and beautiful she is…” and that sharing his heart for me means so much. Until then we’ll build step by step. In the meantime, I’m learning to be more than ok with my looks and beyond to my interests, my friends, my work, my children. I’ve even learned how attractiveness + submission does not work well with other men. The response is immediate and dangerous.

      The thing I don’t do is focus on what he’s not doing. That gets us off track everytime and I don’t have time for more depression. God’s been too good.

      You are always good enough for your heavenly husband. Not just good enough. You are His treasure.

      1. 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.”

      2. Thank you so much refined. Yes, your testimony did helped me to understand little bit more. I do have to work on expectations. I know I shouldn’t have some but if your spouse that obviously loves you don’t do the things you need, what kind of love is that? Maybe I guess I want try to do what he wants as a sign of love and expect the same thing backward but it doesn’t really work.

        I know I should look validation in God only but physically, it’s little bit hard. I want my husband to be physically attracted to me or should I say sexually and I may be wrong but I think he’s not. He has also some “ties” from the past that plays in that area but he’s not aware. This is not what you can look for in Jesus.

        But focussing in the good is definitively what I should do. I often get lay astraid.

        Thanks again for the insight.

        1. 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.

    3. Sonadewonderful,

      Husbands certainly aren’t perfect. And if they didn’t have godly examples in their parents’ marriage, they may not realize that what seems normal to them in some areas can feel hurtful to their wives.

      I’m so glad that you are seeking God with all your heart and that you want to please your husband. I pray that you can find that balance of seeking to bless your husband without expecting him to act a certain way. But I do hope you can respectfully, gently, humbly ask for what you need at times, so that he will know. He probably has never experienced watching a man treat a woman the way you desire to be treated.

      Whenever he gets anywhere near complimenting you – even if in a joking way – THANK HIM and light up and reward him with your glorious smile and tell him how sweet/thoughtful he is. πŸ™‚

      Sending you a huge hug my precious, beautiful sister in Christ!

      1. You’re right April. He didn’t have a model and you know the situation with his parents. I wish so bad he will treat me well… It’s so painful. People around start to see and tell me….

        Yesterday, we were taking breakfast at his parents place cause we have visitors. She wanted to pour more juice for the visitor and he started to yell at her telling her to let people do what they want. Then later on, he started to yell at her again but this time -this is the second time- she raised the voice and told him he cannot treat her that way, this is wrong to ask her to shut up in front of visitors.

        Coming from his mum, it’s much easier for him to accept the correction than from me. But I guess it will take the work of the Holy Spirit to deal with that. I just try to remember that God starts with me to not stand in his way and hopefully, one day, he will get hold of him. He still doesn’t realize that the ministry project is the direct consequence of his relationship with me and this why this is flat dead right now.

        But I need to focus on my part and try to let go of expectations. That’s the hardest part.

        1. Sonadewonderful,

          So he doesn’t only treat you that way, he treats his mom that way, too.

          I agree that his ministry won’t be able to honor God and be fruitful when he is being so harsh.

          I Peter 3:7 is a very sober warning to husbands:

          Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

          It is ok to ask him not to yell at you. In fact, he may respect you more for insisting that he treat you well. I don’t have a husband who raises his voice and is critical – so, I am hopeful that some other wives in that situation might comment if they have found an approach to this issue that is God and husband-honoring.

          But – you have an important role in this marriage and it is possible to be “too submissive” or “too respectful.” If your motives are fear-based instead of based on the power and love of God, there is a problem.

          Praying for your walk with Christ and for God’s wisdom for you!

          Sending you the biggest hug, my precious sister!

          1. 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!

  9. Hi All,

    I’d appreciate prayer in this area today. I’ve been struggling with quite a few issues. First of all, I find it hard to believe that some of you will have the same struggles when your profile pictures are stunning! You’ll notice I don’t have a profile picture. That’s not an accident. My family gets so upset with me because I do my best to delete most photos of myself. If they take a picture of me and I catch it, I delete it. I direct plays, and so long as I catch it first, I make sure photos of me are omitted from the program. There are no wedding photos on my walls. Our album is tucked away in the basement. Any family photos that I can’t get away from I do my best to hang them so another photo overlaps me. I am not on social media, but anytime I see someone else’s photo online it just shows me how perfect they all are and how lacking I am.

    I’ve been interested in this topic. I try to understand Godly beauty but I’m not even sure what that means. Being a good Christian is not going to make me more attractive physically. And isn’t “everyone is beautiful on the inside” just an overused cliche?

    I am blessed in that my husband tells me beautiful all the time. I have been trying to smile when he says that, but let’s face it, I do have a mirror. And then there’s the whole logic thing. If Jennifer Aniston is beautiful, and I look nothing like her, then logic tells us I do not fall into the category of beautiful. I still, and I’ve been really trying, but I still do not see how a man can love his wife more than anyone else while knowing that she can not compete with the millions of beautiful women out there.

    If my husband were reading this he would get so frustrated with me. I am trying to believe he thinks I’m beautiful but I’m just faking it. How can he think I’m beautiful when it’s just not there? I SEE all the far more beautiful women everywhere. I used to tell him, and I meant it, that I’m sorry he got stuck with me when he can do so much better, but I quickly learned that comment infuriates him. Why, I will never know.

    I’m almost 5’10. In HS there was a girl who called me “Amazon Woman.” As an adult I have to try not to slouch because I used to slouch so much to try to be smaller. Tiny girls have it so easy! Be thankful if you’re petite. I’ve always wished I was petite.

    These posts have been great and very helpful. I need to reread them all and do a lot of praying. Thank you all for letting me join you on this journey! πŸ™‚

    1. Becca,

      Sweet sister, I know this has been an issue you have struggled with for a while and that you have a hard time comprehending how your husband can think you’re beautiful when you don’t see yourself that way. Keep in mind that you and your husband are different human beings with different ideas about what’s beautiful. Just because you think Jennifer Aniston is the epitome of beauty and you don’t look like her, doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful. You are making the assumption that Jennifer Aniston possesses the only attractive features out there and that anyone who doesn’t duplicate those features is not beautiful. That’s rather limiting of beauty, don’t you think? Surely, even through the lens of insecurity, we can recognize that beauty doesn’t come in only one shape and size. I don’t think we would appreciate the beauty of flowers if there was only one kind. It’s the variety of their beauty that makes them such a treasure! You may think that red roses are the only beautiful flower out there, but that perspective discounts the loveliness of tulips, lilies, daisies, and all the other gorgeous flowers God created. What a boring world we would live in if the only flower we had was red roses. While they are lovely, I think their beauty is enhanced by the fact that it’s but one of many beautiful flowers.

      Ultimately, the only one who is able to change your perspective on beauty is Jesus. I encourage you to be in the Word daily and to ask Him to help you see yourself through His eyes. He is the only one who is able to see you through the eyes of Truth. You may not understand His perspective now, but you can get there if you are willing to let Him change your vision. You see yourself through the lens of sin, but His eyes are not tainted by sin like ours are. That’s why a change of vision and the ability to change your perspective requires an overhaul of your heart. He is able to do that, but you must be willing, sweet sister. <3

      PS- I am 5'9" and I think being tall is a lovely and graceful feature. Embrace your God-given traits, sweet Becca. We would not suddenly become more valuable if we were 6 inches shorter. God made us just the way He likes us.

    2. Becca,

      My heart breaks for you and the mindset that has you imprisoned thinking yourself to be unworthy of even having your picture on the wall in your own house. πŸ™ How sad I am for you!

      The reason your husband got upset when you dissed yourself was that you insulted his choice of a wife, you insulted his taste by telling him That he did not choose an attractive wife. There are all kinds of flavors of ice cream in the world. Everyone doesn’t like vanilla or chocolate the best. Some like pistachio more than anything, and others hate pistachio. The point is, he has his own sense off what is beautiful and he finds you to be beautiful and it is. Disrespectful and insulting of you to berate him for finding you to be beautiful.

      He does think you are beautiful. He apparently doesn’t have an issue with your looks. It seems that you are the one with the hang ups. Most women have hang ups about their appearance, as you can see from the posts lately. But what you see when you look in the mirror is not want he sees. How about appreciate the gift of his attraction and that he finds you to be beautiful and cherish, savor and adore him for it. You have an amazing man. And you are beautiful to him. Somehow you are going to have to accept that, terrible as it may seem, ha! What if you are wrong about yourself. What if you began to see yourself through God’s eyes and your husband’s eyes.

      Please search my home page for “husbands attractive” and read that post. Maybe that will help a bit?

      Your attitude has a lot to do with your beauty. A scowling, bitter, negative, angry, resentful, insecure woman is not a beautiful woman. A joyful, positive, content, grateful, humble, loving, respectful woman is a delight to everyone around her. Her face radiates with joy. That kind of beauty can only come from Christ being formed and fully developed in our souls.

      Much love!
      April

      1. Becca,

        If my children put themselves down in front of me, I immediately reprimand them and say, “No one is allowed to talk about MY child that way!” If someone insults my child, they are insulting me, too. And husbands feel the same way. They are one with us. We reflect on them. If someone insults a man’s wife, he feels insulted, too – even if it is his wife doing the insulting.

        God commands us as believers not to argue or complain – so that we may shine like stars in the universe as we hold forth the Word of Life. Phil 2:14-16
        And God commands us to focus on good things, not negative things. Philippians 4:8.

        It’s time to catch yourself when you are playing those old lies and that negativity in your head. Stop. Replace the lie or negative comments from other people when you were young with the truth and reject the lie and refuse to entertain it any more. Most models have to be 5’10” tall. Being tall is a desirable thing for many women. I pray you can enjoy your height, your body, your husband, your marriage and all the blessings God has given to you.

        I also can’t help but notice that many of the actresses we associate with beauty haven’t had the best marriages or romances. Many of them are miserable. Physical beauty doesn’t keep a man with us. Being a model doesn’t guarantee our husband won’t fall for someone else. Worldly beauty is fleeting and is sinking sand if we try to build our identity on it. The only solid Rock is Christ alone. You have the option to enjoy your body, your beauty, your husband, your marriage and Jesus. You have the choice to have the joy and peace of Christ, or you can choose to allow the enemy to rob you of it. No one else can be responsible for your emotions. It is entirely in your control.

        I pray you will choose the abundant life Jesus has to offer you and that you will see that He has opened the door to your prison cell and you don’t have to stay there anymore. Not one more minute. It is ok to come out of there and enjoy your life and be thankful and allow God to transform your heart, mind and soul to be like Jesus. You don’t have to be miserable. You can choose to be miserable if you want to. No one can stop you. Or you can choose to embrace real life, contentment, acceptance of yourself, peace with yourself, peace with God and all the blessings of heaven that are yours when you fully submit yourself to Christ as Lord. I know which choice I would recommend! πŸ™‚

        Much love!

        I made a 3.5 minute video for you on my Youtube channel. Check it out! πŸ™‚
        [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9foo6-5RkA?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D

    3. Hi Becca! πŸ™‚

      I agree with our sister, thejoyfilledwife, that variety is beautiful. I think the Lord created all of us uniquely, but it really is just our fallen nature that wants us to attain “worldly perfection” that is just an illusion, really.

      Where or how or when did this insecurity stem from, that makes you delete photos of yourself and not frame a wedding picture on your wall? πŸ™ What happened in your childhood that made you start believing the lies? πŸ™ It is only by combating it with the Truth, that is Jesus, by reading His Word, that you will be set free, Becca.

      It’s hard to understand godly beauty when we are trying to define it by worldly standards. It’s spiritual vs physical/carnal.

      The reason perhaps that you cannot understand Godly beauty is because you are feeling really down and insecure right now, dear sister. Maybe you think that when one says, “She is so beautiful. She has a quiet and gentle spirit.”; that this kind of comment is not “enough”? Maybe it would be more “complete” if somebody said, “She is gorgeous! Her hair is lustrous, her skin is flawless, her face is so beautiful, her body is so fit… and on top of that, she is kind and sweet as well!”

      While it is true and it cannot be discounted that physical attractiveness coupled with a gentle spirit is really beautiful, I believe if we are to be truly peaceful and joyful, we have to be humble and accept whatever limitations we have as far as physical beauty is concerned. We make the most of our “assets” and make peace with our imperfections. That would please our Creator, and not make us appear like ungrateful, dissatisfied, complaining creatures. πŸ˜›

      I want some… or a LOT of your inches!!! I am too petite! Ha!:) But, I cannot extend my legs further or make my torso longer. That’s impossible. But I am now content and happy being 5 feet 1. πŸ™‚ The Lord wanted me tiny. It’s either I gripe about it or just embrace my smallness… I choose the latter.

      Praying for you today, Becca.

      <3

      Nikka

    4. Becca:

      My heart goes out to you very much. Based on the other comments here, and on what I have observed my entire life, most women have at least some hope of looking pretty. But you appear to have no hope in this area. It seems to me to be very sad for a woman if she has no hope in the area of personal beauty. Perhaps you had some traumatic experiences as a young child in the area of personal beauty. (I believe you mentioned this in a previous post.) If so, then I recommend that you look into EMDR therapy. It has helped me a lot with some very traumatic experiences I had as a child. For more info, go to http://www.emdria.org/.

      Let me speak to you honestly from a man’s perspective.

      First of all, THE most beautiful thing to me with regard to women is inner beauty. Here is what I mean by that: if she is feminine, gentle, kind, loving, and humble, and if she makes me feel like I am fulfilling my responsibilities and duties as a man, then she will be very beautiful to me.

      Secondly, I do appreciate physical beauty. But her being a glamour girl or Miss America isn’t so important to me. What is important to me is that she makes an effort to look pretty, feminine, and modest. If I can see that she is making this effort, then she will be beautiful in my eyes.

      My best friend in the whole world is a woman who is around 5’10”. I believe she is the same height as her husband. I promise you that if she was not married, I would be knocking at her door with flowers in my hand. Her height does not matter to me at all, because she precisely matches my description of inner and outer beauty. (She is in her mid 50’s, by the way.)

      You may think that a woman like I have described is not beautiful. But for me, she would be very beautiful. This is honestly how I see things, by the way.

      Let me make a suggestion to you as to where you can start on Godly beauty. Be kind and gracious to others. Be affirming. Be loving and patient. Be encouraging. Appreciate the good (however small) in others, and overlook as much bad in others as you can. And graciously and thankfully receive whatever kind gestures others show you, no matter how small. If you will seek to have these qualities in your life, you will be a beautiful woman.

      Please forget logic and comparisons when it comes to beauty. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, and it sounds to me like your husband truly considers you to be beautiful. Graciously accept this from him, and enjoy the affirmation that he gives you. There’s no reason not to.

      And forget the immature girl from high school who called you the name. I’m quite sure she felt very insecure about herself, and that’s why she said that to you.

      I’ll bet you are a really beautiful woman, but for some reason you can’t accept that idea. Please trust your husband on this topic — that’s why God gave him to you.

      Jim

      1. Thank you everyone for your replies. You all are so sweet. I kind of feel like banging my head against the wall – but perhaps that is conviction. Conviction is never easy.

        I did watch your video April, thank you. I do want to be content and at peace with myself, I really, really do. However, it is SO hard.

        My husband and I recently started reading that Love Language book together. It has explained a lot about why we bicker. My husband’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation – and words of affirmation get on my nerves! Probably because I often don’t believe them – and/or I don’t feel we should need to be validated by other people’s words. It’s not just appearance. If I sing a song, and someone compliments me, I will say thank you, but inside I think “Gee they must be stupid. Didn’t they hear how flat I was on that one verse?” I don’t think lying to be nice to people is nice at all.

        My primary love language is physical touch. And my husband’s is not. He does not come from a cuddly family. This has caused problems. What seems like enough of the physical to him seems lacking to me, and I start to believe it stems from my lack of attractiveness. (We are working on this, thank God!) So when he says he loves me, or that I’m pretty, I don’t believe it because he tends not to back his words up with actions if you catch my drift. Yes, he has a demanding job, and there are lots of factors, but I connect the lack of the physical with MY physical flaws. Do you see the vicious cycle? It doesn’t help that so much of the talk on other marriage blogs focuses on a wife’s lack of desire. The husbands are all about the physical. So in my mind – it’s because they find their wives attractive so my husband must not be telling the truth when he says I’m beautiful. I have had to stop reading most of the other blogs because they were driving my into the pit.

        Somebody else said something in these comments – Refined was talking about her husband’s lack of affirming words and she said “But I also know that he also felt ugly as a kid and didn’t grow up in a validating home.” THAT IS SO HOW I FEEL and I definitely did NOT grow up in a validating home. Words of affirmation mean nothing to me. I struggle so much in this area. And then I have to pray for God to give me the words to affirm others. I want to affirm others, I really do.

        I don’t want you to think I’m vain. Insecure – probably. I don’t need to be the hottest woman on earth – but I would like to look pretty. I do try. I do my hair, I wear clothes my husband likes, I try to keep my weight under control – I do make an effort. So it’s not like I’m a slob or anything. Sometimes I get so lost in my everyday life I forget about how I look – and then inevitably I’ll pass a mirror and be horrified. Or someone will snap a photo and I’ll be captured looking stupid.

        I think the reason I hate photos is because when I look at photos of others, 9 times out of 10 they look just like themselves. So I must look how I appear in the photos and I hate it so much which is why I delete it. I understand why it seems weird that I won’t have any wedding photos, but that’s because most brides are beautiful and love their wedding photos. I was an ugly bride, the photos are bad memories, and so I hide them. I can’t destroy them or my husband would get mad. We were married young, and everyone, mostly his female relatives ran roughshod over me and I wasn’t really allowed to do any of the planning. My sister and his sister fought about everything. So it has lots of bad memories for me. I was definitely NOT the bride you see on TV who gets a special day and everyone wants them to be happy. No sir! πŸ™‚ Oh and the best part – you know the part where the bride walks in and everyone stands up? No one stood for me at my wedding. Not one single person. From either family. I am sure it is because they all thought I wasn’t worth getting up for. We weren’t Christians at the time either, but that’s a story for another day. πŸ™‚ We don’t discuss our wedding because it always ends in a fight or hurt feelings. My husband has offered to have a vow renewal ceremony, but I said no thanks – since that would be done out of pity.

        The part that really bothers me is when you all point out that complaining about how we look is like saying God made a mistake. That scares me. I know God doesn’t make mistakes. And there should be no but…. BUT – ARGH! These feelings are driving me crazy!

        I want to find this elusive Godly beauty. Oddly enough, I don’t long to look like a supermodel – I would just like to look as normal and as womanly as everyone else. I would like to believe my husband, I know it makes him happy when I fake believe him. But it feels dishonest. I thank you for listening and for replying. I guess I need to stop talking about praying about it and start actually praying about it.

        Thank you again. And thank you for your prayers. I will be praying for you all as well. πŸ™‚

        1. Becca:

          Sometimes we need to sacrificially do things for others, because we know that it will be meaningful to them.

          Rather than thinking of it as faking things, think of it as making a sacrifice for the happiness of your husband. That isn’t fake, but rather simple caring and kindness, especially since you don’t feel it. It is a special effort and sacrifice on your part, and therefore more meaningful than if you did really like it.

          I’m really sorry that the two sisters didn’t let you plan your own wedding. I’m also really sorry that no one stood up at your wedding. It sounds like you have had a lot of selfish jerks in your life — pardon me for speaking so frankly.

          I would have stood up. And I wouldn’t have been faking it, either.

          Jim

          1. Thank you, Jim. It helps to look at it that way. I feel like a liar and a loser faking that I believe him, but looking at it as a caring sacrifice, that helps a lot. Thanks for your input!

        2. Becca,

          My prayer is for you to for real believe your husband one day soon. πŸ™‚

          You know, you mentioned Jennifer Aniston being so beautiful. And she is. She is stunning. But, I have a feeling she would be jealous of your life if she knew you. I don’t personally know her. But I am not jealous of her life at all. Not one bit. I can’t imagine what she and many other famous women would give to have your life – to not have the paparazzi on your tail all the time, to not have people trying to dig up dirt in you, to not have your every move documented each week in the tabloids, to not have lies and gossip spread around the world about you, to live in relative obscurity, to have a husband who clearly loves you, is attracted to you, is faithful to you and is in it for the long haul and finds you so beautiful, to have the treasures of heaven in Christ Jesus at your disposal…

          It seems to me that you have an amazing life, my beautiful sister.

          My prayer is that a God will open your eyes to what you already have and your MANY blessings.

        3. 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™‚

          1. Becca,

            I have been thinking all day about your wedding. I don’t really understand why no one stood when you walked down the aisle. But it just seems to me that your childhood and teenage years must have been rather difficult at home.

            All of us would gladly stand for you as you walk down the aisle. I pray that you might reconsider the renewing your wedding vows, and make it a positive experience this time with people who are supportive of you, your husband and marriage. My heart breaks for the pain you have carried for so long. I pray you might be able to set all of that down, and any bitterness that has festered, and find healing for all of these deep wounds. πŸ˜‰

            Much love!
            April

    5. Becca,

      One day I decided to find out exactly the type of woman my husband finds attractive. (Why I felt compelled to do this, I’m not sure!)

      I first asked for his list of celebrities. Some of them I thought were very attractive, and some I just couldn’t fathom why in the world he thought she was beautiful.

      Then I would point out women walking by or in the room with us and ask if he found her attractive or not (a dangerous game, I know!).

      My point is, I would ask about a woman that I thought was utterly stunning in every way, and my husband would turn his nose up and say absolutely not!

      My husband and I can sometimes have very different opinions on what is beautiful and what is not! There were many that we did agree on, to be fair. But each person has their own opinions.

      Some people find Cindy Crawford to be the gold standard. My husband, however, finds her incredibly UNattractive. And I know he isn’t just saying that, because he was honest with me about the women he did find attractive!

      So while you may not agree with your husband, you must allow him to be his own person, with his own opinions, and not expect him to see the world or beauty as you see it. God made us each so that we will gravitate towards certain things, and your husband clearly gravitates toward you very much! I pray that you will rest security in his love for you and his attraction to you.

      (Speaking of which, one last thing – being attracted TO someone is completely different from FINDING someone attractive. I can find a woman attractive, I can even say that my brother is attractive, but I am not attracted TO women or -EW!- my brother. Likewise, our husbands can find a woman attractive and not be attracted to them. Your husband is attracted to you! Relish it!)

  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.

          2. 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. 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)

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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