I’m no fool. The reflection in my mirror clearly reveals to me just what age I am. And I’d be crazy to think I could keep my weight the same as the day I walked the aisle. Not only that, but I’d be in for the biggest inferiority complex ever, if I thought I my wrinkle cream could actually fight back the “laugh lines” that settle at the corners of my eyes.
Shouldn’t those wrinkles be a sign that I laughed a lot in life anyway?
I’m grateful that my husband still feels attracted to me, even with my sags and bags here and there. But many find their mates or even themselves disillusioned and lacking in attractiveness and attraction in their marriages.
[bctt tweet=”Attraction in marriage can be so fickle, while acceptance can keep attraction alive even as the body ages. #attractioninmarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I’m continuing my series, 10 Unfair Realities in Marriage with #4: “The Unfair Task of Accepting Your Mate’s Aging and Changing Body, even if that’s not how your spouse looked on your wedding day.”
How do you and I overcome this challenge to accept our mate’s face and body in all the various phases of life?
3 Ways God’s Word Can Strengthen Your Attraction in Marriage …
1. By focusing on the attractive physical qualities of your mate.
King Solomon and his lover provide an amazing example of keeping our attractions strong and vibrant in marriage. Consider the following exchange between these two lovebirds …
Solomon said, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”—Song of Solomon 1:15
Solomon’s lover said in reply, “How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.” Song of Solomon 1:16
It’s so easy to lose sight of the need for this, especially if we do the opposite—focus on the negatives in our mates. We make matters worse when we compare our spouses to others that we find more attractive. This is an acceptance and attraction-killer, for sure!
2. By also directing your focus to what truly matters.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” —1 Samuel 16:7
This quote was spoken about the little shepherd boy, David, who God called to be the next king of Israel, so it’s not in the context of marriage. But this principle enduringly applies to all people and situations.
[bctt tweet=”We need to look at the hearts of our mates for an attraction that surpasses outer appearances. #unfairtask #makesallthedifference” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
As my husband and I have aged, I’m convinced we are actually more attracted to each other than on the day we married. I think this is because our hearts are better looking today than when we were both immature and more self-centered as good-looking and skinnier youths. My husband and I have also grown more connected to one another by the shared experiences we’ve weathered together.
These are sweet memories stored in my heart that draw me to my husband like a magnet.
Maybe you feel as if your mate is not demonstrating good character. Or perhaps the experiences you’ve weathered together have hurt your attraction more than enhanced it. Then consider the next encouragement from Scripture …
3. Acceptance flows out of our relationship to Christ.
Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. —Romans 15:7
First of all, when I realize how Christ accepts me, I cannot help but extend that acceptance to my spouse. Another key aspect is that it is not “in me” to do this. Christ initiated His acceptance of me when I placed my faith in Him (Know God). Jesus also initiates and empowers my ability to accept my mate when my eyes remain on His beauty and not my spouse’s.
The world and those who do not look to Christ for this power of acceptance prove my point. The divorce rate for couples “falling out of love” is astronomical! Much of the time, this is simply falling out of attraction or the feelings of love, and not love itself.
But when I accept my husband like Christ accepts me, I am not only able to give glory to God, but I also fuel my attraction to my guy.
This is a process of accepting over and over again until your feelings of attraction rekindle. It is not a one-time shot and you’re home free. The key word is to accept “until” and then some! Pray for that transformation with the prayer I provide below.
Now, what if your spouse is the one who is not attracted or accepting of you and your aging face and changing body? The Bible has a lot to say about how to deal with that problem as well.
3 Important Ways to Make Yourself More Attractive
1. Fear the Lord
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. —Proverbs 31:30
We can focus our energies on being the most charming and beautiful spouses in town, but those things don’t last or improve our marriages near as much as fearing the Lord. What does fearing the Lord mean? I think it goes beyond simply respecting the Lord. I think it is a very deep understanding and trust that God is as mighty as He says He is.
You are so convinced of His power that it makes you want to shake, and then He comes and calms your shaking heart with His love.
That’s the kind of power that can also steady your shaky marriage and deepen your mate’s love and acceptance of you.
2. Develop a Gentle and Quiet Spirit
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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. —1 Peter 3:3-4
I know this passage is speaking about wives, but I think the idea holds true for both husbands and wives. If our spouses do not see our gentleness as of great worth, at least we can trust that God does!
[bctt tweet=”When I do this, I become more attractive, whether my spouse wants to recognize this or not. #prettyheart #attractioninmarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
3. Spiritually Exercise Every Day!
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. —1 Timothy 4:8
I’m convinced that this area of my life has had a greater impact on saving and enhancing my marriage than any other practice or pursuit. I make time for God daily.
My husband will testify to the refining power that my times with God have had on my attitude in our marriage. I come back a better, kinder, more attractive mate after spending time with the Lord.
One way you can get your time with God started is to pray the prayer below every day for at least a month. (Click on the image and you can download the PDF from Dropbox at the “…” in the upper right hand corner.)
You could also consider joining my upcoming Facebook Bible Study of the promises of God. The Promise Project begins the week of May 13th and goes thru June 22nd 2018. Click on the image to go to my Bible Study Page to find out more details! I hope you’ll consider this free offer and join me for this exciting experience!
Which of the three ways to make yourself more attractive do you want to work on in your life?
What has caused you to not feel as attracted and accepting of your mate? I’d love to pray for you in that struggle!
I’ll be continuing this series next week by looking at Unfair Task #5 – “Praying for Your Mate Even When This Feels Like a Passive Approach to a Problem.”
Struggling with a sense of shame that you can’t seem to shake? Then I hope you’ll check out my latest post at Lifelettercafe.com – “Road to Repentance” for inspiration and guidance in that struggle as well.
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Dream Together Linkup, Tea and Word Tuesday, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Glimpses Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Grace and Truth, Grace Moments Linkup, Tune in Thursday, Moments of Hope, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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