Have you ever been in a place where you felt frustrated by what you saw in the mirror? I think just about every mom can relate to this feeling. I know I sure can. Most moms I know struggle with feelings of insecurity about their bodies—and having children can make it even more apparent.
Some time ago, I was preparing to speak at a women’s conference in Oregon. We were talking about self-image and how we could learn to see ourselves as God saw us instead of how the world saw us. I studied some passages and I came across Proverbs 5:18. I laughed to myself as I read the verse:
“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.”
I looked at my husband and said, as sarcastically as I could, “of course you’re supposed to rejoice in the wife of your youth! Let’s be honest! In a few short years the wife of your youth will be a distant memory! Let’s be honest! Pretty soon, things will be sagging. my hair will lose it’s youthful shine and Oil of Olay will be the only thing I won’t be able to live without. I’ll be old and tired, so you better rejoice in the wife of your youth right now, because when I’m old there won’t be much to rejoice about!”
My husband was looking at me with one eyebrow raised (as he often does) and he said something like, “Wow, babe. You need to stop reading People Magazine. That’s now how I see that verse at all! When I read that verse, I imagine an old man sitting on the porch with the wife of his youth … you know—the one God gave to him when he was young—as this man looks at this older woman, just remembering the wife of his youth makes him smile.”
Hearing my husband’s take on this verse made me wonder how other women might interpret the verse and so I read it at the retreat. Wouldn’t you know it—almost all the women saw the verse like I did! Most of the women that I talk to are very self conscious about our bodies. And why shouldn’t we be? We live in a culture that is literally consumed with sex and body image. All you have to do is go through the checkout at the grocery store to see pictures of “fat” women on the covers of magazines.
We all know that according to our culture, “fat” is defined as anyone who is over a size 6 who might have *gasp* cellulite! In the name of beauty, women undergo liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, facelifts, eyelifts and even chin implants! Instead of being seen as a sign of wisdom, wrinkles send 40-somethings running for Botox injections.
Now, I’m not suggesting these things are sinful. What I am saying is that we have a serious problem in our culture. We’re bought into the lie that People Magazine knows more about beauty than God does. It’s just not true. God’s word is so counter to the culture! The Bible tells us that God is not concerned about outward things. He is ultimately concerned with the condition of our hearts.
Look at what Samuel said in I Samuel 16:7
“The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
You know, my husband is always reminding me that I am the wife of his youth. The older I get, the more I appreciate what that really means. Busy mom, you are the wife of your husband’s youth. And the days are fleeting. Nourish both your body and your spirit—and then enjoy your husband with your body every chance you get.
You are the wife of his youth. Beautiful inside and out. Enjoy the body God gave you. Don’t let the world cheat you out of enjoying the gift you’ve been given.