Whose Standard of Beauty?

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So this picture is of a prescription note that my doctor gave me at a check up after our fourth baby was born. For the sole purpose of giving it to my husband.

I was feeling pretty insecure about my body.

Who knew that the more kids you have the less pliable your abdominal skin is. Competely incapable of un-stretching back to its original form. It only goes back to its “almost” original form.

Oh, sure, there are those few and far between women you see on TV or magazines who share their bikini ready bod’s after having 6 kids but I don’t know about you…I almost want to poke them in the eye with a fork. I mean, how did they do that? And why didn’t I think ahead to exercise with a trainer 4 hours a day while I was pregnant?

Oh, right, I was working and taking care of the littles that already were in this world. That was my work-out. And my stomach was clearly telling me that it wasn’t enough.

Now, there’s a reason I was feeling so insecure. I didn’t know it at the time, but hubby was in the middle of an affair that was spiraling out of control. I felt unwanted, ignored, and not desirable in the least. Come to find out, it wasn’t because my boobs were engorged to twice their size, my stomach still stretched out from baby #4, or my lack of interest in sex from having my body turned into a 24 hour feeding machine again.

His needs were getting met somewhere else. And the more I got “my” body back, the more I wanted my husband and my marriage back. And it wasn’t there.

So I went into my 6 week check up and started asking a lot of questions about my stomach and what I could and should do and my doctor, God love him, looked at my chart, looked back at me, and basically said, “Girl, are you trippin’?”

“Your current weight is almost the same as it was when I first met you 4 years ago! You’ve had four kids! Most women would kill to be able to maintain their weight like this while having kids and nursing for almost 8 years straight. Is this about your husband? Is he having trouble with the changes in your body? Because you’re going to have to tell him a couple things. One, get over it. And, two, he is married to a OHM.”

“A what?” I said.

“OHM. One hot mama.”

“Ha!” I responded. “I highly doubt he feels that. Maybe he’d believe it if it came from you.”

So, he wrote it out on a prescription pad and instructed me to go give it to him. And to start believing it about myself.

So, I did.

If I’m being completely honest, I wish he had worded it a little differently. He wrote it different than he said it. He wrote, “For 4 kids…” I was like, “Hey! That’s not the message I’m trying to convey here! I’m not just hot for someone who has had four kids! I’m hot, dammit! Just hot!”

I wish we all would realize that about ourselves and stop putting disclaimers on things. We’re not hot or smart or interesting because of or  for anything…we just ARE. Can you do me a favor? Can we all just start realizing that and living that? Okay, thanks.

I wish I could say this little piece of paper changed my husband’s behavior. It didn’t. He had to hit rock bottom on his own. But…he did eventually change his ways, ask for forgiveness and recognize the OHM that was his wife. You can read more about our story over at our site, Marriage Life Ministries. We’ve written a lot about how affairs are really just bad attempts at getting our need for attention, affirmation and desire met somewhere. Just in the wrong place.

The thing is, we all want to be desired. We all want to feel like there is one person out there who wants us. And not because we’re perfectly put together and have all the pieces in the right places, but just because of who we are. Exactly how we are. Right now.

Mark Driscoll once said in a series on Husbands and Wives as he was going through the book of Proverbs that our standard of beauty shouldn’t be TV or movies or magazines. It shouldn’t be a certain subset of people: blond, tall, beard/no beard…Our standard of beauty should be our spouse. Always.

I mean, don’t you hate it when you hear people say that they lost interest in their spouse because they gained a few pounds or changed their hair color? What does that do to a person’s self-worth to be reminded regularly that they just don’t quite measure up to what their spouse is looking for?

So, when our spouse changes (and they will) our standard of beauty needs to adapt. When our spouse decides to cut their beautiful hair into a short crop, it shouldn’t faze us. If our spouse develops a little bit of a belly, it shouldn’t matter. Our standard of beauty shouldn’t be the little physical characteristics that make up our spouse…our standard of beauty should just be our spouse. However they are.

Easier said than done? Maybe.

But its made a world of difference for us.

And it could for you too.

Ladies, ultimately I just want you to know and remember something very important:

No matter who you are, where you are, what your body looks like, how many kids you’ve popped out, how far your boobs have dropped…you are One Hot Mama. Always.

I’m linking up this week with a number of these fantastic sites! Check them out!

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5 thoughts on “Whose Standard of Beauty?

  1. Your honesty is refreshing. It’s absolutely true that our standard of beauty should be our mate. I look at my man and I think that his is the most handsome face I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand why everyone isn’t just crazy in love with him. And yes I am OHM 😀

  2. Pingback: Beautiful. | Mommyville

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