A key element to a healthy and happy sexuality in marriage is a woman’s self-esteem. I am concerned that there are some parents who are under the belief that, for their daughters to wear makeup, earrings, or having a desire to dress in pretty clothes is sinful, prideful, or vain. Some men may feel that the expense of clothes and beauty products is enough justification to discourage women and girls from pursuing the enhancement of their natural beauty.
I feel that this is a terrible mistake.
Granted, there are extremes…clothes that may be immodest or sexually revealing in public, excessive daytime makeup, a single item of clothing that costs hundreds to thousands of dollars, unnecessary plastic surgery, etc. Yet, I feel it’s important to nurture a girl’s desire to be as pretty as she can be…meaning pleasant and attractive in appearance.
As husbands, we have a duty to encourage our wives and daughters to be beautiful, and to compliment them often and to let them know that they are beautiful to you as often as you can.
To discourage our wives and/or our daughters from seeking beauty could negatively affect their self-esteem, may create lifelong body issues, and worse yet, may affect our wives’ ability to be intimate with us, and our daughters’ ability to be intimate with their husbands.
“Let the sisters take care of themselves, and make themselves beautiful, and if any of you are so superstitious and ignorant as to say that this is pride, I can say that you are not informed as to the pride which is sinful before the Lord, you are also ignorant as to the excellency of the heavens, and of the beauty which dwells in the society of the Gods. Were you to see an angel, you would see a beautiful and lovely creature. Make yourselves like angels in goodness and beauty.” [i]
Don’t think that beauty is only possible for a select few that fit the typical Hollywood standard of beauty either. To those who would say that there are just some women who will never be attractive, so why encourage them, I would suggest reading this quote from Jeffrey R. Holland:
“A woman not of our faith once wrote something to the effect that in her years of working with beautiful women she had seen several things they all had in common, and not one of them had anything to do with sizes and shapes. She said the loveliest women she had known had a glow of health, a warm personality, a love of learning, stability of character, and integrity. If we may add the sweet and gentle Spirit of the Lord carried by such a woman, then this describes the loveliness of women in any age or time, every element of which is emphasized in and attainable through the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”[ii]
If you are not doing this already, I’d like to suggest an experiment to do this week or month or coming year. Even if you think your wife is the most homely creature on the planet, always tell her that she is pretty. It is more important for a woman to be “pretty” when you’re just starting out complimenting her. “Beautiful” and “gorgeous” may make her think you’re up to something and disregard what you say, but “pretty” is a good starting word. Work up to “beautiful” and “gorgeous”.
Be as honest as you can, even if your honesty involves a little creativity on your part. If your wife has one particular feature that is truly pretty, start by complimenting that feature. Look for other ways where your wife expresses beauty in her person.
You will find that, as you tell her this, she will become more and more beautiful in appearance, both to you and eventually to others. You will allow her inner angel to come out.
In addition, you may notice a difference in your sex life as well, as her body image improves. Husbands have a great power in this regard to improve their own sex lives, yet neglect or even sabotage themselves with critical comments towards their wives’ appearance.
Husbands, do yourselves a favor. Find your wife’s inner beauty and create an environment in your relationship where it is free to blossom, free of withering criticism and sarcastic comments.
You can reap all the amazing benefits of such tactics, both in and out of the bedroom.