All you grammar people please show me grace in my title… 😉
So, each time some new aspect of submission really clicks, I find so much joy in Christ for how He displays Himself to me through my marriage. The latest is changing for who I’m trying to look good. It should stand to reason that the person I most want to impress is my husband, right? But I have been realizing that I rarely prioritize that way. My priorities go something like this: 1. how good I think I look and 2. how good others think I look. Ways this comes out is that I will get a hairstyle I think is attractive, buy clothes I think are attractive, try to have a body image that fits society’s standards, etc. Though I always think Bill will like what he sees (which he does, BTW), doing things in that order isn’t taking him into account.
Let me give a couple of examples of how this has been looking for me over the past few months. One, I never get a haircut without first looking through magazines or the Internet and asking him for his opinion. He loves me trying new things, but through this I have realized Bill prefers me with shortish hair. I never really knew that because I just decide what I want and then ask him what he thinks after the deed is done. Because Courtney is Bill’s standard of beauty, he always likes what he sees, but I am now understanding that I have been asking him to change his standard of beauty. As one pastor has said, “A man may be initially attracted to his future wife when she has long hair. Then two weeks after the wedding she cuts her hair off. Why would she do that if her husband liked her hair long? Who is she really trying to impress?”
I used to love surprising Bill with new outfits I would wear for a date or some other event. Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I will almost always model it for him first to get his opinion before I remove the tags especially if I’m trying a new style. I just got a new shirt from someone recently. I wore it one evening around the house and told Bill I planned to wear it on our date. When date day came, Bill got in our closet and pulled out a different top. Thinking he had simply forgotten about the new one, I reminded him of my plans and asked what he would rather me wear. He lovingly confessed that the other shirt was fine but that he really preferred the one he chose because it brought out my eyes. This thrilled me because I knew he would be pleased with how I looked but was difficult at the same time as I didn’t want to wear something “old.” Seriously, this was a difficult point of submission for me–ridiculous. I took the shirt he had chosen, put it on, and was convicted that it was more important in my heart for me to wear the new shirt for me than for him. Why? Because of my sinful selfishness and desire to have authority over him. The pastor I mentioned above was once telling his congregation that his wife picks all his clothes for him. He said, “You may be thinking that I don’t look that good to you, but who cares what you think! My wife likes it, and that’s the only person I want to look good for.” I asked for forgiveness for caring more about myself than Bill and joyfully wore the shirt he preferred (good thing, too. The other one really doesn’t go with my hair color now that I think about it). 🙂
Bill has begun making similar changes, and we are having a blast with it. One of our dates a few weeks ago was simply walking around the mall and picking clothing in which we thought our spouse would look good. Even though we didn’t buy anything, it was so beneficial to get to see what each others’ tastes were and to get ideas for the next time we go shopping. It’s also fun to get “the look” almost every day from my man because he knows I’m centering my appearances on his desires and no one else’s (you married ladies know the look I’m talking about–if you non-married ones know it, get out of the relationship now!). 🙂 How similar this is to our relationship in Christ. Though we are always beautiful to Him no matter what, thanks to His sacrifice on the cross, we should strive to put His standards of beauty above anyone else’s, including our own.