Last year I posted before and after pictures of myself. I even made them into a collage to highlight the greatness of God’s power in my life. Now these weren’t those full-body-practically-in-my-underwear-beach body-style pictures inviting you to scrutinize a body that God made perfectly. But you can still see in the first picture I am 40 pounds heavier with the weight of the world on my shoulders , my eyes are swollen from releasing love that ran down my face continually. I’m not just heavy but heavy burdened. I’m weak and disoriented and foggy. I’m everything a woman doesn’t want to see and likely everything a man doesn’t want to see in a woman.
The second picture is so much kinder. I’m back at the size I was when he met and married me. Just enough make up on to look naturally beautiful and glowing. And an inviting smile on my face and that same hot pink workout tank top just looks more attractive minus the 40 pounds.
So I asked him later in the day “hey honey what did you think of my before and after pictures ? how did I look ?” Now even though we live in a feminist world, it remains a world that objectifies women. I get sucked into this culture like everybody else. So I guess I expected my husband to use a word like “hot ” or “skinny” or maybe even a “smoking”. Which I might add would be fine by me. I want him to want me. I strongly desired to be the object of his desire. But if I was expecting that, I was about to be disappointed.
Because He said I think you look victorious. That’s what my hubby sees when he looks at me: strength, perseverance, endurance, discipline, bold beauty characterized by victory in Christ. He sees me as a conqueror.
Big deal. So what? Why do you think this is blog worthy? Well the reason is is a big deal to me is because we live in a traditional Christian covenant marriage. I consistently respect him even when I disagree with him. And it doesn’t happen very often, but if we find ourselves at odds – – he has the final say. And when that happens , I continue to respect him. I yield to him. I lift him up. I intentionally keep him in a position of power and leadership in my life. I submit to his authority in all things. So from a worldly perspective, it strikes me kind of funny that when he looks at me he only sees strength and power, Victor and conquer. I’m not a doormat that he doesn’t take time to notice. And I’m not just a beautiful thing that is constantly bowing down to him either. He has seen me not get my way and still lovingly go along with his way. He knows it isn’t easy to trust so deeply in someone else. So He has a deep respect for the fact that I do this and that I do it on a daily basis.
We are one team, he and I. When I stand victorious, he shares in the bounty of a real victory. My successes they bless him, my victories they proclaim his greatness.
This wouldn’t of been the case a few years ago. It was more important for me to be right and victorious. It was more important for me to knock him down a few pegs then to stand on the mountaintop right beside him.
I wonder what His answer would have been if He looked at the same picture during that season. I fear he might have said, “You look really good” or “you look great.” He may have even paused a long time wondering what he should say. What the ” right” answer was. . . He would have tried to answer my way and it would have greatly lessened my value in the process.
Because who He uniquely is adds value to me. It Makes my reflection shine brighter. And it deepens his view of me which deepens my view of myself. I would totally missed that if I stayed in the land of standing on my own. I would make myself an object of defiance. Suck myself into a movement of madness. Moving in the exact opposite direction of where my real security lies. I love it that I serve a God who makes sure that I stand up for myself when I bow down to him. That’s a victorious motion.