Monday, July 20, 2015

An Open Letter to Men Regarding Women's Body Image

I'm going to be up front with you here.  This is a series of letters of honest observation of the world around me, whether that be social media, mainstream media, big-stream stores, or the high school across the street from me.  It is not meant to condemn or offend, but perhaps open an honest conversation about the lack of modesty and what influences our view of what a woman should look like.

The other letters in this series:

An Open Letter to Mothers Regarding Body Image
An Open Letter to Young Women and Teen Girls Regarding Body Image

To Husbands, Boyfriends, Men in General

Men.  Let's be honest.  You may have read all the other letters on modesty linked above out of curiosity.  If not, I will let you in on a secret.  I spoke of porn.  That is such a bad word in our society, but it's not because people necessarily think its that bad.  I've seen it excused as normal, even justified many times in the media.  Just because it is easier to give in and and look at scantly-clad, fake women, doesn't mean it's normal or what you should do.

The porn industry influences so much.  From Carl's Jr. commercials, to Victoria Secret ads, to more sex scenes on TV, to the fitness industry.  You know what I am talking about.  These are not real women.  You can't have real relationships with these women and you can't expect women in your relationships to be like that.  If you are looking at porn, please STOP!!!

Research shows that viewing porn contributes to objectifying woman and diminishing real sexual and physical relationships.  I've known boys who have grown into men with the addiction of porn.  These men get married.  Their addiction is not addressed.  It seems normal to them.  Then, their marriage starts to fall apart.  To quote, "Porn kills Love."  These men loved their wives at one point.  Maybe they would even say they loved their wives after their families were torn apart by divorce.  But, they let their addiction to porn reign over their wife, their family, their relationships...their life.

Perhaps you think you have control and only look at it every once in a while.  I encourage you that you don't have control.  Control is NEVER giving in.  It may take a lot of praying, fighting temptation, and asking to be held accountable by loved ones, but there are ways you can make sure you never give in.  It is possible.  So, if you find yourself looking at porn, even every now and then, do yourself a favor, your wife, or future wife a favor and stop.  Don't kid yourself into thinking it's normal or okay.  It can prevent you from having a real relationship, or it can really skew your view of what your real relationship should look like.  It is not worth giving in.

So with that, I want to encourage husbands and fathers. Love your wives, no matter how much weight she has gained since you said "I do," or how much she has put on since having kids.  Love her no matter how much her body may change after having babies.  Love her where she is at and encourage her.   Don't compare her to the porn-influenced media ideas of how a woman should look.  Don't expect her to get back to exactly as she was before kids.  It probably won't happen.  And that's ok.  Having kids has changed the both of you for the better.

Encourage your wife to be woman you want your kids to look up to, to watch as they grow. Please, don't encourage them unnecessary and unnaturally change their bodies to look like what everyone else thinks a woman's body should look like.  She is the mother of your children.  Those children watch everything.  Aging is normal and can be beautiful.  There is so much pressure on women coming from practically every direction to look a certain way.  Be your wife's haven from all of that.


The Woman who Became a Wife and Mother

P.S.  If you find yourself falling into the temptation of viewing porn, PLEASE GET HELP HERE.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV

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