Who hasn’t struggled with self-image? Male or female; thin or overweight; athletic or devoted couch potato. Most of us have had doubts about our own attractiveness. This doubt can be exponentially intensified when we have a spouse who watches or has watched pornography.
“Am I sexy enough for him/her?” you might ask.
His (or her) pornography use is a departure from what God intended for your marriage as husband or wife. Lust, objectifying other people, and having unfaithful thoughts are perversions of love, marriage and true beauty.
Marriage has so much more to offer than any sort of fantasies that the pornography industry can conjure up. And while attraction is a great part of being married, there are so many other rich gifts that marriage can provide.
I am beautiful enough for my spouse, because:
- God created me for another: When he created Adam, He said it was not good for Adam to be alone. So, God created Eve. From the beginning, a communion between spouses has been fundamental to who we are.
- Husband and wife become one flesh: No pornography, no fantasy can ever live up to the union that occurs when spouses join together, renewing a covenant that only spouses share.
- Spouses are “naked without shame”: Pope John Paul II famously uses this phrase to describe sexual unions between husband and wife. Unlike when Adam and Eve hid naked in the garden from God or when spouses hide their pornography use, the nakedness of husband and wife is beautiful, rather than shameful.
- We are gifts to one another: Only in marriage—where we have promised to be faithful and fruitful—can we truly give of ourselves sexually. It is here, in this free and loving bond, that husband and wife continually give of themselves, sexually in the flesh as a sign of their commitment to each other, day in and day out.
- Our love is greater than the two of us: When I live out my marriage vows to love and cherish my husband, and he does the same, we are engaging in something much more rewarding than just sex. We are growing in our ability to love others. Many spouses will tell you that the richer their marriage lives are, the more they are able to give of themselves to others in their families and wider community.
While each of us can fail sometimes to see the beauty of our husband or our wife, it is there. And this beauty isn’t dependent on whether someone put on 10lbs this year or hasn’t been getting enough push-ups in. Our spouses hold an attraction more captivating than lust, more fulfilling than a sexy image in our heads—they offer the key to a life richer in love, generosity and commitment to one another.