Monday, April 22, 2013

The Hot Wife {an interlude}

I read two articles this week on the increasingly popular trend of Christian men publically discussing or complimenting their wives’ hotness.  Men who tweet about their wives’ taut bottoms, sexy-in-spite-of-having-2-kids figures, or overall physical beauty that makes him think Song of Solomon-y thoughts. 

And here’s where you’re likely to assume that I’m an old fuddy-duddy prude {let me assure you, I’m completely okay with that}: the issue I take, like the authors of these articles, is not that Christian husband and wives are enjoying one another’s bodies, but that they call attention to it. 

                On  Twitter.  Or Facebook.  Or Instagram.  

Now to be clear, I find what Zach Hoag and Mary Deluth address to be different from a “good morning, beautiful,” written on a spouse’s Facebook wall; though, not so far removed from plugging one’s wife on twitter by saying, “read my beautiful wife’s article on X.”    The key difference being: the first is a personal greeting to the wife, the second is a public declaration about the wife. 

                So much of life is in the prepositions.

Mr. Hoag says that most guys [of the non-Driscoll variety] are simply trying to fit in.  To belong in a world where sexiness is one’s most valuable commodity; and where Christians often feel that they have to reclaim sex inside marriage.  That they are singularly responsible for letting the world know that, yes, even Christians like having sex – they just like doing it with their spouses. 

While this in and of itself isn’t bad, and certainly I would agree that sex does need to be reclaimed and restored to its original design, the way it is being done is actually doing more harm than good.  Lauding your spouse’s beauty and sexuality to her/him, in private, is a good thing.  Doing so in a public manner, using a public forum, corrupts the relationship and diminishes the spouse to little more than chattel. 

We are called to be a people different from the world.  So where the world reduces women to body parts, and objectification, we cannot imitate this lead.

How insignificant it makes the wife – a sum of her parts.  A beautiful person, made in the image of Almighty God, reduced to breasts, a butt, thighs and calves, lips, hair.  So that she becomes merely a catalogue of physical traits, surgically reproducible, and her standing as the apple of her husband’s eye able to be usurped by the next pair of legs/breasts/lips to catch his fancy.  Doomed by her ever changing body {Sorry, young Mr. & Mrs. Pastors, the female form is in constant flux; from perky youth to motherhood to menopause}, and the certainty that one day she’ll be old, droopy, and wrinkled.   Will this mean that her beauty is gone then, that her ability to delight her husband a memory?  That her worth as wife exists only in past?

Further, to assume that she requires this kind of affirmation, belittles not only her identity as an image bearer of God, but also her personhood.  This kind of public attention drawn to her body is the equivalent of strangers whistling at her while she walks down the street, calling out what they’d like to do to her so that their peers can devour her body with their eyes, too.  Because, gentlemen, when you draw attention, publically, to her body – or parts thereof – you’re inviting others to appreciate {and to an extent take mental proprietary benefits} what was intended only for you. 

                Much like Xeres did with Vashti in the book of Ester.    

How base this type of praise makes the husband – who thus appears capable of only surface appreciation.  Unable to see his wife’s inherent value as a person, or to know and be known on the soul-level that is meant to depict the Trinity’s relationship with one another.  He is reduced to an overwhelmed being unable to reign in his appetite for flesh. 

                Less Neanderthal, more Werewolf. 

And oh! how cheap it makes their marriage bed – their appreciation for one another’s form on display, as if an already too-voyeuristic world needed more fodder.  Look at my wife’s rack in that sweater!  See my husband’s six-pack while he takes a swim!  Suddenly, the other’s body becomes property to be displayed, admired, envied – the personhood of our mate obliterated by our prideful declarations of “that one’s mine!”  There is nothing tender or appreciative or even loving about it. 

It’s all for show – for the benefit of people outside the marriage.  It brings other’s opinions, ideas, voices, judgments into the bedroom.  Where there should be no one but husband, wife, and God.

For Heaven’s sake: yes, enjoy one another!  Exclaim over one another’s bodies when it’s just the two of you.  Delight and be delighted in.  But don’t let this fallen world dictate how you do so.  Be accountable first to God, then to your spouse – because, honestly, no one else’s opinions in this area remotely matter.         

Husbands, stop bragging about your wife’s body like it’s some really cool car you bought.  You, gentlemen, did nothing to earn it.  It is a gift, given willing out of love; meant to be cherished by you and you alone.  Stop bringing the world into it. 

Wives, stop finding your worth in your physical beauty.  You are more than a (hot or not) body, meant only to bring physical pleasure to a man.  You are an image bearer of the Lord of the universe.  Beautiful because He made you so; worthy because He deems you thus.  Stop letting a broken world tell you where your value lies.   

Christians, look on one another with the love of Christ.  And act accordingly. 


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