Editor’s Note: In light of her big announcement, we are going to spend the week celebrating Erynn Sprouse and everything she has done for Come Fill Your Cup in her time as our editor-in-chief. Over the past two days we have been sharing her most viewed articles, enjoy!
For the past year or so, my husband has been keeping a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1). He determined not to set any impure thing before his eyes, especially in the realm of other women (Psalm 101:3). He has determined that his joy will be in me, the wife of his youth (Proverbs 5:18). Most of the changes to our lives have been on his end. He finds most commercials (especially for women’s products, oddly enough) fall in the “impure” category and he turns away. We haven’t been to the mall in quite a while (can you believe the scraps of material that pass for clothes? And let’s not even get started on the stores’ displays!). When he first explained this idea of a covenant with his eyes, I admit to some skepticism. Part of the goal was to see me, his wife, as the most beautiful woman in the world. That sounds like a tall order to me. Really tall order. But– and I know this sounds egotistical– I think it’s working. This morning as I sat on the bed still in my pajamas, yesterday’s mascara clumping under my eyes with a mop of hair that (as it turns out) took five minutes to detangle… he said to me, “You’re so sexy.” (Are you blushing? I was!) I couldn’t think of anything to say. I looked at myself and just said, “Ooookay.” So what does this have to do with you? A lot, or I wouldn’t be telling you this embarrassing story.
I submit to you, ladies, that perhaps we need to make a covenant with our eyes as well.
Why did I feel unworthy of his compliment? Why did I outright reject his sweet sentiment and in my shock abandon even the barest bit of politeness? Why did “thanks” not even occur to me? Because I was looking at myself through the glasses the world has built for me… and those glasses say I am anything but sexy.
I’m far from a size two. At the rate things are going, I’ll be bald before I hit 45. My laugh lines sometimes seem like laugh canyons. But do those things really matter to God? Should those things lessen the appeal I hold in my husband’s eyes? No! But I’ve had a steady diet of impure. Since I’m not at risk for lusting after the images my husband has learned to turn from, I haven’t seen a need to turn my own eyes away.
But now I do.
Those images stick in your mind just like they stick in his. And they can become your standard. They become the glasses you see the world through, the thing that shapes what your eyes see and whether they behold beauty or not. Your hips seem larger than large, your hair starts to look limp, those laugh lines no longer reflect a life filled with joy and stretch marks are “scars” instead of reminders of life grown within. Your standard becomes what the world sees and discontent is sown in your heart. But God’s standard isn’t like that.
God’s standard looks at your heart and the care you pour into your prayers every day… and He sees your beauty. God’s standard looks at your love for the widows and the extra hugs you give them… and He sees your beauty (James 1:27). God’s standard looks at the way you diligently train your children to walk in His ways… and He sees your beauty (Deuteronomy 6:7, Proverbs 22:6). God’s standard looks at your constant attention to helping teach the younger ladies… and He sees your beauty (Titus 2:3-5). God’s standard looks at your gentle, contented heart… and He sees your beauty (1 Peter 3:3-4). God’s standard looks at your feet carrying the gospel wherever you go… and He sees your beauty (Romans 10:15).
My husband has trained his eyes to see me as God would have him see me, and it is an honor to me and to God.
Now it’s my turn. I don’t want to look at others through the world’s eyes, and I don’t think God (or my husband) appreciates it when I look at myself with those eyes either.
Note: Here is a printable version of the reflections may be distorted “warning” pictured above.
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