HE’S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: One More Reason Women Don’t Want Sex

Dear girls,

A few weeks ago I started a conversation about the reasons women no longer want sex. Then, as woman-talk so often does, we got sidetracked. Off on the bunny trail of why I am still in love with my husband after thirty-five years and that secret key for stressed out mamas and other women who work too hard.

So today we circle back to those 3 Reasons  I hear over and over again from women who finally admit that they’re really not all that enthusiastic about initiating and welcoming intimacy with their husbands.

And for those of you who are not yet married, please pay attention! These are obstacles every woman faces at some point in real life. Decide now that you’re going to overcome those glitches because you place imminent value on a healthy sexual relationship with that man who trusts you to meet his needs.

The first reason for no longer loving sex had to do with disappointment in your lover’s romantic efforts. I urged you to remember that he is not your Prince Charming.

Your husband cannot and will not fulfill that gaping hole of need every woman feels.

And gracefully loving him even when he falls short of your ideal is just the way Jesus loves us. It’s not too great a jump to conclude that…

Choosing to pour sexual love on your husband is an act of grateful, grace-filled response to your Redeemer’s tender love towards you.

The second reason we talked about has to do with circumstances.  Overwhelming fatigue, pressure, the realities of too little sleep and not enough space to breath. Pregnancies and nursing babies and teenagers right down the hall who seem to have sonic ears— not exactly how blockbuster movies portray passion.

That’s when commitment comes in. A woman’s commitment to care about her husband and care for herself even when it’s not easy. The comments and ideas that came in for this post were filled with practical wisdom and delightful dashes of humor.

Today, I want to finish this conversation by talking about the third reason women don’t want sex:

“Your body isn’t beautiful like the airbrushed, half starved, breast enhanced women in the movies. You’re so intent on hiding the parts you don’t want him to see that you fail to recognize your own inherent sensuality… You don’t want him to see you unclothed because you’ve lost the freedom your beauty brings. The naked and unashamed of the Garden is long gone.”

Beauty. It all comes back to this, doesn’t it?

In order to feel sexual, we need to feel beautiful.

We know that men respond to a woman’s beauty. But do we fully realize how much a woman responds to a man’s response?

As the wife of a pastor, I’ve had a front row seat to a lot of weddings. During the engagement the bride-to-be gets more and more beautiful. She stops biting her nails in order to show off her ring. Starts an intense exercise program in order to fit into her wedding gown. Goes and gets her make-up done and her hair-style updated. Everything for the Wedding Day.

And indeed, on that day, she is absolutely beautiful. Always.

But my favorite thing to watch is when she comes home from her honeymoon.  That’s when her beauty blossoms. No amount of make-up or money can give anyone that slightly seductive swagger a newly married woman carries off.  She wears a certain sort of grin just won’t go away. Kind of a cat-got-the-mouse look, and with a swish of her tail she let’s all the world know that she’s lovely. Beautiful.

Why? Because that young bride is responding to the response of her enthralled husband. He saw her as she is and he loved what he saw and she knows it!  She feels beautiful because she sees her beauty in her husband’s eyes.

And that, my dear girls, is exactly what each of us needs to recapture if we’re going to fully respond to our husbands. We have got to see our beauty from his eyes.

Don’t judge your beauty by what you see in the mirror. The mirror is not the truth. In the mirror you see only your flaws, not your beauty.

Don’t judge your beauty by the magazines or movies. Those pictures are not the truth. They’re airbrushed and positioned and faking reality. No one looks like that in real life.

Don’t judge your beauty by others. You risk insulting the One who made you by wishing He’d done it different. Psalm 139 says He “formed you in your mother’s womb” and He likes the form He made.

But, you say, I’m not a beauty. I’m plain or plump or flat-chested. My skin is bad, my hair is limp, my eyes are droopy, my legs unshapely. You’re not being modest, you’re being honest. Shouldn’t you just settle for the truth as you see it and ignore beauty? After all, there’s more to being a woman than being beautiful, right?

Here’s the problem with that way of thinking: You and I need to feel beautiful in order to act sexual.

Ugliness and sensuality just don’t work for us. No amount of reasoning about how smart we are or how much we’ve accomplished is going to compel us to actively seduce our waiting husbands. That’s just not the way a woman is wired.

So what to do?

1. Decide in your mind that God made you beautiful. Elohim, the creator-God crafted you uniquely. He is not bound by time or culture. He is undeterred by what color hair or skin or shape of figure is currently in vogue.  He is able to see the way He made you as a reflection of His own creativity. His beauty.

In order to think right, we have got to come to an intelligent agreement with God about how He made us. Our minds inform our emotions. When I decide with my mind that God made me beautiful, I begin to feel beautiful.

2. Uncover the beauty God made in you. Sometimes we have got to peel off layers of ugliness we have allowed to coat our real selves. Unhealthy lifestyles disguise our beauty under the consequences of overeating and under-exercising. Time to get out the Nike’s and breathe in fresh air.

Most often uncovering our own beauty just means we need to pay attention to our good parts.  I once read an interview of make-up maven Bobbi Brown that fascinated me. She has made a fortune on women who don’t like the way they look. Her personal philosophy? Stop trying to cover the parts you don’t like and simply enhance your best features.

3. See yourself through your husband’s craving. Your husband needs to see you. He is not looking for perfection, hasn’t noticed those sunspots or saggy breasts. What he needs from you are glimpses of inviting beauty. Uncover just enough to give him what he needs, then allow yourself to respond to his response.

God made a point of the unashamed nakedness of the first married couple. He noted their ease with each other, their lack of hiding. Sin changed their perspective. Satan is the one who turned Eve’s eyes away from Adam’s response and onto her inadequacies.

It’s time we take back our beauty and own it, girls! It’s time we recapture that sensual swagger that somehow got lost by the lies we’ve come to believe.

It’s time to be beautiful.

From my heart,

Diane

PS: Can you tell us about your honeymoon? Did you see that delight in his eyes and feel more beautiful than you’d ever thought possible? Dare you show more of yourself now that your body no longer lives up to those pre-wedding-work-out expectations?

And for those of you whose husbands did not make you feel like the most alluring woman in the world , can I just say I am so sorry. There are men who inadvertently hurt their wives by what they don’t say… it might be time to sit down and share your heart with him, letting him know how much you need to feel beautiful in order to respond beautifully.

Posted
August 5, 2013
In
Charming, Features
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17 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Angela

    Diane,

    Thank you so much for this series. It has really helped me and I’ve had a couple of “aha” moments. This may be a bit of a tangent, but one of those “aha” moments relates to learning to dress. My mom’s idea of getting dressed up was to put on her “good” sweats. She never wore makeup or painted her nails. I realize that I made the transition from a young tomboy, to a male dominated field where I wore business suits, finally to a stay at home mom. But through that, I’ve never really learned to dress like a woman. My drawer is full of t-shirts and jeans. And over half the t-shirts are black (which in my defense, don’t stain and match everything) I’ve always admired the way you and Tammi (hope that is spelled correctly) dress. Any advice or resources on how to learn to dress well?

    Thank you for all that you do. You are truly a blessing!

    • Dear Angela,
      Oh goodness, I do love pretty clothes! Even more, I love to watch women who manage to create different looks with a slim budget- bringing beauty together by using their creativity. A friend of mine goes “shopping in her own closet” by using her love of color to create lovely outfits.
      One piece of advice- avoid magazines and pinterest- stick to real people and watch how they reflect who they really are in the way they clothe themselves. Then be you- and have fun!

  2. Andrea

    Beauty, ah, it can be a complexity! I am learning the fine line between pride and dignity as it relates to such. We are people drawn to that which is beautiful and yet, there is an inordinate weight and worth attached to it as well, in a culture that ranks people’s value based on this one thing. So many times, the assessment is inaccurate at best. And yet, God did wire us to be cognizant of beautiful things. For me, I struggled for many years because of this. What has helped immensely is to understand that, from God’s perspective, I AM already a treasure in His sight and economy. He is delighted in me, and He is delighted in each of us. The things that make us beautiful to Him also can become the things that are recognized as beauty to others as well, if we will take the time to reveal them, look for them, and get past the surface fluff.
    As for the honeymoon, I won’t lie. It was awesome. I was forty-one years old when I married for the first time and the desire that my husband has for me coupled with the respectful manner in which he treated me as we were courting made that very l-o-n-g wait SO worth every minute of the years alone. We talk a lot about why people should not “connect” outside of marriage, but I believe there is even greater value in maintaining that boundary “for such a time as this.” Mainly, because we have very little baggage as a result of God’s grace to us both in this area. I am blessed with a husband who is not afraid to speak of his attraction for his wife, even though her body is not “perfect” in her eyes. He treats me as a gift, a treasure, and a delight and that goes a long way in snuffing the insecurities if I am willing to listen and believe what he says. At first, it was tempting to try to talk him out of his assessment but the Lord silenced me and said, “Just listen.” See, he does not see me the way I saw myself and because of that, I started to believe the propaganda and live my life in that new perspective. It is freeing to be seen as a gift and a treasure and it makes me even more grateful because that is what he has been to me. The good news is that, even when we don’t have another person speaking this truth into us, Jesus still does. He is delighted in us and He loves us. That fact has transformative power, even as it relates to our physical bodies, if we choose actions that are loving them (our bodies) as a result. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and His desire is for us to walk in the completeness of this, not in pride but in dignity and stewardship of the gift we’ve been given.

    • Andrea, your comment is so full of real life wisdom. I keep wondering if the beauty your husband sees in you first began to emerge when you discovered the beauty God sees in you… I’d really love to hear the whole story.

      • Andrea

        Diane, the beauty of my life is of Jesus speaking into a dark, lonely, lost young woman’s heart and calling me by name. I am learning layer upon layer of the truth that it is God alone who defines us, allowing himself to be between our hearts and those around us. In each of our lives there are people who speak what they see but, honestly, at best, it is through a glass darkly. Sometimes even when people love us the can wound us deeply. In my days since coming face to face and then picking up to walk with Jesus, He continues to allow those same people to be used in painful but gloriously challenging ways to reveal who He is and who He made me to be. Once a sinner, now a saint working out the details of what salvation is to look like in this complex but beautiful soul. I am learning that I am healed, made with specific purpose and fashioned just so with a place in His kingdom. For someone who has been told that there are qualities that are weakness (sensitivity, compassion, passion), I am learning the reality is that it is a trait and a tool with purpose. I am also learning to allow those others to be who they are without thinking they need to be “fixed” anymore than I do. It comes with some friction but praise God it is coming. He did not save me to leave me the way I was but He does delight in who he made me and us to be. The purpose was so that others might see and them know the power of the cross and the live that brought it to be so. 🙂

  3. Julie

    Hi Diane, I’ve read your blog for a over a year now, and I love it! This post is beautiful. I think God created a desire for beauty deep in our hearts…both the desire in men to respond to beauty and the desire in women to be beautiful and admired for who we are as we are. Reading this post today, my heart longs to be in this kind of relationship that reflects the desires God has created. However, I am in my late 30s with no prospects of marriage or even a date in the near future. As single women, who may or may not ever experience marriage, how do we uncover beauty in a godly way? Is marriage the only way to experience this type of beauty? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    • Dear Julie,
      Oh my goodness, dear girl, marriage is NOT even the main way to express our beauty as women! Just one way. This week I am surrounded by the beauty of my daughters as we are away on vacation together… just watching the way they love God and each other and me and life… their laughter and the way their faces light up with laughter- even the emerging crinkles around their eyes. I’ve delighted in God as I’ve reveled in their beauty.
      As a single woman you are in a uniquely powerful position to spread beauty in relationships that have so little. Serving, loving, laughing over a cup of coffee with a friend, dressing up to do something fun- you bless this world with the joy of beauty.

  4. Janelle Meacham

    I just have to say. I absolutely love your blog. Your spot on 🙂

  5. Lisa Thayer

    Diane,

    One of the best pieces of advice I was given before I got married is to never point out your perceived body flaws to your spouse. You may think your “fill in body part here” doesn’t match your ideals but don’t point it out to him! He may actually love your “fill in same body part from above” but think your knees are kinda strange… Or whatever.

    Also, remember that unless you married Brad Pitt ( oops, gave myself away ..) chances are he has some uuumm things he isn’t happy with about himself. Compliment him on what you do like and watch his response. 😉

    Also, stop comparing yourself to others.. Period. Including what you looked like 20 years ago.

    <, Lisa

    • Sara

      Thank you~
      I have such beautiful sisters and I often feel like a bit of a duck amongst the swans, not to say I’m ugly, but…..Abuse took hold of my life from an early age, and the Lord is now peeling away at those layers of perceived “ugliness” I see, and showing me the beauty HE sees. Still, habits are hard to break, so thank you for the reminder and encouragement. Diane, thank you for being so faithful in my life, even though we’ve never truly met, you speak wisdom and truth in a way that always leaves me amazed and completely blessed.

      ~Sara

      • Dear Sara, May God lovingly show you HIs unique beauty in you… maybe not magazine beauty, but real, physical and soul beauty that He crafted when He made you.

    • So right, Lisa. When we compare ourselves to anyone (even our 20 year old selves), we end up dissatisfied and envious. And isn’t that just a little insulting to the One who made us and likes what He made? Thank you for your wisdom here- and I love your hint of humor!

  6. susan

    Pure awesomeness of truth and women need to hear & believe & act on this!

  7. julie

    So what do you have to say when the husband want’s nothing to do with sex. He has just never been all that interested after age 30. Where does that leave the wife who is a complete opposite of him?

    • diane

      Dear Juleana,
      I would encourage you to help him to discover why he doesn’t want sex. Its unusual for a man and may signify an underlying physical or emotional or relational cause. And letting him know how much you want him might just change the way he thinks.

  8. DQ

    Again, you are so right, Diane. I really do love reading your blog – it’s like listening to a wise and Godly mother who is kind enough to share her insights with us! Thank you.

    Yes, I realise I need to feel beautiful and accepted, and the memories of initial romance do fuel that. But I feel for the many women facing difficulty believing that about themselves, even from the man they love.

    And then I focus my eyes on our God, the creator of heaven and earth. The One who created me and loves me, who loves my hairstyle without a GHD and the exact shape of my nose. The One who is relentless in my pursuit, even when I have turned away.The One who bore the agony of His Son’s death, just for me. And how can I not feel beautiful?

    • DQ,
      And you have hit on the ultimate truth, dear one! Our beauty is in HIm, and Him shining out of us. Seeing who we really are by looking in His eyes. Still, it certainly helps when we see our beauty in our husband’s eyes as well… And your words are a great compliment to my heart- that I would be like a mother to women who need one… there is much joy in that.

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