FOUR REASONS FOR MARRIAGE: sexuality part two

The Other Side of the Story about Sex

Phil and I have had the immeasurable joy of raising 4 children to adulthood. For over 31 years our house has sung with the sounds of people growing up, exploring their worlds, expressing their opinions, and inviting friends into this snug circle.

Two of my children are introverts like me: John Mark craves long stretches of time alone to think and study and Elizabeth rarely wanted more than a couple of friends over at a time.

Rebekah, on the other hand, always seemed to be organizing a party. Breakfast on a Saturday morning, a movie night starting way too late for reasonable early-to-bed-early-to-rise mamas like me.

But it’s Matt who has filled our home with crowds. Something’s always brewing with him and his ever-expanding group of friends. And these are some of the best people I know. Fun and fully involved, these teenagers and twenty-somethings have found strength in each other. They spur each other on to godly living and give each other courage to forge out new paths as they relentless pursue God.

I’m more than a little impressed by them.

One of my favorite things is when the men in this group cram into Matt’s room at the top of the stairs. It’s a tiny room, stuffed to the gills with books and computers and a keyboard and who knows what else. Yet in they squeeze, for what I’ve learned to anticipate… a time to talk about girls.

Just like girls, every one of these guys either currently likes someone, or is dating someone, or is scanning the crowd just to be sure not to miss out.

And that’s a good thing!

These men are fully aware that the next major decision of their lives involves finding and pursuing and getting to know the one who they hope will be their happily ever after romance.

And since our room is just a few feet away from the door they always keep open (trust me, the scent of 6 or 8 guys crammed into that miniscule space necessitates an open door policy!), Phil and I get to hear some fascinating conversations.

This is no lousy locker room boasting. Their conversations are laced with Scripture they’re memorizing and hopes they have for bringing the Kingdom of God into their world.

Really great stuff.

But it’s the girl talk that intrigues me. And so I’m going to clue you in on the snippets I hear over and over again from that crammed in space, and what I think you really ought to know…

They think you’re beautiful.


It’s the first thing they say after they’ve met you or talked even a few minutes with you. They don’t notice your make-up or lack of it, your new hairstyle, or even your size.

If you’re nice and your eyes dance when they talk and you give them just a bit of encouragement- you’re beautiful.

They do not share Hollywood’s narrow definition of beauty. In fact, I am sometimes flabbergasted at who they think is beautiful and who they aren’t attracted to at all.

Which gives rise to the next point…

You need to be your own version of beautiful.

The great make-up magnate, Bobbi Brown, lamented that the women she works with look in the mirror and see only their flaws. Instead, she advises that women enhance their best features and simply ignore everything else. I think that’s wise advice.

God is a artist and he created beauty in you. Go ahead and enhance away! But please, please, please stop concentrating on what you don’t like about yourself. It will only make you self-conscious and awkward… and crabby and defensive too!

These guys see your beauty at first glance. They’re intrigued and intimidated by that beauty.

Since beauty is so very important to men, why in the world would you not try to look your best?

Some women really don’t like men’s focus on beauty. They expect men to “just love them as they are”. And there’s truth there of course, but I think we need to banish the lie that what we look like doesn’t matter.

These godly, fighting-hard-to-be-pure men delight in a woman’s beauty.

In his best-selling book entitled, His Needs, Her Needs, Willard Harley share years of research to conclude that one of the top needs of a man is “an attractive spouse”—which is clinical-eze for “a beautiful wife”. He spends an entire chapter talking about  a man’s deep desire to spend the rest of his life with a woman he finds lovely to look at.

If you’re starting to steam at me right now, please go back and reread #3… your own version of beauty…

When a man entrusts his life-dominating sexual needs to a woman for life, he is taking a great risk. They really think you must be driven by the same needs they are. It comes as a bit of a shock to men that women don’t daydream 24/7 about sex.

And it hurts them to the core when girls/women/media moguls make light of their battle to reign their desires in. This dominates their lives!

Its time women joined in respectful acknowledgement that men are driven hard by a physical and emotional need for sex.  As Christian women, don’t you think we ought to be in awe of their attempts at purity?

Will you commit yourself now to handling your future husband’s need with great care and commitment?

Stop flaunting your body to men.

There, I’ve said it.

We all know what we’re doing when we wear things too tight with too much skin exposed. Women crave the attention they’re sure to get when they use their bodies to entice a man.

Being beautiful and even alluring does not require immodesty.

Let’s give these guys a break! They’re fighting an uphill battle to reign in all that male testosterone. The enemy is shaming them constantly by their vulnerability to sexual temptation- don’t you be a part of Satan’s schemes!

I am praying for you, dear daughters of my heart, as your sort this all out. I am asking the Father to help you discover your own beauty. I am asking Him to shed light on all those lies you’ve swallowed for far too long. And I’m thanking Him that He knows your hearts… and finds all beauty there.

From my heart,


EtcIntentional Parents