Tip #38: Wives, find ways to keep his mental Instagram full of images of you.
Have you ever been out with your hubby on a pretty day, sitting at a park or strolling through an outdoor mall, when suddenly you see his eyes widen as the hot woman in the tight yoga pants saunters by, and you watch him try to wrench his head away and stare resolutely in the opposite direction? It seems like no matter how hard a man tries, these sexualized images are in his face all day long.
In today’s world of media, you don’t have to look very far to see just how in-your-face those images are. Pictures of beautiful women with their necklines down to there grace our magazine covers, TV commercials and social media outlets. Clothing trends like short-shorts and spaghetti-strap tops don’t exactly help. No wonder many men describe this culture as “difficult” for a guy who wants to honor his wife and honor God in his thought life.
Now, if you’re aghast at the idea that such a thing would be difficult – if you think a godly man wouldn’t struggle with this– let me briefly explain what is really going on in his head.
In my research for my book For Women Only I realized that the brain structure of nearly every man is wired in a way that creates an instinctive pull to visually consume the image of an attractive woman. The temptation is automatic; the question is what a man does about the temptation. And this is where many husbands will try very hard, all day long, to fight the challenges of this culture, and look away, look down, think about their wife and try to keep their thought lives pure. They may not always be perfect, but many honorable men truly try. Read in this article what my husband Jeff has to say about visual temptation.
That means that a faithful man loves having images of his wife that he can call to mind. It is like having a mental Instagram that he can pull up and scroll through whenever he needs it. So when the woman saunters by in the tight yoga pants and flashes all her assets, he can look away and instead think about that intimate image that he has of his wife from last night.
So instead of freaking out about how God wired the male brain – and concluding that the only answer is to permanently blindfold your man in public! – remember that God created men’s visual nature to be a good thing. To bond a husband to his wife. To create a visual delight that is good, and godly, and emotionally fills him up in much the same way that you as a woman are filled up and delighted when you have a deep conversation with your man. In other words: Fill your husband’s “mental Instagram” with pictures of you. Create moments and images for his mind to fix on that are of you, his wife, the woman that he loves.
Your husband has a desire to honor you. I have been told by countless husbands how much they appreciated having intimate visual memories of their own wives that they could think about to replace the other images that tried to bombard them every day.
You may be shy when it comes to making yourself visually open to your husband, even by something as simple as leaving a muted light on in the bedroom. It may be scary to do at first, but as you move in that direction, I think you’ll see how much your husband delights in you!
So go ahead! Push past the self-consciousness. Realize that you are the woman your husband wants to picture in his mind. You may come to realize that you actually enjoy filling his thoughts, and your husband will enjoy it right along with you!
Join us next Monday for the next installment in our Marriage Monday series!
Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join me as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things that make a big difference in creating great marriages and relationships. Today’s post is one of a series on the surprising truths that men and women tend not to know about each other–and which change everything once we do.
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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.