Do you want to change your negative body image? Have you ever noticed that it is creating distance from sexual intimacy with your husband? I never saw the connection until it began to change. Today I will share some aha moments and practical ways to improve body image and sex with faith in marriage!
Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
Do you want to change your Negative Body Image?
I can’t remember a time I didn’t hate some part of my body. My arms are jiggly, my boobs are too big, my thighs are too big to look nice in skinny jeans… on and on that list could go. Can you relate?
Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The earliest memories I have of body image come with tears as the voice of my father echoes in my head. “No one will ever love you if you stay fat.” “Men don’t marry fat women.”
On and on it went as he wove weight loss tips in and exercise strategies into his speeches.
Do you have a negative voice in your head putting you down about your body image?
If you can imagine that little girl – completely fed up with sit-ups and grapefruit juice – openly rebelling against the idea that love depended on my body size. I fell in love with the comfort of ice cream and potato chips… and 30 years later I am struggling to change.
As an adult, I accepted that I would always be overweight, but I wasn’t happy about it. You would be hard-pressed to find a photo of me (after high school) that is full shot and alone. But hey, that was just going to be my life…
Negative Body Image creates distance from sexual intimacy with your husband.Negative Body Image creates distance from sexual intimacy with your husband. Click To Tweet
After pregnancy, there was more weight. With ever chunk of 5 or 10 lbs, I noticed I was hiding more. There are no pictures with me in them at all and I cringe if someone catches me in a photo alone.
Something else happened after we had kids. Hubby was complaining that there was not much sex either.
Now, I rationalized the lack of sex. Let’s see if I am the only one:
- Kids are exhausting!
- I am always tired.
- Kids are loud!
- I genuinely have a headache most days.
- The work is never done and that is stressful. When I’m stressed I don’t think about sex.
- The more responsibilities there are, the more stressed I get.
- Car Payments
- Mortgage Payments
- Starting an online business and ministry
- Endless cleaning
No wonder I’m not thinking about sexual intimacy anymore!
But it gets worse, Hubby pointed out that I don’t really let him see my body anymore.
It actually goes beyond sex or sexual intimacy – I don’t want anyone to look at me… especially naked.
But my husband wants to see me naked.
I hadn’t noticed that I was ashamed of letting my husband even see my body.
How ashamed you might ask? I dash from the shower to the room, shut the door when I am dressing so he won’t notice, keep the lights off when we do have sex…
But the truth about Marriage is this:
I am the only Sexual Anything my husband is allowed without sin.
By hiding and blocking him I am denying a real need in his life. (Read more about that here – The Uncomfortable Truth about Sex in a Christian Marriage)
But I didn’t know how to change my body image, let go of the shame or get myself in the mood for sex.
For years I’ve tried all the self-talk and positive thinking, but none of it ever lasted or changed how I felt about my body. But I stumbled upon the answer this year when I began taking charge of my health.
Honestly, countless diets and programs have entered this house and failed. I was not sure that Faithful Finish Lines would be any different but it was just what I needed at just the right time! And the piece that made the real change was Faith! Faith added to health has changed everything.
What small changes helped improve my body image and by default reboot sexual intimacy in our Christian Marriage?
- I chose One Bible Verse each week.
- Did you know God has a lot to say about our Body?
- Check out What The Bible Says About Body Image at Worth Beyond Rubies spot
- These are the 4 Bible Verses about Body Image that I loved most!
- That helped me begin slowly replacing My Negative Body Image with what God says about my body.
- I began reading the 7 Week Faithful Finish. It is a Self-Paced. I read a chapter a week until I got through it all.
- I thought I could do it alone – just working through the workbook. If you are a self-starter this could work for you but honestly, I needed accountability!
- I chose One Bible Verse each week.
- I began to step on a scale each week
- Then I began to record the number
- I stopped eating after 6 PM
- The verses I found in January were put on cards to help me remember them
- I began reading labels to see what was in the things I ate.
- Each week I tried to add a new veggie into my meals
- This month I began to walk 3 days each week adding 5 minutes to my last walk
- I joined the Premium Support Group for Faithful Finish Lines
- This was a big step
- It meant letting others know I needed help but I needed support, Coaching and accountability to make lasting changes.
- MyFitnessPal was the tool I used to log everything I ate
- This is a discipline that was so hard to commit to!
- I began walking 5 days each week training to walk a 5K
- Yes! I was going to walk a 5K at over 100 lbs overweight!
- MyFitnessPal was the tool I used to log everything I ate
- The verses from January helped me avoid discouragement.
- I began adding a salad in midday to increase veggie intake.
- The Premium support group was scary but I forced myself to interact there and be engaged.
- I walked a 5K!
- Gluten-Free was tried and Wow that helped me feel so much better
- (Inflammation is huge with an Autoimmune Disease and Gluten causes extra inflammation)
- I was committed to engage and participate in the Premium Support Group.
- Weighing in and telling the group what was there good or bad.
- I began lowering my calorie count by 100 calories a week.
- More Protein
- More Veggies
- Gluten-Free Grains
- Walking Every Day at least 30 minutes
- Celebrating success!
- Looking back at the weigh-in sheet from the whole year (23lbs down and counting).
- Noticing that I feel better when I walk!
- Realizing that I was showing hubby my body and we were having more sex
- Committing to stick with the changes
- Giving myself Grace
- Allowing party days and celebration days to enjoy unhealthy things
It took months of pouring God’s word in before I noticed the change in Body Image and SexIt took months of pouring God's word in before I noticed the change in Body Image and Sex Click To Tweet
Faith and God’s Word are the pieces that were missing in all the things I’d tried before to reverse my Negative Body Images. It was an unexpected result of joining Faithful Finish Lines!
Why did Faith help change my Negative Body Image?
- God made this body and loves me no matter what I look like.
- The idea that no one could love me if I am fat is a lie from the enemy!
- Only God’s word is powerful enough to reverse the long-term effects of believing the lies of the enemy!
Now that I am believing what God says about me and my body I am also able to believe my husband when he says I am beautiful or sexy and he wants to see, touch and experience all that God designed for our Christian Marriage sexually without shame!
Do you want to make a change that will last about your Body image? I highly recommend you check out Faithful Finish Lines!
Right now there is an amazing Free 5-Day Faith and Fitness Challenge that would give you a glimpse into what you can learn and how you can grow in this program!
Check it out!
Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children. Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.
If you enjoyed this you would also like these Posts:
10 thoughts to “Sex, Body Image, and Faith in a Christian Marriage”
Confidence is the sexiest thing for a woman in the bedroom, so you’re right that if we think of ourselves as beautiful in God’s eyes, we can be more confident with our husbands.
so true Susan!
So glad you identified the problem and found a solution, Tiffany.
LOL, so glad God pointed out the problem and worked on it behind the scenes because I was clueless! 😉
Really good article about a much needed topic. Negative self-talk is so damaging. It has hurt my body image too. I can relate to many of the points you make….all too well. I love the slow, step by step progression. Much different then the worldly quick fix 30days to success that never works!
Right! There is no quick fix… but it can be changed step by slow step!
This is the most practical and grace filled guide I’ve seen on Pinterest so far. Thanks for your honesty about sex and body image in your life. Although it was a teaching post, your candidness about your journey had me in tears. I can relate on so many levels. Thanks so much. xo
So glad it blessed you!
Love this post! It’s so true! Our fathers think they are helping when they fixate on trying to fix our weight but it tends to backfire if they aren’t careful. And FFL is amazing. Kind, encouraging, but firm that you can, and should make changes. Your monthly breakdown is so helpful! (may I suggest that you proof read your August section, there’s a couple of typos, I believe.)
Thanks, Aryn I will! lol spelling and grammar are like Kryptonite to me… even Grammarly scratches it’s head sometimes while I write!
Comments are closed.