What is the primal desire of every woman? For what, fundamentally, does she want to be cherished? There exist two places where we can discover the answer to this question: Sacred Scripture and the store. Scripture tells us: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loves the Church, and delivered himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, cleansing her in the bath of water, by means of the word, in order that He might present to himself the Church in all her glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.”
These words afford us several key insights into woman: first, woman is an image of the Church, that is, a holy bride. Second, she is called to be beautiful, glorious, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. Third, just as it is Christ’s mission to present His bride, the Church, to His Father, so also a husband is to do the same for his own wife. Scripture indicates that an aspect of God’s plan for woman is that she be beautiful, and this is the reason that she naturally longs to be cherished as such.
The second place that we can discover this intrinsic truth is in the stores. Commercial retail offers a nearly infinite array of cosmetic products, anti-aging creams, hair coloring products, nail polish, clothing, jewelry; and doctors offer plastic surgery, Botox injections, and liposuction. Though these can be disordered attempts to enhance a woman or “make” her beautiful, they all testify to the fact that women desire to be beautiful, and recognized as such.
Beauty is not only external, but primarily internal; and the external has been divinely created with the intention of expressing the internal beauty of the feminine soul. Beauty is far deeper than the flesh, and only a true man accomplishes what Christ obtains for His Church: he assists his wife in realizing her timeless spirit and true beauty that is expressed in and through her body.
Often, however, many women—including our wives—are deeply wounded, suffer from insecurity, feel criticized, objectified, and shamed by the world’s impossible standard of beauty. This unrealistic perfection causes a universal anguish in the feminine soul, a fundamental disquiet that daily taunts and haunts a woman, robbing her of the freedom to reveal her true self.
Perhaps a reason wives don’t believe they are beautiful is because we husbands are not convinced of their real beauty. The first step to awakening your wife to her Godgiven beauty is to be convinced of it yourself.