A dream marriage is the kind of marriage where both the husband and wife are concerned about meeting each other’s needs. The man sacrifices to meet his wife’s need for security and meaningful communication. The wife sacrifices to meet his need for honor and respect.
Both are generous toward each other. That’s foundational to a healthy, loving relationship.
One of the places where this is most necessary is in the bedroom, where many marital conflicts (spoken and unspoken) tend to develop. The conflict arises because men and women are very different in how they become sexually aroused.
Women are non-visual. Their sexual excitement ramps up gradually by romance, soft touching and atmosphere. On the other hand, men are very visual. They get sexually excited must faster, mostly through sight and touch.
That’s the reason men are drawn to pornography. Though it is sinful and damaging to a man and a marriage, it illustrates the visual nature of a man’s sexual appetite. Much of the lingerie industry and almost all the pornography industry owe their success to the visual appetite of males.
This leads to a big problem for women: comparison.
According to one report, more than 90 percent of fashion models suffer from low self-esteem. They compare themselves to their peers. They feel they aren’t attractive. They know how much photo-retouching takes place to make them even more “beautiful” in magazines.
Comparison is unhealthy—among models and among regular women, too. Why? Because it is self-rejection. It’s an indirect accusation of God, blaming him for having made something defective or imperfect.
And while many women have a comparison problem with their clothes on, it can be even worse when the clothes come off. Women have a strong, natural sense of physical modesty. It’s God’s way of protecting women and society at large.
Combine that with the fact that few women are happy with their bodies, and you have problems in the bedroom. When comparison and modesty are taken into the marriage bed, it can be damaging.
What’s the answer? Well, it’s easier for me to give than it is for women to practice: relax. Refuse to be intimidated and belittled by a perverted world that wants all women to fit a deceitful stereotype of perfection.
Be yourself. Accept the way God made you. Look the best you can for your husband in the bedroom and out of the bedroom, because he needs you to look your best.
And husbands? You’re not off the hook. If it’s important for your wife to look good for you, then it’s just as important that you look good for her.
Don’t forget: A dream marriage is made of two people being generous and acting sacrificially toward each other. A husband needs to be understanding of his wife’s insecurities. But sometimes modesty and comparison are the things a woman needs to sacrifice for the sake of her marriage.