This post is part of a series on marital intimacy and the things that get in its way. First I discussed my spaghetti brain. Today I’m talking about insecurity.
The other part to this problem is much trickier and harder to fix. But with honesty from the wife and gentleness and understanding from the husband, it can be done. It may take years, but it can be conquered! Insecurities might be staring us in the face or maybe they are hidden so deep within that they have become our natural way of thinking. Only God is capable of healing your feelings of unworthiness, doubt and fears. But dear friend, He is so willing if you will let Him!! Beth Moore’s book “So Long Insecurity” is an excellent book to help you in this process. I have learned that all women struggle with insecurity to some degree. Here are a couple of mine:
Being a mom of four, a major insecurity that I have had to overcome is the changes in my body that have come with each kid. As I have gotten older and had more kids, I have become less and less confident in my ability to turn my husband on with my looks. Now, my husband will say this is one of the biggest lies I could believe and nothing has changed his feelings for me. But it is a lie that I have a hard time shaking. It hinders my ability to feel beautiful and therefore keeps me from going all in.
For me it was hard to wear certain outfits or to do a little dance for my husband because it made me feel dirty and like I belonged on the Vegas Strip. It took me a long time before I grasped the concept that within a marriage you are free to do anything (that is safe) that is pleasing to the other person. The act isn’t dirty or sinful when it is in its proper setting. It can be beautiful and full of love when used properly.
I know there are other insecurities that I have and maybe you have but instead of making a big long list, I will turn our focus on how to work through and release these insecurities. Here are some steps that I have found to be helpful.
First, spend time with God ask Him to help you overcome the known insecurities. Ask Him to heal those that need healing and to change your mind set on those that need changing.
Second, it is so important to know who you are in Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has a plan and a purpose for you. He loves you! Even with all your imperfections He delights in you!
Third, God made marriage to represent His relationship with us. He wants us to delight, adore and cherish each other. No one is perfect but there is something wonderful that can occur in the marriage union.
Fourth, be honest with God. Ask Him to show you your hidden insecurities and like I said earlier, allow Him to heal you or change your mind set so that you can leave them behind.
Fifth, be honest with your husband. Allow him into this intimate part of your life. If he knows where you struggle, he can be praying for you. He can also be more sensitive in this area of your life.
Last, you not only need to be honest about your insecurities, it is also important to tell your husband how you can overcome them. They might not choose the best route otherwise. Going back to my insecurity about how my body looks, I was able to tell Nate about this one too. I did however fail to give him ideas on how to help me. After a few weeks, I started to notice an overflow of compliments about my looks coming from him. It wasn’t just a few here and there – it seemed like he took every opportunity that he could to notice and verbalize his excitement. Now, to a normal person this might be wonderful, but to me who was still believing lies it made my physical faults more glaring in my mind. I couldn’t help but think “See, physical appearance is so important to him, and I don’t measure up!” It made me incorrectly assume that it was all about looks to Nate and made me more aware of my ever growing inability to keep it all together. After a while I did bring it up to Nate and asked him to make fewer comments about my appearance. He was very surprised and felt bad that his good intentions were actually causing harm instead of healing. I was then able to verbalize my need for recognition for all the things I do…not only when I look nice, but also when I cook a good meal, or do a fun activity with the kids, or serve a neighbor. I needed him to verbalize all of his feelings for me and not just the compliments related to my appearance. He quickly adjusted and now I am feeling much more loved, appreciated and willing to open up intimately with the man I know loves everything about me.
Finding our true security as women in God’s kingdom is a process. If you open yourself up to God’s healing and are honest with your husband, both relationships have the opportunity to grow. You’ll never be the same.