October 13, 2020
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I just think all the emphasis on body image is so sick. But there's plenty of it. It's no wonder so many American women are unhappy with their looks. They're comparing themselves to these magazine pictures of these flawless models. Of course, that woman doesn't really exist. She's the creation of hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe specialists, special lighting and hundreds of continuous-frame photos, from which one good one is selected and then airbrushed to remove all the imperfections. Nobody looks good compared to that mythical icon - including the real girl in the picture! But with our obsession with a certain kind of beauty, the word "makeover" has become more and more popular. In the past, there have been TV shows where they were totally devoted to transforming a woman thought of as "average" into someone much more stylish. Then they'll take them backstage, and the hair, makeup, and wardrobe magicians work on them. And then with the split screen showing her "before," out steps this glamorous "new woman" with her makeover!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Makeover for the Woman You Love."
There are husbands who, according to the Bible, have been doing makeovers for a long time, because they have, by the way they have loved sacrificially, helped a woman become more beautiful from the inside out. Let me say this before we get started, we guys have more work to do than I think the girls do. We'll do other programs where we talk about how desperately a man needs what only a woman can do to help him become what he needs to become. Boy, I can say that was true of my wife.
But we're not talking about changing makeup and hairstyle and clothing. That's the easy kind of makeover; it's totally superficial. But the Bible makes it clear that a husband can contribute to an internal makeover in the woman he loves; a makeover that actually God wants to do in his life, but maybe use this guy to help it happen. The true beautifying of a woman doesn't come through makeup or wardrobe. It comes through the love of God, and it can be expressed through the self-sacrificing love of a husband.
That's the makeover miracle God describes in our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 5, beginning with verse 25. He says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Instinctively, a guy wants to be the center of everything. But with Christ in his life, it's supposed to be different. He has the potential to be something so much better - to love like Jesus loved. Jesus set aside all self-interest, all self-protection, and all self-seeking for us. He forgot about Himself, thought only of us, and sacrificed everything in the love that took Him to the cross. Guys, that's what God expects of us.
The high calling of a husband is to let the woman he loves taste that kind of love through his love as, several times a day, he sets aside what he needs for what she needs, what matters to him for what matters to her. Love, Jesus-style, is not a four-letter word. It's a nine-letter word: sacrifice.
Listen to the result of Christ loving us that way and ultimately of a man loving a woman that way. "Christ gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies."
The selfless love of a husband can, over time, help a woman feel safe enough to work on her weaknesses, to pour out her soul, and in so doing, to cleanse her soul. God's love through a loving husband can set her free from fears and scars of the past that she's carried for so long. His praise can restore a sense of worth that was stolen from her. His listening can offload what weighs her down.
His attentiveness can free her to trust him with her needs and to respond to him without reservation. It's a beautiful thing. You can tell a woman who's being loved selflessly like this. She glows. She's radiant. She's being loved as God intended, and by just being what God intended for him to be, a husband has contributed to her glowing beauty. And it starts with the man.
Our wife, in so many ways, is a mirror of the way we love her and we don't love her. God has always planned marriage to be a powerful makeover tool for both. Not because you're trying to change the person you love, but because you love them so much that something beautiful just happens.