Appearance as an Act of Service

Welcome  As I continue to read books and blog posts about Christian marriage, there is a topic that comes up again and again that makes me cringe on a good day, or gets me full-on hostile other days! It’s a “simple” act of service for my husband that I seem to neglect, finding every excuse under the sun.  What is this simple act of service that I am struggling with and why does it seem so hard and can I fix it?

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Food For Thought  My struggle is with my appearance.  Plain and simple.  I have a pretty low self-esteem in this area, anyway, but I don’t help matters any, using a “vanity is wrong” self-righteous attitude.  Basically, I don’t want to put in any effort into my appearance.  I’m just not the primpin’ type.  And honestly, I’m a little bit lazy in this area, too.  Sometimes, an act of service to my husband would be just to shave my legs!  Please tell me I’m not alone here!

When I read books like Becoming the Woman of His Dreams (Sharon Jaynes; Harvest House; 2005) or His Needs, Her Needs (Willard Harley Jr; Revell Publishers; 1986), I see that men desire an attractive spouse.  While reading some articles, it comes to my attention that putting effort into my appearance is actually an act of service for my husband.  It is intended that I put my husband’s needs above my own (Eph. 5:22) and if he “needs” an attractive wife, then I should be doing my part by serving him in this way.

Now, there is no doubt that there are women out there thinking, “Are you kidding me?  I’m doing good to take care of the kids and the house and make it to work.  Now she says he ‘needs’ me to put more effort into my appearance!”  I get it, believe me.

I get it from his point of view, too, though.  I love my husband so much!  When we’re together, in those intimate moments, I find myself often thinking, wow, I wish I looked better for him.  I think about all of his best traits, both physical and character, and believe he deserves to have an attractive spouse.  Well, at the very least, he deserves a wife that puts more effort into her appearance.  I can at least do that–effort!

Ladies, I’m not talking about losing fifty pounds.  I’m not talking about spending money on expensive clothes or make-up.  I’m not talking about scheduling a spa day.  I’m not talking about never letting him see the imperfections that make us real and lovable.  I am simply talking about trying, the simple effort of a swipe of lipstick and a comb through the hair.  And the simplest accessory you can add to improve your appearance?  A smile.  I know for a fact that my husband would like to see me smile more and it would improvement my overall appearance for him.

Since I work from home, it would be very easy for me to spend my days in yoga pants and have my hair in a messy bun.  After all, who else sees me most days, besides my husband and daughter?  But, I know for a fact that I look better when I put on some make-up and I know he likes when I wear jeans and tops that aren’t t-shirts.  He notices when I take care of my nails and paint my toes and finger tips.  A little perfume is a small step that says, hey, I’m feminine and pretty, just for you.

Now, I know there are some women out there who LOVE to put on make-up, even if they’re just cleaning the house.  They will wear a full coordinating outfit with accessories, even if it’s just to drive through the car rider line or pick up a few things at the supermarket.  This “act of service” might be easier for them.  But even if gettin’ spiffy is part of the daily routine, think about it from the “act of service” mindset.  What perfume does my husband like?  What top or dress does he compliment me on?  Is there a certain hairstyle he prefers?  And don’t forget about the silky or lacey underthings.  I find my husband to be particularly appreciative of these gestures (as most men are!)

appearance tips for marriage
If this is not an area you need to work on in your marriage, way to go! If you find that appearance gets pushed to the back burner a lot, check out these simple tips as an act of service for your husband.

 

I am not saying your husband should be dictating your appearance or criticizing your physical flaws.  In fact, I hope you have a husband like mine who says I look beautiful no matter what I wear.  But let’s be real…men are visual creatures.  So let it be our next act of service for our husbands to go the extra mile in our appearance, just for them, this week.  I am challenging myself to put on a little make-up, fix my hair, and wear “non-frumpy” clothes this week to honor and respect my husband with my appearance.

Today’s Scripture  It’s not only our husbands we honor by taking care of our bodies and physical health.  Scripture reminds us that we should also glorify God with our bodies.  While vanity and emphasis on appearance are not righteous acts, we are created in God’s image.  I would like to be a little more respectful of that image.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body.”


Today’s Recipe  Clothes, make-up, and manicures aren’t the only things we can do to work on our appearance for our husbands.  We also take care of our bodies and health through our food and exercise choices.  This recipe is a healthier take on the classic chicken broccoli rice casserole.  I sacrifice the rice to lower the carb count, which helps my husband’s diabetes, as well.  We get a nice texture in the dish by adding slivered almonds.  Everything comes together in one pot to make this a fast and easy dinner option.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Dinner
This is a low carb take on the classic chicken and broccoli rice bake. No rice, but extra texture comes from the slivered almonds.

 

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Skillet (serves 4-6)

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 TBS poultry seasoning
  • 2-3 whole bay leaves
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

 

Place chicken in large stock pot.  Add poultry seasoning and bay leaves.  Add enough cold water to the pot to cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer chicken for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast pieces.  Remove chicken from the liquid and place on a cutting board.  Remove the bay leaves and discard.  In same pot, boil the broccoli until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Chop the chicken into bite size pieces.  Drain the broccoli and add the chicken to the pan.  Add the almonds, cheddar, and cream cheese to the pot.  Stir until all of the cheese has melted and the broccoli and chicken are mixed well.