Embracing Imperfections & Deepening Connections in Marriage



What if we told you that you have the power to redefine beauty and truly appreciate your spouse’s appearance, imperfections and all?

Join us in this eye-opening episode as we uncover powerful insights on how to retrain our minds, heavily influenced by media and pornography, to recognize and delight in our partner’s beauty, even as they age or change.

Together, we’ll challenge society’s expectations of beauty and aim to cultivate a healthier, more loving perspective of our relationships.

Discover the concept of body mapping in marriage, where we can learn to view our spouse’s body as a map of their life, finding beauty in wrinkles, gray hair, and other “imperfections.”

We’ll discuss the importance of self-giving love in relationships and share practical tips for embracing a deep and meaningful connection with your partner by focusing on the good and beauty within them.

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Learn to see your partner as the whole, beautiful human being God sees them as, and move towards a more fulfilling, loving relationship.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What We Discuss:

  • 00:04 – How to deal with imperfections in your spouse?
  • 01:55 – The idealized models of the 50s.
  • 03:16 – Training your brain to find beauty in your spouse.
  • 05:27 – What we find in imperfections in our spouses.
  • 07:04 – How to delight in your spouse’s imperfections.
  • 09:03 – View your spouse’s body as a map.
  • 10:27 – The deeper beauty of wrinkles and wrinkles.
  • 12:08- Seeing a person as a map of who they are.
Transcription: Embracing Imperfections & Deepening Connections in Marriage

Josh: Hey everybody, welcome back. Today we’re going to talk about how do you deal with imperfections in your spouse, especially in how your spouse looks. Now, i’m not asking I’m not addressing this because of any knowledge of my part My wife is perfect and beautiful. No, nobody’s spouse is perfect. All the time Is beautiful or good looking all the time. It just doesn’t work that way. 

Josh: That’s one of the reasons that many of us who have wrestled pornography struggle in our actual marriages because we’re so used to kind of an idealized or perfect, kind of photo-shopped version of beauty or of attractiveness or good looks that when we’re with a real human being, it can be difficult to find ourselves drawn to them. I want to talk about that in this podcast because, whether you’re married or single and hope to be married one day, if we’ve looked at pornography, if we’ve fantasized, if we engage in unwanted sexual behavior for a long enough period, then we’ve actually trained ourselves to find a certain body type or certain kinds of activities or certain kinds of people, attractive, and when we’re trying to live in a healthy, flourishing, vibrant, real relationship with a husband or wife, or future husband and wife or wife, then what we’ve done in the past can get in the way. I’ve talked to so many people who feel discouraged, disappointed in how their real spouse looks, and they recognize that part of the reason they’re disappointed is because they’ve looked at thousands of images of women in media, or men in media, or men or women in porn. So what do you do if that’s the case for you? How can you have a healthy, romantic, emotional, relational, physical relationship with your husband or wife when you’ve kind of got all these other images in your brain? Well, the first thing we need to recognize is that the images we have in our brain are perfect quote unquote or ideal quote unquote because we’ve been conditioned that way. 

Josh: Case in point look back at idealized models. Who are the women or men who are models back in the 50s And what did they look like? You can see that their body types were different than models today, same with the 70s. So in the 50s, the typical models like Marilyn Monroe I mean she, she I don’t know if she’d be considered an attractive person in the 2000s because she was a little bit heavier than than models were in the 2000s or 2010s or 20s. In the 70s, twiggy the model Twiggy was was kind of the ideal very thin, very slight, hardly you know. I mean almost a boyish figure. And then that began to change again and again. Look at it. Look, for another thing you might want to do is look up Superman the black and white, the Superman who played Superman in black, or the guy who played Superman in the black and white version television show of Superman in the 1950s or 60s very different body type than people who play superheroes today. You wouldn’t find a guy with that body type playing a superhero today. 

Josh: We’ve been conditioned folks. Now, what’s why do I bring that up? Not to say that we’ve gotten better and better and people are more attractive today, but we’ve conditioned ourselves to find certain body types attracted. And if and if we’ve conditioned ourselves, it means there’s an element of our ability to train or retrain our brain to find certain body types, or in this case, your husband or your wife. You can retrain your brain to find their body, to find their who they are, to be attractive to you, to be beautiful or handsome to you. This is why in Proverbs, the father writes to his son. He says delight yourself in the wife of your youth, let her breasts satisfy you always. Now notice he doesn’t say delight yourself in your wife while she’s young, because eventually she’ll get old and her body will change and you won’t find her attractive anymore. He goes on to say let her breasts satisfy you always. It’s a command delight yourself in the wife of your youth and let her breasts satisfy you always. This means this is something that is absolutely in your control. We like to think that you know, there’s that perfect type out there and we can’t help but be drawn to them, and that’s just not the case. We actually can train our brains, condition ourselves to find our spouses beautiful. 

Josh: And not talking about deceiving ourselves. I’m talking about noticing beauty that we would otherwise not notice because we’re distracted by the glitz and glamour of images that are put in front of us. We don’t need to be prey to the images that Hollywood or the porn industry or anybody else puts in front of us and says this is attractive, you got to find this attractive. We can actually delight ourselves in the husband or wife who God has given us. And if you’re dating somebody, you can practice delighting yourself, finding the beauty in the person that you’re dating. 

Josh: I remember when I was dating my wife, i was talking to my therapist at the time about just this tension. I said you know what she’s beautiful to me, but I also recognize that I’ve spent a lot of time looking at porn. So what’s going to happen if I don’t find her sexually attractive at some point? And my therapist encouraged me in just this way. He said look for what is beautiful in her. You’ll find it if you look for it And you know what. He was absolutely right. 

Josh: So in the rest of this podcast and the remaining five minutes we’ve got, i want to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned to do that have been really helpful for me, and I want to coach you on how to do them too. And I wanted to focus in on this word, perfection, or actually the word imperfection. So let’s think about what we find in the imperfections quote unquote imperfections in our spouses, our husbands or our wives, because are they imperfections or are they something different? First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect person, and so everybody’s got quote unquote imperfections. What are they and what do they actually mean? and might we find beauty in our spouses, what our culture would say are imperfections in our spouse? I think we will. 

Josh: So first of all, we have to start with this that sex, by God’s design and our marriages are meant to be primarily our focus, is meant to be self-giving. It’s not about how good can you make me feel? That’s what the world tries to do by putting up the glamorized pictures in front of us. This person makes you feel really good, this porn makes you feel really good. But real love, a real relationship, is meant to be self-giving. We have to start there. I guess we started with. Our brains have been conditioned. That’s part of how they’ve been conditioned. Is this kind of person’s attractive and they’ll make you feel good? We have to start with. We can recondition our brains and our hearts. Secondly, we move into the reality that love, that our love, is meant to be self-giving and that’s meant to be our primary focus. From there now we can look at the imperfections in our spouse and look for what’s actually really good and beautiful there. Let me just mention a few. 

Josh: What if you find that your spouse is beautiful when they’re younger, but they start getting older and their body begins to change? How do you delight yourself and the changes in your spouse? What if your spouse, your wife, was pregnant and her body has never been the same after giving birth to one or two or three or more kids? What do you do then? I know there are way too many husbands out there who either leave their spouse, have an affair at that point, or pressure their spouse to try to look good again. Quote unquote look good again. Wrong path, guys. That’s not self-giving love. That’s trying to make your spouse automatically please you instead of you doing the work of like. How can I delight myself in the wife of my youth? 

Josh: Next, maybe your wife had a C-section and so she’s got a scar right on her belly. What do you do with that? Next? what about wrinkles? What about when a husband’s body begins to wrinkle and droop in some places it didn’t before? What if your wife’s body begins to droop, her breasts begin to sag in ways they didn’t before? What about gaining weight? Your husband or wife has gained weight. What do you do then? I mean, that’s legitimate. They can do something about that, right? Well, sure, maybe they can. What about your spouse’s hair? I’m losing my hair. What when your husband begins to lose his hair, or your wife’s hair begins to turn gray, or your husband’s wife begins to turn gray, or hair begins to turn gray? 

Josh: What do you do with those kinds of imperfections? I guess a lot of those are aging or time. They have time spans to them, but sometimes it’s just somebody that you’re dating or you’re newly married spouse and you recognize that there are ways that his or her body doesn’t match the glamorized body of men and women in Hollywood. What do you do then? Well, here’s one thing I’ve learned to do and I want to encourage you View the imperfections. View all of your spouse’s body, all of your spouse’s body, not as imperfection or perfection. Don’t measure it that way, but instead view their body as a map. Their body is a map. 

Josh: I think it was John Paul II who wrote that. I’m not sure if it’s original to him, maybe it’s not, but in any case, i learned this from Christopher West that our body is actually a physical manifestation of our soul. Our body is meant by God’s design to be a physical manifestation of our soul. And so what can you read in your spouse’s body about the journey that they’ve lived? So I mentioned, for example, a C-section scar. My wife has had two C-sections. The first was an emergency C-section, but you know what That scar on her is a map. It’s a physical representation of her giving her body for my kids, for our kids. She risked her life. She gave her body for our kids. The same might be true for your spouse. If your wife, if her body’s changed after pregnancy or after breastfeeding, these aren’t signs of her body now not being perfect or her body being less perfect than it was. These are signs of her giving her body in love for the children that she’s born for you. 

Josh: Isn’t that a beautiful way to think about that? Look for the beauty in this. It’s not that kind of surface, cosmetic level beauty. It’s a deeper beauty. It’s a part of the life that she has shared with you or that he has shared with you. What about wrinkles? Same thing Wrinkles, gray hair all these are signs of a journey that this person has taken. You can see the wrinkles on his or her face as this journey that she or he has taken with you. Some people will notice gray hair emerging after stressful seasons. This is not an imperfection. It’s a sign of the labor of living in a fallen world. There’s beauty in that. If this person has been journeying with you, then you can see these as signs, as a map to this journey that they’ve been on with you. It’s not imperfection. You can delight in the wife or husband of your youth. In this way, you can even see how they’re not the way they were when they were younger. 

Josh: What about weight? Weight is a big thing in our culture. There’s talk about weight everywhere. Physical fitness is often not even referred to as something just about being healthy. It’s all about how you look. Let’s talk about weight for a minute. Maybe your husband or your wife struggles with their weight. Maybe they eat because they’re nervous. Maybe they eat because they’re trying to stuff pain. Well, can you see that part of them as a map, teaching you something about their heart, about their soul? Maybe they do overeat. Maybe there’s a physical condition that they have that it’s harder for them to lose weight. Whatever it is, this is a map. It tells you something more about who they are. 

Josh: My friends Linda Noble and Linda Stewart in their book Before the Sex Talk. One of them writes about how they recognize their kids didn’t see their body as a certain type of shape, as perfect or imperfect. Their kids just saw their body as mom, just mom. They didn’t differentiate. They didn’t say, well, my mom, this is my mom and this is her body. They instead just saw this body, this is mom, and I’ll bet you you can remember that about your mom or your dad or your grandma or your grandpa. You didn’t see their body and start analyzing it and judging it as good or bad. You just saw it. This is just grandma, this is just grandpa, this is mom and this is dad. 

Josh: Well, that’s a beautiful expression of just seeing a person’s body as a map. This is just a part of who they are. Can you see them and recognize? this is my beloved, this is the wife of my youth, the husband of my youth. Maybe you’ve married later in life. Well, this is the husband of your old age or the wife of your old age. 

Josh: Can you see them as a whole human being and see their body, including their quote unquote imperfections, not as imperfections anymore, but a map telling you something about who they are, this person that you love, and contrast that with these idealized strangers that you might otherwise be drawn to and instead choose to delight yourself in the wife or husband of your youth or your old age? 

Josh: Lord, would you give us eyes to see the man or woman you see when you look at our spouse, when you look at our significant other that we might come to love, nor not based on just surface level, cosmetic, idealized images that the Hollywood puts before us, but rather to see what you see, body and soul that we might love deeply and see deeply. We pray for the good of our loved ones, we pray for our good, we pray for your glory And Jesus name Amen.

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1 comment

  • Kudos to ‘Miss Fran Jansan’ for her eye-opening journey toward a stronger partnership! Her story vividly demonstrates the power of self-awareness and the impact of small changes on relationships. Let’s all take a page from her book and embrace a more positive and uplifting approach, creating thriving bonds built on respect and understanding. Truly inspiring and impactful!

By Josh Glaser

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