My Personal Standard Of Beauty

Well. It’s Valentine’s Day. I figured this would be as good a chance as any to share something I’ve been thinking about lately…one of my favorite things about the way God has designed marriage.


Impossible Because It’s Fake

It all started when I watched a short Youtube video about how media and advertising have been affecting our culture’s general standard of beauty (the impossibly flawless list of ideals that our society deems as most important to being judged “beautiful”). It sharply reveals (with specific examples) that in fact, many of the images of beautiful people we see on television and magazine racks are not only the work of professional make-up artists, but also significantly doctored by Photoshop. One model even said something to the effect of “I wish I looked like me.”

So all of these airbrushed, fake images that our culture props up as the standard you have to live up to breed nothing but despair, even for the very people whose actual image is used. Because even they can’t live up to it. Much less those of us who are not professional models.

But this is not God’s design for beauty. He did not intend for beauty to be judged by ridiculous, impossible outward standards and for us to feel an insatiable lacking that will never be filled.


We’re It For Each Other

To help combat this, he created this thing called marriage. This thing where two people commit to each other til death do them part.

And just like the picture we get from Adam & Eve in the garden, the plan is that we’re it for each other. My wife is the only gal in the world for me and I’m the only man in the world for her–just like we were in a garden together without another human yet on the planet. Once we tied the knot on October 20th 2007, we literally became each other’s standard of beauty.


Sucks For You Tim Riggins…

Sure, there are other fish in the sea, but there is a massive problem with every one of them–none of them are Kristi Gilstrap Clements. Sure, I sometimes think other women are attractive. But you know what their glaring and insurmountable problem is? They don’t look like my wife! They are not my wife. And therefore they are forever inferior to her. Sucks to suck.

I have a personal standard of beauty, and it looks exactly like this:


(Sidenote: why did she pick me? No clue.)

So we can watch Friday Night Lights, and Kristi can say that Tim Riggins is a hunky stud-muffin (I mean, he is, right? Who wouldn’t say that?). But you know what Tim Riggins’ problem is? He doesn’t look like me. Even with his six-pack abs, his flowing hair, his irresistible dumb-Southern-boy accent and the way he says “cawwledge” (read: college). He may be taller than me, more muscular than me, and more charming than me. It doesn’t matter. You know why?

Because he’s not me–the man that Kristi happens to be married to.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Tim Riggins…


The Fantastic Implication

So I don’t have to mope around all insecure because I don’t look like Tim Riggins. And Kristi doesn’t have to do the same because she doesn’t look like whoever she might be tempted to compare herself to. Isn’t that fantastic? I can be me and she can be her and we can both be thrilled with that.

And the crazy thing about this whole setup is that it actually works. I mean it–it’s not just some unattainable religious ideal. The way God has designed marriage to work is constant companionship and presence. Daily reminders of each other–falling asleep and waking up, leaving for work and coming home, going out on the town and staying in your pajamas. Fallen human nature may make you think that such an environment would cause you to grow tired of your partner and want new or different, but I find that incredibly, the opposite is actually true–Kristi actually grows more and more beautiful over the years.

I’m not kidding. I’ve always been enamored with her, but there are days now when I’ll walk up on her getting ready and be genuinely stunned by her–struck at how gorgeous she is. She more and more so becomes my literal standard of beauty and others pale in comparison in a way that is just hopeless.

Because they don’t look anything like her. And they never will.

And that makes me very happy. I’ve got my own one-of-a-kind, personal beauty queen. And if you’re married, you do too.

That is a really, really cool thing. God must be a genius or something.


Happy Valentine’s Day to my personal beauty queen. I delight in you babe. 

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