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Don’t Look Twice

By October 21, 20094 Comments

Eye's Looking As a single woman I formed a bad habit that has now followed me into marriage. I wish I’d dealt with it years ago, but it took being married to bring the habit to light. You see when I was single, I made a habit of checking out attractive men. The habit wasn’t so much an issue of lust as it was an issue of pride. I wanted to see if guys would notice me back. I wanted the attention. Since it never went any further than that, and I was single, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me at the time.

The problem is that habits die hard.

Now, whenever I’m at the grocery store or the mall and I see an attractive man, there’s a part of me that still wants him to notice me. It’s totally absurd because I’m not actually interested, nor does his opinion even matter. I have a hot man at home who notices me every day, and I am committed to him. My reason for wanting this attention has nothing to do with the state of my marriage or how well my husband cares for me. It’s simply become a matter of habit that I reinforced over years and years and years.

Now some of you might wonder, “What’s so bad about a) admiring an attractive person in a non-lustful way, or b) appreciating it when someone else admires you?” The problem is that both of these supposedly innocent acts are really just smoke screens for the seeds of sin.

Proverbs 17:24 tells us, “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” If my marriage is healthy but I’m forming a habit of looking elsewhere, checking out the goods and enjoying attention from other men, what do you think I’ll default to when my marriage goes through a season of hardship? I will have foolishly created a coping mechanism outside of my marriage, and that can have devastating consequences. A seemingly innocent habit can lay the foundation for any number of tragic mistakes.

That’s why I’m teaching myself a new habit: don’t look twice. We can’t help it if we notice an attractive person. God created beautiful things and that’s a fact, but it’s how we respond to those beautiful things that define us. My husband often talks about me being “his standard of beauty.” That is to say that instead of comparing me to other women and noticing the ways in which I don’t measure up to the culture’s standard of beauty, he sees me as THE standard. Lucky for me, that means I always measure up!

I think it’s healthy for women to do the same. While women don’t tend to be quite as visual as men, we’re still bombarded with images of men with rock hard abs who have all their hair on their head. More than a few of us struggle with comparing the men in our lives to these unrealistic standards, so we need to make sure our husbands become our own “standard of beauty” as well.

And lastly, to all the single gals out there I can’t say enough that who you are as a single woman is who you will be as a married woman. Habits and behaviors that seem permissible now will follow you into marriage, so figure out what is beneficial for you and stick to it. The lifestyle you are creating for yourself now has the potential to either strengthen or sabotage a marriage. I honestly believe that more marriages would succeed if people had learned to do singleness better. So no matter your stage in life, don’t look twice. There are attractive people in this world, but keep wisdom in view. It is a far better guide.


  • LDB says:

    This post reminds me of “the path principle.” It really gets me thinking about what habits I”m forming as a single woman. I’ll be honest…it’s hard being single and not having any attention from men. And so now my prayer is that God will help me be fully satisfied with the attention He lavishes on me. I’m a words of affirmation girl and so I always have to be diligent abt seeking affirmation in the wrong ways.

  • sherri says:

    My father largely ignored me over my life so my main source of male affirmation was from attention from other males. (Although this isn’t necessarily always the main motivating factor for girls.)
    Because my parents marriage failed I also had the idea that you wern’t going to get it from a husband anyway so take what you can get now (in a nice sort of ‘christian’ sense. (Because it might nake up the majority of what you have to sustain you for the rest of your life when you do get married.) It happens to enough women. (And in too many marriages.)

    God actually challenged me a couple of days ago on ‘forsaking all others’ regarding marriage and I had a re-think. Regardless of how my future (if any) husband treats me, I simply don’t have the right to admire other guys the way you’ve described. I like guys, but that doesn’t mean subcononciously seeking their attention to feel affirmed.

    So yeah. Right on the button for me as well. Thanks for posting.

    PS I still like watching male sports and male stuff (that’s appealing to a spectator) because we’re naturally attracted to the opposite sex, it’s healthy. But not in an unhealthy way.

  • sherri says:

    s’cuse typo’s : )

    PPS. I love maleness but rejection and abandonment from your primary source in a persons formative years can twist your world view.

    If men only knew how important respecting and loving a girls feminitiy and individuality were to their daughters as well as their wives. You don’t have to be a woman to love a woman for being a woman and vice versa. But then cherishing it is a step even further, and publicly, even further still. It builds a womans sense of self-worth. (The same as it does a mans.)

    I love the example you gave of your husband using you as his ideal of beauty. With both partners choosing to do that, I can imagine how much security it would add to a relationship. Thanks for the insight.

  • Meagan says:

    Don’t beat yourself up too hard over this habit — it will subside with time and discipline. =) I was so pissed at myself when I realized I was checking out guys after I got married! I thought “oh great, Meagan, some kind of Christian wife you are gonna be!” I thought something was really wrong with my morality. But, like you, I realized old habits die hard and other new wives encouraged me that they went through the same thing. My wise grandmother even said to me “honey, you’re married. You aren’t dead!” She was right! It’s natural to notice something or someone that is handsome or beautiful. So, after about the first year, the need for attention went away, the double-take habit subsided. And now, I can honestly testify that almost five years into my marriage, I’m totally more infatuated with my husband than ever, forsaking all others (their loss! haha)

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