The Sexiest Thing You Can Wear This Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day

On Valentine’s Day, perhaps millions of men will get to see their wives wearing something they’ve never worn before and the husbands will be thrilled. Not too many men can pull off the same effect. I’ve never seen anything marketed to men in this regard that doesn’t seem cheesy and that doesn’t make me want to laugh out loud.

But there’s something very spiritual that both men and women can wear that is other-worldly beautiful and ultimately will create the most satisfying Valentine’s Day night you could imagine.

But let me set it up first.

A couple months ago, my dentist said I needed to see an oral surgeon and get a tooth removed. An infection under a previous root canal had returned. “I think the tooth is cracked underneath and the infection just won’t go away. It could erupt at any time when you’re on one of your speaking trips.”

Having a tooth pulled when you’re an adult feels like someone is trying to wrench your jaw from your body. If someone had woken me up out of bed, strapped me to a chair, and yanked that tooth out of me, I would have screamed, fought back, called the police, and insisted that that monster be put in jail.

Instead, I paid an oral surgeon about a thousand dollars to do that to me.

Why?

I knew I had an infection. I could see the dark spot on the x-rays. When I saw the infection I was willing to endure the discomfort necessary to remove it.

The same is true of sin. When we don’t realize we have an infection and someone tries to “treat” us, we can become angry and resentful. If I think I’m perfect and my wife even gently suggests I wasn’t at my best with a group of friends (or with her, alone) I’m going to challenge her correction. I’ll act as if she’s doing something out of malice instead of loving me as a faithful sister in Christ.  

It’s only when I realize I have a spiritual infection that I’m willing to be treated.

The spiritual word for this piece of clothing is humility and it’s a twice-repeated biblical command: “Clothe yourselves with humility…” (Col. 3:12 and 1 Peter 5:5)

You want to immediately lose twenty pounds and a lot of stink? When you’re in conflict with your spouse, let your first thought be, “Am I responding with humility?”

As a pastor, I’ve heard many couples work through past hurt. Men, you know what never works, what never helps, what never heals? When our wives mention something we’ve done that was just atrocious and we respond with a dismissive, “So I’m not perfect.”

What that statement does in a cleverly cruel and evil way is to make our wives’ objections to our sin (and their corresponding hurt) the problem. Instead of a humble, “I’m so sorry. I know that hurt you so deeply. Of course you’re angry” we offer an arrogant turnaround accusation: “What’s the matter with you? Are you expecting me to be perfect?”

I’m telling you flat-out: defending yourself with a “So I’m not perfect” line hasn’t solved a single marital conflict in the history of the world. It hasn’t made a single spouse look more beautiful or attractive to the offended party. It hasn’t convinced anyone that your sin doesn’t matter, and it compounds the problem rather than heals it.

Humility will travel around the world a dozen times before that one sentence moves you half an inch closer to your spouse.  

On the other hand, I often read books and articles that tell wives something very true: their confidence to be physically naked in front of their husbands and unashamed of their bodies is about the most attractive thing a woman can give to her husband. But there’s a spiritual attractiveness to humility that goes like this. If your husband mentions one thing that is a legitimate spiritual failing, responding with “So I’m just a terrible, horrible, awful wife. The worst wife in the world. I suck at being a wife” is an arrogant deflection. You can admit and address one legitimate concern. If you are the worst wife in the world there’s nothing you can do, so you can dismiss what your husband said. The problem isn’t that you have something to repent of and work on; the problem is that your husband doesn’t think you’re perfect.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  You Have a Strong Marriage, When You're Doing This Together.

Be willing to be spiritually naked as well as physically naked on Valentine’s Day. If your husband turns the light on (again, spiritually speaking), don’t jump under the covers and say, “If you can’t love everything about me you don’t get to see me at all.”

Now, having said all this, I don’t recommend any man reading this turn the “spiritual light” on his wife on Valentine’s Day, at least, not if he wants to see what his wife may have purchased for this special evening.

If you bring everything but humility to a marriage you will eventually have a miserable marriage that won’t ever improve. If you don’t believe there’s an infection, you’ll never allow a cure so things can’t get better.

You can have six pack abs, ten million dollars in the bank, the culinary skills of a master chef, and the faces of Adonis and Aphrodite, but if you don’t clothe yourself with humility, you’re not only ugly to your spouse, you’re a bit ugly to your God. Three times the Bible tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). Can you think of any other verse repeated verbatim three times, encompassing both the Old and New Testaments?

If you’re thinking someone else (i.e., your spouse) needs to read this blog post, you’ve just missed the point of this blog post. Every one of us has an infection. Every one of us has sin seeping into our attitudes and actions. If we close our eyes to these infections we can’t be cured because we don’t think we need to be cured.

The thing is, we don’t have to close our eyes to our stink because in Jesus we have provision for our stink: “For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” When I know a cure is certain, it’s foolish to refuse the treatment. If Jesus will forgive me and my wife is willing to forgive me, why can’t I just face up to it and move on? Why do I resent the cure for my sin more than I resent the way my sin is hurting my wife? Do I want her to be silent while she suffers in peace? Really?

I think back to that old time chorus, “holiness, holiness, is what I long for; holiness is what I need…” and I sometimes replace it with “humility, humility is what I long for; humility is what I need…”

Don’t get me wrong. I want appreciation, praise, and attention, all of which (ironically enough) can work against humility. I need humility though I often hate the confrontation and censure that leads to it. My natural man thus fights against what I need most every day. I lust for the opposite of what God says I should value. Most of us do.

If we want to be more beautiful to our spouse on Valentine’s Day and beyond, we will clothe ourselves with humility.

If we want to be more beautiful to our spouse on Valentine’s Day and beyond, we will clothe ourselves with humility.

If you want to read more about humility, my book Thirsting for God has six chapters on humility (it looks at how the Christian classics extol this attitude) and The Glorious Pursuit has two (from the perspective of practicing the virtues).