When You’re Just Not Beautiful Enough to Keep His Attention

This post is adapted from a very personal prayer I wrote in my journal some time back. I think you’ll be able to relate! Just by way of a disclaimer: this post is not written for guys. It’s important that men speak into other men’s lives about being faithful to the women in their lives in their glances (and mostly their second glances!), their thoughts, and their actions.

How I need You, Abba.

I don’t normally think about things like this, but I don’t have toned thighs, and suddenly I’m aware that he would probably like that.

I think it all started when I asked him how he’s most often tempted and what he does about it. He told me he wasn’t too keen on sharing details, but he said the standard things you hear guys struggle with are true, beginning with idolizing outer beauty.

That was hard to hear. He’s not immune to the struggles of men. And with that admission entered a flood of insecurities. (Wait, they were already there, weren’t they?)

Here’s another guy who won’t find me beautiful enough.

I’m not enough.

But then . . .

No woman is enough to capture the gaze of one man for every second of her short stay on earth. Because no man, apart from Jesus Christ, is 100% faithful. And no man is immune to all beauty but mine.

I think the root issue is actually mine: wanting a created man to validate me and tell me I’m “enough,” when only Christ is enough . . . for me and for him.

Yes, I want to “cultivate my garden” for my future hubby to enjoy, but I don’t want to chain him to a leash and insist he never leave my garden without a blindfold and a seeing eye dog.

So I wonder . . . Will You be enough for me, God, when I am not enough for my man? Because if not, doesn’t that prove that I am not living as if Your love, approval, and delight is enough for me?

And didn’t You love me—freely, lavishly—when I was captivated by others’ beauty? Didn’t You love me without insisting that I keep my eyes on You or else Your love would be withdrawn?

So help me pray for my man and forgive my man’s occasional wandering gaze and not expect him to be more than a man. Because that’s Your job, re-forming him ’til he’s just like You.

Only You can do this, God, ’cause You know me. I’m the woman who naturally keeps track of every glance and suspects ill motive behind each one. But You don’t keep track of my sins. You’ve removed them as far as the east is from the west.

Thank You for exposing the idolatry in my heart. I think the root issue is actually mine: wanting a created man to validate me and tell me I’m “enough,” when only Christ is enough . . . for me and for him.

How about you? Do you expect your future boyfriend/husband to never ever so much as even look at another woman? How do you think you’ll react if and when he does notice another beautiful woman?

I pray we’ll be women secure enough in God’s love that instead of seeking to “imprison” our men and keep them from noticing any other beautiful woman, that instead we help do battle with our men through love, prayer, and confidence in Christ.

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York. You can catch all her writing on PaulaWrites.com.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Davina

    Hey Paula,

    what you are describing was exactly what I experienced during engagement and the beginning of our marriage (since last year). I think you’re absolutely right and that it is idolatry, if we want our (future) husbands to be all about us. I mean, I think it’s important to marry a man who is committed to being faithful and doesn’t take it easy if his eyes wander and every girl/woman who is interested in a guy should observe how the guy is treating other women and looking at them. But as soon as you are in a relationship and you know, your man wants to obey god, then it’s absolutely lethal to always follow his glances and think about who he might look after, because you have to trust him and god, who will sanctify him. If you don’t let go of this habit, you will wreck your relationship and begin to compare the beauty god gave to other women with yours and this will always leave you being discontent and ungrateful. Instead be thankful that this man you love wants to be with you (after all he chose you, not another woman) and pray for him that he can resist the temptations he WILL face in our world and if he falls then we have a loving heavenly bridegroom we can look upon and thank, because he was, is and will be 100% faithful and who forgave us, when our eyes wandered, oh, so many times.

    • phendricks

      Thanks so much for sharing, Davina! Praying that you’ll continue to grow as a woman who doesn’t fear anything that’s frightening.

      • annie

        I hate this post. Its ridiculous. If my husband is godly, which he is, I do not expect my husband to look at other women. If he is, he is being stupid. Everyone says that men are more visual than women, blah blah blah. I very much disagree. He says he is not even tempted to. And dont tell me he’s lying either, because he wouldnt lie about something like that! He is too conscientious. I hate men, and especially people who make it easier for them to cheat by writing and speaking about stuff like this.

  • Brooklyn Mikinzie

    This post is so helpful and I can really relate! Sometimes I feel like Im not good enough for boys. What a great reminder that Im more than “good enough” to God, Im HIS creation and He loves me more than any man ever will.

    • phendricks

      Amazing truth, that in Christ we are treasured by the Father! He will never, ever be unfaithful to us, even when are hearts are cold toward Him.

  • Taryn

    I think that this post is totally true. I don’t expect my future boyfriend/husband to be 100% faithful to me and me alone anymore I realized that I was hoping for something that could never happen and this post made me realize that. Thank you so much for sharing this with us especially your prayer.

    • phendricks

      You bet, Taryn! As we release some of our expectations for the men in our life, may our expectations for God only continue to grow, ’cause He can meet and far-exceed them all! “If we are faithless, He remains faithful!” (2 Tim. 2:13).

  • Amber

    This was a great post! Sometimes I feel like I’m not pretty enough to keep the attention of they guys I want it too. When I feel that way I try my hardest to show them my true inner beauty…this post reminded me of that. Thank you, I really needed this!! I am a little in a quandry so please pray for me…thanks Paula!!

    • phendricks

      Let me know if I can help with your quandry, Amber. Praying now.

  • Joy

    Hi Paula! 🙂
    I was wondering (I dont know if you have already written something on this) if you could write a post about ‘Praying for your future husband’?
    This post has really gotten me thinking about it@

    Thank you so much for this post it was very helpful to know that we want our future botfriend/husbands not to look at other women and to only think of us that way but we did exactly the same thing to God!
    This was reallly AMAZING I have never thought of it that way! Thanks again! 🙂

    • phendricks

      Dear Joy,

      Always grateful for writing suggestions! Someone wrote about it on our sister site. Would you let me know if this is what you’re looking for . . . or not so much? http://www.truewoman.com/?id=1503

      Thanks!

      paula

      • Joy

        That post wasn’t really what I was looking for. It was more from the perspective of a college student anxiously waiting for a husband… I was kind of looking more for ‘a girl who is wanting the right man for her and wants to pray for him and to pray that she wont jump at the first guy who looks at her because she thinks he’s the one.’

        Does that make sense?

        • red

          Hey Joy,

          Sorry to jump I just wanted to say I used the 30 day challenge as a single college student. I prayed for whoever God wad desire me to be with. As I prayed for my future husbanf, God started changing my expectations and made me have a godlier standard. The Lord answered my prayer with a man that Loves Christ and cares for me.

          • Joy

            Thanks Red for that!:)
            That helps a lot!:)
            I will try that out:)

        • phendricks

          Hey, Joy, I just wrote the post for you. 🙂 It should be on the blog in December, I think.

  • Paula,
    Such a beautiful, vulnerable post–and right on, as always! Thank you for sharing your heart and pointing us toward truth!

    • phendricks

      Thanks, Jessie!

  • Cate

    Thank you so much for this simple reminder. I often forget that God is the only one who can satisfy my needs; even when I don’t feel that he’s enough. He is absolutely enough for us, no matter what the world tries to tell us.

    • phendricks

      Thanks for commenting, Cate!

  • Jessica

    I just some how stumbled across this post and couldn’t help but read into it because it’s the very thing I have been dealing with for a few weeks now. As I was pouring my heart out to God this morning on my way to work I asked him if it was me the reason I was feeling the way I was.. And it amazes me how he speaks to us through the mouth of others. Thank you for your openess and transparency. It truly helped me.

    • phendricks

      Wow, Jessica, that’s awesome! Thank You, Lord.

  • Lis Simpson

    This is extremely freeing. Not that we shouldn’t shoot for God’s best, but how many relationship I’ve had failed bc I was expecting him to put me in the seat of God. I’m not perfect I notice other ppl all the time. But it comes down to commitment, do I want to preserve what we have. Something else always will appear ‘better’ and might even Look better. But where’s your heart do u want to obey God or not. I will not be his everything. So a little grace is in order.

    • phendricks

      “I will not be his everything.” Amen, Lis!

  • Lis Simpson

    There ARE other women God can use. I am not all that. So the idea that he could never see someone as better than me well it comes down to God. Did He PUT yawl together or not. No man is gonna leave a ‘sure’ thing for a ‘maybe’. That’s why it says a man who commits adultery ‘lacks judgement’ the only way is if he’s unhappy for whatever reason even then it’s really a man who isn’t wise who cheats. Even if he looks MY job as a wife is to pray for him, help him stay on the straight and narrow if I see him falling into temptation..not to be all worried about what I lack. Is she better than me.

  • AnnieJo

    in 2011, my husband confessed his unfaithfulness to me. This issue of glances is really a sensitive subject for me. I struggle with my weight and at 37, my hair is going grey. I can’t wear contact lenses everyday anymore and I’m often confined to wearing glasses. Since I found out he was unfaithful, every time I look in the mirror, all I see is ugly. I don’t know how to let it go. I’ve asked the Lord for help, but the hurt is so deep and always there.

    • phendricks

      I am so, so sorry for your pain, AnnieJo. If you’ll contact Info@ReviveOurHearts.com, one of our biblical correspondents would love to connect with and encourage you.

    • phendricks

      I am so, so sorry for your pain, AnnieJo. If you’ll contact Info@ReviveOurHearts.com, one of our biblical correspondents would love to connect with and encourage you.

  • Tudysem

    I too am going through a situation where, as far as I was concerned, we were doing better then ever in our marriage, but my husband got snared by another women who showered him with compliments. I too am tempted to think that I am not enough, but it’s true, I never will be. It hurts to realize that he loves someone else, but then God is my husband, my refuge, my strong tower, and under his wings I will take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by. I am practically learning to find my significance in God and nothing else. I pray, God would use this situation for his glory.

    • phendricks

      Praying for you, Tudysem! If you’d like to connect with one of our biblical correspondents for encouragement, email Info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

    • phendricks

      Praying for you, Tudysem! If you’d like to connect with one of our biblical correspondents for encouragement, email Info@ReviveOurHearts.com.

  • Connie

    Great post. I’ve been married to my husband for seven years. And we have been very open from the beginning. My husband and I discuss things that are very hard to talk about, but it’s better to talk about the struggles than to think that men don’t go through it. I know how my husband struggles with temptation to look, and he tells me that the way to avoid it is to not place himself in those situations. Such as not watching R movies, or even pg-13 are bad. Avoid being alone with with other women. And he tells me these things because I told him that even though it’s hard to hear it, it’s better to discuss it with him and keep him accountable.
    The best thing to do with your husband or boyfriend is to discuss the hard stuff. It with make your relationship stronger and you will be able to pray for him in a way that you have never have before. Men will always be tempted to look at other women, and it’s okay. It’s when they don’t flea from that temptation that it is wrong. We are to cover them in prayer daily.

    • phendricks

      So grateful you’re able to talk about the tough stuff and fight with and for him, Connie. Thank You, Lord!

    • phendricks

      So grateful you’re able to talk about the tough stuff and fight with and for him, Connie. Thank You, Lord!

  • Chelsea

    Ooh…this way of thinking is dangerous. What even is this article? You are equating the fault of your man’s unfaithfulness to yourselves? Though having Christ at the center has it’s place, it does NOT belong anywhere near the topic of infidelity. In Ephesians 5, it says “Husband love your wives as Christ loves the church.” Christ expects the love of our men to equate to His love for the church. Infidelity is solely the sin of the one unfaithful. Whether it be glances, flirting, or straight up adultery, that is a sin that the person committing it has to deal with. It hurts the other person whether that are walking hand in hand with Christ or not. If a man or a woman can’t commit, they don’t belong in a committed relationship. Period. Until they are able to fully give of their heart, mind, and body to the other person like Christ sacrificed for us, they need to get themselves straightened out. It is clearly laid out in Scripture.
    Proverbs 5:20
    And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
    Matthew 5:28
    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    You should never blame yourself for your partner’s sin. Ever. “

    • phendricks

      Dear Chelsea,

      You’re absolutely right that we’re all responsible for our own sin. I don’t know if you caught my disclaimer at the top: “This post is not written for guys. It’s important that men speak into other men’s lives about being faithful to the women in their lives in their glances (and mostly their second glances!), their thoughts, and their actions.”

      This post was written for single girls who (unrealistically) expect their boyfriends to never even so much as NOTICE that another girl is beautiful. It has nothing to do with infidelity–that is sin, plain and simple.

      I hope that clears things up a bit for you,

      paula

  • kay

    lol that bio though… 🙂

  • emmalee

    you are so right paula
    >at first, i was slightly wanting to forget about marriage forever because how guys are prone to wonder, BUT then, hope flowed in again because CHrist will come into my love story…… i realized that my foundation is within HIM, not just my future husband…. so when my husband leans toward a temptation, its my job and God’s job to put him upright again, and stand together with God…..wow, that is just TOO amazing…. a GOd actually wanting to be a part of my love life, and deal with my problems SO personally…i cant think of any other gods that can do that…
    >> this reminded me of another thing::: ONE God truly shows what POWER really means.

  • Stephanie

    Yes. Yes. yes! I get SO insecure when my husband and I are watching a movie and there is a beautiful woman, or when we are in public and I see a lady that I “think” my husband might think is attractive…it becomes all-consuming! I know that my eyes are prone to look as well- not often, but it happens. I’m so thankful for this post to remind me of truth, and to show me a new way to pray!

  • Renae

    That sounds awful. I dont feel beautiful enough to even GET a boyfriend/husband ever. Its not a positive way to look at it, but…. any advice?

    • phendricks

      Dear Renae,

      I understand how you feel. In high school, I went on an all-out beauty pursuit in order to get a guy. It didn’t work, and it only left me feeling more insecure.

      Physical beauty isn’t your ticket to love (although I used to think it was). God offers a beauty that lasts long after wrinkles and sagging skin and a bulging waistline. As You begin to gaze on His beauty rather than grasping for your own, you will become more and more beautiful. Not with the world’s fleeting understanding of beauty, but with a beauty that can’t be stripped from you.

      And then, when you find a man who finds God beautiful, he will likely find you beautiful as well, because he will value what God values.

      Pursue God, the most beautiful One. You won’t be disappointed!

      paula

  • Bookworm1

    Just read this (sorry, I’m appalling at keeping up with blogs…) and I think that no, we can’t stop our guys from looking at women – I guess it only becomes a problem if they KEEP looking, and it’s being a big temptation to them… then maybe something needs to be done to help them? But thinking about it, if I had a boyfriend I would also myself have to be careful not to do the same with other guys – not to stare or drink in their figure, as such ! (even if that sounds awful – I’m sorry!!) But you get what I mean? I don’t think it’s just them that have issues… it’s us too.

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  • sharon

    I thank you for this article. This made me feel so much better. Only God is perfect and we cant expect our men to be perfect. We cant really change him, God changes. I have been on blogs for weeks, and this is the first one thats had a true biblical view. Thank you!

  • Marie

    This is nice and all, but there are many, many women who aren’t considered “beautiful” enough to even be worth bothering with or getting to know. At least you have someone who thinks you’re worth time and effort. The simple fact of the matter is that if a woman isn’t extraordinarily beautiful, she won’t even be given a mere chance. Not even a second thought. Christian men would rather just embrace singleness and celibacy than “stoop” to settling for a less-than-stunning woman.

  • Lila Green

    I’ll never be beautiful no matter how long and hard I try.

    • Sarah, with Revive Our Hearts

      Oh, yes, Lila…you ARE beautiful. God created you just like He wanted you…”and He doesn’t make junk” my friend used to say. Take time to read through Psalm 139 and realize again… God loves you and you are beautiful to Him. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” (Ps. 139:13-18)