I don’t wear makeup and my husband doesn’t care.
After all, we met at a college Bible study where I was broken before the Lord, tears streaming and heart full of repentance. I was stripped bare, and that is how he first saw me.
If you came here for a debate about wearing makeup vs. not wearing makeup, I’m sorry to disappoint you, this post isn’t about that.
Rather, I am going to talk about the beauty that each woman carries when she is stripped bare – no makeup or other enhancements to hide her soul.
You know the kind.
Why I Don’t Wear Makeup
At age 40, I am not a makeup wearing kind of gal. Sure, I tried wearing it to a few occasions like Senior Prom, occasional date nights with my husband, and when he returned from his first (of 5) year-long combat tours in the middle East. Key word: Tried. But the thing is, every time I wear makeup I cannot concentrate on anything but the stuff on my face. It just feels “off” to me. And it doesn’t help that I always also do something to make it look as if I painted mascara in an odd line-like pattern on my cheek. And I am pretty sure it wasn’t intended to be worn there.
I’m definitely not against makeup. I think it is a beautiful and fun enhancement to add to the natural beauty of a woman. But it makes me sad to see how many women don’t feel “whole” without their makeup on. But I’ve soon realized that we’ve all worn makeup at one time or another. And it is always to give the appearance that something is different than it really appears.
And so it is with our soul.
Many of us began wearing “makeup” at such a young age we didn’t even realize it was there. We covered up our blemishes so that no one would know how we really feel in an attempt to make us appear much stronger than we actually are. And I don’t think this is all bad. But I do believe that if it is done without recognition of our deeply-rooted soul-issues, then it is never good. I say this because without understanding why we do what we do, we are not in a place to make healthy decisions for our lives. And such is certainly true with our marriage covenant.
And this leads into what I am here to talk about today: the importance of being bare in your marriage.
Being Laid Bare
Growing up I didn’t have a good example of what marriage was meant to be. If anything, I learned what marriage was not supposed to be. Thankfully this “knowledge” protected me from some pretty (would’ve been) bad situations through high school and college. But it also caused me to build a wall of self-inflicted protection to make sure that no one ever hurt me. Ever. And so my first layer of “makeup” was applied.
I cannot count how many times I used the phrase, I don’t care. I’m quite certain the count would be well over 1,000 but likely much higher than that. The sad part? I did care. And I have always cared. God put a heart of compassion for His people inside of me that was hidden deep down behind several layers of “makeup”. This plastering of makeup made me look as if I was not wounded to most I met along the way.
But not Jesus.
He sees all.
He sees bare.
And He sees beauty, deep.
And so it was, I was walking around with a face full of makeup, hurting badly on the inside. I was lying to myself and those around me. It took something to shock me to the core with a love so deep I could no longer hide that made me realize He sees me.
And so it was. Once I met Jesus I decided to take off the makeup and bare all so my healing could manifest. And although being vulnerable was scary, I now see in hindsight that all those years ago, God was preparing me for my marriage covenant.
Being Bare in Your Marriage
I learned in my time alone with Jesus the two years prior to marriage that not only was He faithful to perform His Word, but the verse in Isaiah 61:3:
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
I watched God fill my inner pain with His glorious joy and peace. I experienced the swift hand of His never-ending mercy as I did my very best to put Him at the very forefront of my life. And it was all by His sovereignty and perfect knowing that He was preparing me for the day I married the love of my life.
Being bare – as real as it gets – in your marriage is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your relationship and honor God. I’ve found that being bare has given Michael and I an intimacy that could not be cultivated any other way.
I’ve watched as God took the ugliness in my heart as I bared all and turned it around for His good. I’ve seen countless victories and growth through the struggle and pain of being bare. I’ve seen real miracles in my marriage simply because I’ve trusted God to continue to bare my soul to Him. And as a result, I’ve trusted my husband as God has instructed.
I’ve developed more wounds along the way, war-scars if you will. But I don’t try and cover them up any more. I just can’t. I walk around without my makeup and allow those who meet me to see who I am – if they are willing to look – scars and all.
And it’s beautiful.
All of it.
If you have been holding back in your marriage, I encourage you to show your husband the true beauty of you who you really are, always. Even if that means you feel vulnerable. A real man will appreciate his bride laying down her bare soul and giving him entrance into her heart. I am praying for you as I know it isn’t easy. But I am confident that if you lay it all before the Lord, He will show you the way.