How To Feel Beautiful In Marriage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

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In November, I will be married for five years. That’s not long, but in that time my husband and I have had two beautiful children, we own our own home, we are happy. In spite of that, I often find myself struggling with something many single women struggle with- the need to feel attractive (both to my husband and to others)! How can I feel beautiful in marriage? This is not unusual, research has found that the deepest question of a woman’s heart is: “Am I beautiful?”. This is a question that will haunt her for the rest of her life… that is, if she does not seek God for the answer to this heart-question.

Therefore, I have been seeking God, and he has given three different facets of the answer to this question, the first of which I will share here.

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Ecclesiastes 3 

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 

2  a time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
3  a time to kill, and a time to heal; 
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
5  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
6  a time to seek, and a time to lose; 
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
7  a time to tear, and a time to sew; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8  a time to love, and a time to hate; 
a time for war, and a time for peace. 

9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

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Chasing Beauty in Marriage

So, how can I feel beautiful in marriage (and before marriage, for that matter)! God makes everything beautiful in its time. How should this impact the way I see beauty? Though this poem is familiar, if you read verse 9 carefully, it changes the entire meaning of the poem. The poem ultimately is saying not that there is a time for each thing, but that time is arbitrary, randomly allowing either war or peace, death or life.

When the writer asks, “What gain has the worker from his toil?” he shows that though there is a time for everything, this timing can seem arbitrary to the onlooker. It is this random giving and taking of beauty that leaves me questioning. After all, there is a season during which all of us are beautiful.

The same can be said for physical beauty. After all, Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiasties, also wrote Proverbs, where it says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain”. This vanity that King Lemuel’s mother speaks of is the same vanity that the Preacher is trying to express in this chapter. In verse 9 the Preacher asks, “[In light of the arbitrary hand of time,] what gain has the worker from his toil?” A woman could ask, “If my deepest vulnerability is a fear of being unattractive, why has God made my physical beauty so fleeting?”

Where Can I Find Beauty in Marriage?

God answers this question with a simple statement: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Not that there is a time for physical beauty versus some other time; but, instead, because “he has put eternity into man’s heart” God can take our momentary ups and downs, our days of physical beauty and our days of imperfection and weave them into an “imperishable beauty that is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4). He is making us truly beautiful by renewing our spirits and changing us from the inside out. I can feel beautiful in marriage, and this beauty is eternal.

Related Article: Beauty That Comes From Within

For More From Sarah Herrero on Power in Marriage, Check out our Live Bible Study:

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