There’s an attention-grabbing headline! Of course, “skinny” isn’t really optimal, and whatever can be said for wives can be said for husbands, too. Let’s see what Ginny Hartley says.

After the birth of our third child, I was clinging onto extra weight far longer than I did after my first two pregnancies.

My husband definitely noticed my more ample features, and while he didn’t seem to mind one bit, my insecurity about my postpartum body quickly started to get in the way of our love life.

As someone who had spent most of her life being defined by athleticism, I was at a total loss when I realized I was no longer the lean girl my husband fell in love with.

When I married my husband, I was barely out of my teenage years and a rail-thin 102 lbs. I couldn’t fathom a day would come when I would gain considerable weight or have trouble staying fit. Fast forward seven years and three kids, and it’s a whole different story.

That once effortlessly skinny physique is now a thing of the past. But so what if I have to work for it? I’m willing to put in the extra effort to stay fit for the sake of my marriage.

I think there are two important and related concepts here: health and attractiveness.

First, we have a responsibility to God, ourselves, and our family to be as healthy as possible.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Being fit is an essential component of being physically healthy, but health is more than just fitness. Mental, spiritual, and social health are as important as physical health, and we should pursue them all — just like Jesus did as he grew up.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Those four elements of health are fodder for a post of their own someday.

Second, we have a responsibility to our spouse to be as attractive as possible. Fortunately, attractiveness tends to follow health — if you focus on health, you get attractiveness almost for free! (It’s still worthwhile to put some energy into your wardrobe, of course.)

Health and attractiveness get more difficult to maintain as we get older, for both men and women — but women feel more pressure for cultural and biological reasons. Having babies is really difficult, and most men don’t work at jobs that are as physically demanding as pregnancy and childbirth are.

And so, as with all things in life, we need to do our best and trust God. I really like what Mrs. Hartley says here:

We want to raise our kids to respect their bodies and physical health. I have to practice what I preach. I need to workout for my mental health. I need to stay physically fit to keep up with the demands of raising three kids.

I need to maintain my weight so I feel confident in my body — not because I’m vain, but because I want to be the best version of myself.

God, your spouse, and your family deserve the best version of you! Being the best you takes intention, effort, time, and energy. It isn’t easy.

What do you do to be your best you, physically or otherwise? Leave a comment!