I sat across the table from my husband with our third and youngest child strapped to my chest in a baby carrier. I didn’t even know he snapped the photo of me.
That evening I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw it. I had to do one of those hard blinks to see it clearly…and when I opened my eyes again, my heart dropped a little.
Should I login and delete the photo?
I could feel frustration swelling up in my heart and mind. Why would my husband share a photo of me online that was not a good picture of me? I look worn down. My eyelids drooping, the skin under my neck hanging, and my shirt pulling. The expression on my face did not match the types of expressions I capture when I take a selfie of me or even us together.
Why would he want other people to see this?
And then I looked down to read his caption…
“#Marriage is a gift from God. It is a gift that isn’t meant to be played with until it is broken. It is meant to be cared for and treated well and protected like an heirloom. It is the kind of gift that our Heavenly Father intended to be used to transform us and sanctify us. PS. I think God gave me a VERY good gift 😉 @unveiledwife I love you.
So my husband loves me and believes our marriage is a gift. What a beautiful and incredibly inspiring post…but the photo itself?
My husband then jumped into bed, not knowing what I was stirring about. I looked over at him and told him,
I saw it.”
“Saw what?” He asked.
The photo on Instagram.”
He responded quickly, “Did you delete it? I hope you didn’t, I love that photo I took of you.”
I sighed, because he knew already. “Babe, that was a terrible photo of me, I look haggard.”
I think you are beautiful and this is the real you. This is what I look at every day. And I love you. Besides, aren’t there blogs written by women asking their husbands to take more photos of their wives, especially with their children, so they have memories. I thought you would love this. Plus did you even read what I wrote?“
“Yes, and that’s the reason I didn’t delete it.” I told him.
He reassured me, “You are beautiful, Babe. And don’t delete that photo. It’s staying.”
Why do we only see ourselves as beautiful and worthy to be shared in front of the eyes of others when we are put together, in perfect lighting, with a perfect expression adorning our faces? Why are we so critical of our bodies maturing? Why are we so hard on ourselves?
Why do we want our husbands to capture the moments that mean everything to us, but only if he captures it perfectly? Only if he gets the right angle. Only if he documents the good parts. Only if he does it like we would do it.
This was a humble experience for me. And I am sharing about it to save you from disappointment or frustration if your husband takes a photo of you that may not be as perfect as you hope it would be. Or if he takes a photo without your knowing and your expression isn’t a happy one. Or if your wrinkles are prominent. Or if the background is a little messy.
My husband did this because he loves me.
And it was interesting to see the woman who he sees every day. The one that sits across the table from him, insecure at times, but full of love for him and their children. Tired or not, aging okay, a woman who fears the Lord and is also grateful for the gift of marriage.
This is the photo, and I’m working on embracing her. The more I look at her, the more I see what he sees.