Up until this year I never really felt qualified to talk, let alone write, about my opinion when it came to the topic of mens facial hair and specifically about how they choose to grow it out during the winter months to support and encourage awareness for mens health, otherwise known as Movember. There are two rather obvious main reasons for this:
1. I am not a man.
2. My man has never really went along with this trend.
So therefore, as I said above to state the obvious, I really didn’t feel as if my opinion would hold any depth. That since I really had never experienced what other women go through, who live with men that have facial hair, then I really could not know the issues or the so called struggles that they claim to have with the matter. Therefore how could I truly form a view point of being Pro-Movember without feeling as if I had no legitimate personal reasons or research to back up my claims. That is until now of course, since Matt decided to give Movember a go this year. With that being said I feel that I can now confidently state my thoughts on the subject having experienced what it’s like to live with a man that has a pretty substantial, and might I add great looking, beard!
My Top 4 Reasons Why I am Pro-Movember:
1. Because I am pro acceptance.
- The definition of the word acceptance is the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable. I think that if by no where and by no one else on this earth my husband should at least feel that he is adequate and suitable in my eyes as his wife, if not above that even. I want him to feel that he is enough. Because he is! The world is a harsh enough, judgmental place already, the last thing I want to do is bring more of that into my husbands life. Instead, I want to offer him solace. I want him to find peace in my presents, and I think that starts with him knowing he is not only accepted but favored, chosen, preferred even, however he is, with or without the beard, through all circumstances, in all walks of life by me. If I can’t accept something as simple as a change in his personal style and appearance then how am I ever going to show him he is accepted in the larger, much more meaningful ways? Which brings me to my next point…
2. Because I am pro self expression.
- It’s no secret. If you know me then you know this fact. Matt is my most favorite person on the entire face of this planet, period. But am I truly standing by those words if I don’t allow him to choose to express his self in a healthy fashion, completely independent from me? Before we got married I loved who my husband was, what drove him in life, what he was about. I loved his personality, what made him passionate. I loved his sense of personal style and self expression and since that day, almost three and a half years ago, when I took up his last name and vowed to him that I would stand by his side, with Christ as our foundation, through all circumstances my love for the man that he is and the man that he is becoming has only grown! Which brings me to my next point…
3. Because I am pro unconditional love.
- The love I have for Matt is not conditional. It is not based on what he does or does not do. Instead, it is rooted in the love that Jesus shows me and is teaching me how to love unconditionally through others everyday, especially my husband. True love is not founded on how a person looks, dresses or acts and therefore it can not be shaken by those things either. Because that’s the whole point of something being unconditional, is that it can’t be wavered or changed under any circumstance. Therefore, the love I have for Matt, and how often I express it through my affection for him, is not contingent on anything, especially something as vain and fleeting as what he looks like.
4. Because I believe that beauty, or handsomenss, is in the eye of the beholder.
- When we got married I made vows to my husband that I would love him no matter what life brings, in good times and in bad, through sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, till death do us part. Those words that I spoke to him tell of the changes that will inevitably take place over the span of a lifetime. That more then likely in this great adventure called life it will not always be sunshine and rainbows. That we won’t always be healthy, rich and having a good old time. It would be lovely but thats just not reality. No! Life is hard. Marriage is work. To accept someone and find them beautiful, or handsome, despite all their inward as well as outward flaws and imperfections, despite how they will change as they grow old, and likewise you will age with them, goes against human nature and calls us to do something divine that can only be accomplished with Christ. But when I look at Matt through the eyes of the one who created him, God, and loved him enough to make him His son through Jesus, I see how truly precious he is. I see how he was made perfectly just as he is now as well as how he will be later on. That not one hair, wrinkle or anything else is out of place because God designated it to be there just the way it is, and that includes his facial hair! In that moment I have a whole new refreshing wave of gratitude that washes over me. That God would be so good, and so loving to give me such a precious gift in having Matt as my husband, my best friend, my partner. Ladies, what a great treasure we have been given in our husbands, in our marriages!! Just as we like to say they married one of God’s princesses, one of His precious, pure daughters, well the same logic applies to our men. We married one of God’s princes, one of His priceless, noble sons, and are expected to be worthy of such an honor in our demeanor towards them! What a change of viewpoint!
5. Because I think the Golden Rule applies to all relationships, especially to marriage – Treat Your Spouse How You Want To Be Treated.
- Matt has given me the complete freedom to curl, dye, chop, straighten and virtually change my hairstyle in any way I would or could ever desire. Not once has he ever discouraged me or told me how awful I look. Instead he tells me how much he loves it and how he thinks I am the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on, on the inside as well as the outside. When your given that much grace and understanding it makes you want to give it back ten times fold. It breaks my heart to hear some of the ways women talk about their husbands when it comes to this matter in specific and how our society and general public completely back them up in doing so. We cry out that we are sick of double standards, but then turn around and expect the men in our lives to not only give consent and approve, but adore whatever we look like and however we choose to change up our look at whatever time we feel we want to. Then turn around and use cheap tactics such as threatening, name calling, and poking fun to discourage and force our men into doing whatever we feel looks best or prefer.
Why?!? We would have a fit if that was done to us! There would be personal protests, stand stills in our homes and riots in the streets if men ever treated us in such a way, but yet you don’t see our men being manipulative and using the same immature strategies to control us. No ma’am! Instead you see them unconditionally accepting and loving us no matter what new do we decided to try, and telling us it looks awesome and that we can rock it all the way at that! Lets give them the grace and freedom they rightly deserve in return because its not up to us to be their keepers, it’s up to us to be their main supporters, advocates and cheerleaders in this life.
I realize that my opinion is probably not very popular and that a lot of other ladies more then likely do not agree with me and probably don’t like that I am “bucking the system”, “going against girl code” or whatever other silly phrase they want to deem it. But heres the truth, I really could care less what anyone else thinks accept for my God and my man. And when it comes to Matt, and being his wife, I would rather be a source of support, encouragement and inspiration that gives him the ability to walk in his God given freedom and manhood however he may choose, with or with out the beard.
So ladies take a step back, and good solid breath of fresh air, and ask yourself is it really worth it? Is getting him to shave really worth all the negative energy expended, countless petty threats about retaliating and growing your own hair out (really?!?), truly worth the damage that you are doing to your mans self esteem, let alone your relationship? Or is it possible that there is another root issue at cause making you feel that you need to have all this control over something as silly as his appearance?!? And what type of woman do you want to be in your guys life?!? One that uplifts and makes him feel as if he can concur the world or one that weighs and wears down his soul, dragging and draining him with constant nagging over frivolous things?!? I know you don’t mean to do it. I mean what type of person would want to be that?! I truly believe that every woman wants to be cause for good in their husbands lives, but we are all human and therefore sometimes human things affect us more then they should and we make mistakes.
So next time, and this goes for me included, lets take a step back and reflect on the situation and ask yourself does my behavior line up with who God says I am? Does it reflect the unconditional love and freedom that Christ has given me and therefore I should give to my husband? Am I not only allowing my hubby but actually being used as a tool by God to help him become who he is meant to be, or am I hindering him from reaching that fullness? I have found that in taking a few minutes of self reflection the things that used to seem like deal breakers are really deal makers in my relationship and give me the opportunity to more fully extend love, acceptance and grace.
Much love & prayer,