Women may worry about how pregnancy and childbirth will affect their bodies and their husband’s view of their bodies. In my experience, it can help a man love his wife’s whole person – body and soul.
It’s natural for women to want unconditional love—you know, that patient, kind, not-selfish love you hear about at weddings. We know our bodies will age and become less beautiful in time; I’ve vowed to love my wife just the same. But I don’t mean I’ll love her soul despite her body—I mean I unconditionally love them both as essential parts of her.
I didn’t always see it this clearly. Something happened. I witnessed the miracle of child-bearing.
My wife’s first pregnancy was unbelievable for me. Literally. She showed me three positive pregnancy tests, but I didn’t believe there was actually a human being inside her. Who walks around with other humans INSIDE them? That’s crazy talk.
I started believing it after the first ultrasound. Even though our daughter was the size of a bean, we could see her heart beating. Katie’s body had created, inside itself, a human being with a heart. Eventually I could feel Lucy kick inside Katie’s stomach, and roll over. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Then I witnessed, up close, labor and delivery. I’ll spare you the details, but when I saw Katie push out Lucy – that is, bring another person into the world – I couldn’t help but hold Katie’s body in awe. As she nursed our baby that night, my love grew even more.
It was now obvious that my wife’s body was not merely a beautiful flesh container for the soul that I loved. The body was something amazing in itself – something that deserved my unconditional love.
It’s also relevant that the events that set this miraculous process in motion involved, to put it politely, more than just our souls loving one another.
Far from turning me off from her body, witnessing childbirth put it all in perspective—what real unconditional love means, for both body and soul.