Have you ever considered having boudoir pictures taken as a gift to your husband? Culturally, this is a perfectly acceptable gift from a wife to her husband. But what about spiritually? Should a Christian woman do such a risqué thing?
The answer is as complicated as the issues that plague sexual morality and marriage in today’s world. When boudoir photos will support a healthy sexual relationship within a marriage, they might be okay (though there are a few considerations … we’ll get to that later). But when a married couple struggles with intimacy or sexual immorality, boudoir photos may be a terrible mistake.
Here’s the thing: sex is good. God created sex to be a pleasurable experience. We can look at human anatomy and figure that much out. You might even blush a little while reading The Song of Solomon. But the kind of intimacy God intended for husbands and wives in making them a single body in marriage reveals that it is so much more.
“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:6-9 ESV).
As a single marital body, sex goes beyond the physical and into a the ways a husband and wife must strive to (often selflessly) meet one another’s needs in order to have a healthy relationship. The human body is a perfect example of how different systems are joined in mutually supportive relationships. A healthy body works with incredible synergy, and various systems work together to make adjustments at different times for the sake of overall health. Through this synergy the body can do miraculous things. The one-body intimacy of marriage is intended for all areas of life. But it makes sex more than physical, even as it deepens the physical pleasures sex brings.
Sadly, our culture often robs us of that intimacy. It reduces sex to an act. Something we can enjoy with or without marital intimacy. In doing so, it not only robs us of abiding joy, it creates dysfunction in our sex lives.Here's the thing: sex is good. But our culture destroys the sexual intimacy God meant for marriage.Click To Tweet
The Biggest Reason Not to Give Boudoir Photos
One of the most damaging sexual issues in our society is porn. Both men and women struggle with this issue, so this isn’t the time to point fingers. The physical and emotional tolls it takes on both the person who looks at porn and his or her partner are destructive.
Many people don’t see the harm in porn and might even argue that the Bible doesn’t say anything about it. But that’s just not true.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:28-29 ESV).
Pornography typically entails not only looking at sexual acts with lustful intentions, it also results in a lustful action. Although the person the lust is directed at isn’t physically present, all of the intent and action are present for the person watching.
Not only does porn fall under the umbrella of this sin, it wreaks havoc in people’s lives, which is a hallmark of sin. It is addictive and promotes a habit of seeking novelty, which decreases sexual performance and desire within monogamous relationships. And we’re not even delving into the spiritual issues it causes. It totally eliminates the relational benefits and requirements that were God’s original purpose in creating sex. There is no relationship between the watcher and performers — no semblance of the sacrificial love marriage was designed for.
Porn isn’t a good way to release sexual tension when your partner isn’t around. Porn isn’t a good way to spice up your sex life with your partner. Porn is a dangerous and addictive game to play with something as precious as sexual intimacy.Porn is a dangerous and addictive game to play with something as precious as sexual intimacy.Click To Tweet
If you are considering boudoir photos because your husband has an issue with porn, and you think that it would at least be better for him to look at you, you’re sadly misguided. Boudoir photos may only enable a continued dysfunctional view of sex. You may be replacing the one-dimensional image he’s looking at, but you aren’t replacing what’s lost in your relationship as a result of this issue.
If porn is already a problem in your marriage, don’t give your husband boudoir photos. Instead, start seeking a way to give him yourself first. It may not be easy and he may not know how to accept the gift you offer, but in the long run, the intimacy of a full marriage, complete with healthy sex, is far more important.
When Boudoir Photos Might Be Okay
The issue remains that men are far more visual in their sexuality than women are. And when you’re talking about being separated for months on end for a deployment, the challenge of maintaining an intimate connection is very real for military couples. When you and your husband have a healthy understanding of sex and partake in a sex life that honors God’s purpose, boudoir photos may be okay. While phone sex (yes, we’re going there) is probably a better option for married couples because it requires more of a relational approach to sexual pleasure, boudoir photos may be an alternative when contact with your husband is very limited.
Let’s emphasize this again: this scenario only works if you have a healthy sex life together. Part of the relational aspect of sex is that it requires mutual consent in order to be mutually pleasurable. If your husband will be tempted to imagine sexual acts with you that aren’t biblical and that you would never consent to, indulging those desires may disrupt your sex life when he comes home.
Another major consideration for you should be that someone may steal or accidentally see the images you give your husband while he’s gone. Discuss with your husband how realistic it will be for the photos to remain private during his deployment.When we lean into God's design for deep intimacy in our marriages, shame fades and joy abounds.Click To Tweet
Boudoir photos certainly walk a fine line between supporting and destroying marital intimacy. What’s worse is that sex isn’t always the easiest topic to discuss in a marriage, so issues may get brushed under the rug. But God didn’t design us to be ashamed of sex. When we lean into God’s original design for deep intimacy in our marriages, shame fades and joy abounds. Be careful and thoughtful as you make this decision. No matter where your marriage is (or if you have or haven’t already taken boudoir pictures), with prayerful and intentional decisions and efforts, the intimacy God intended for you and your husband is possible.
Very, very thoughtful and useful article about the question of Boudoir pictures.