If you could instantly make your wife more beautiful overnight, would you do it?
A caveat: nothing about her appearance changes. But you will perceive her differently.
Stop watching so much modern entertainment.
It presents a false concept of what beauty is supposed to be and your wife will never measure up. Stop watching modern entertainment and your wife will become more attractive.
Why is this?
Modern TV shows and movies are essentially new memories we allow to be injected into our brains. These memories help form who we are. You can’t avoid it.
If you have been on a steady diet of “kick-ass” females who wear tight clothes and can hang with men twice their size, in scenarios that make this type of girl attractive, then that will start to warp your perceptions.
But even portrayals of more modest women act as competition for your wife. And unfair competition at that. No woman can stand up to a perfectly scripted and polished portrayal of an actress.
A person under the grind of everyday life will never have the same artificial glamour as someone on the screen.
“Why doesn’t my wife do that?” is a question that will subconsciously (or consciously) go through your head when you see portrayals of women on the screen. It is designed to inflame your discontent.
And that is not healthy for your household.
The negative effects of modern entertainment are not new nor unique. John Chrysostom wrote about the negative effects of the theatre 1600 years ago and his thoughts on the subject are convicting.
Why do I talk about the theatre? Often if we meet a woman in the marketplace, we are alarmed. But you sit in your upper seat, where there is such an invitation to outrageous behavior, and see a woman, a prostitute, entering bareheaded and with a complete lack of shame, dressed in golden garments, flirting coquettishly and singing harlots’ songs with seductive tunes, and uttering disgraceful words. She behaves so shamelessly that if you watch her and give consideration, you will bow your head in shame. Do you dare to say you suffer no human reaction? Is your body made of stone? Or iron? I shall not refrain from saying the same things again. Surely you are not a better philosopher than those great and noblemen, who were cast down merely by such a sight? Have you not heard what Solomon says: “If someone walks onto a fire of coals, will he not burn his feet? If someone lights a fire in his lap, will he not burn his clothing? It is just the same for the man who goes to a woman that doesn’t belong to him.”
He goes on to warn about lust. But that lust does not end after your visit to the theatre. It goes with you.
And it was not only at that time, but also when the theatre has closed, and the woman has gone away, her image remains in your soul, along with her words, her figure, her looks, her movement, her rhythm, and her distinctive and meretricious tunes; and having suffered countless wounds you go home. Is it not this that leads to the disruption of households? Is it not this that leads to the destruction of temperance, and the break up of marriages? Is it not this that leads to wars and battles, and odious behavior lacking any reason? For when, saturated with that woman, you return home as her captive, your wife appears more disagreeable, your children more burdensome, and your servants troublesome, and your house superfluous. Your customary concerns seem to annoy you when they relate to managing your necessary business, and everyone who visits is an irritating nuisance.
Porn is the most obvious manifestation of this problem. It saps your energy and fills your thoughts. But it is not the only manifestation. Any woman presented in a movie or TV show can have this effect.
Have you been impatient with your wife?
Have you been snapping at your children?
Have you stopped worthwhile pursuits that you enjoyed, but for some reason, you can’t find any enthusiasm for them anymore?
Cut back your intake of modern entertainment. The more you binge-watch, the less patience you have for real life.
Chrysostom continues, making that case that the prostitute in your mind is worse than bringing her home in the flesh.
The cause of this is that you do not return home alone, but keeping the prostitute with you. She does not go visibly and openly, which would have been easier. For your wife could have quickly driven her away. But she is ensconced in your mind and your consciousness, and she lights within you the Babylonian furnace, or rather something much worse.
It is just like people suffering from a fever, who have no reason to rebuke those who attend them, but because of the affliction of their illness are unpleasant to everyone, reject their food, insult their doctors, are bad-tempered with their families, and furious with those who care for them. Just so those who suffer from this dread disease are restless and vexed, and see that woman at every turn. What a terrible state of affairs! The wolf and the lion and other beasts when they are shot at fleeing the huntsman. But a man, though the most intelligent, when wounded pursues the woman who has wounded him, so as to receive a much more deadly missile and revel in the wound. What is most sickening of all, is that he makes the disease incurable. For if someone does not hate the injury and does not want to be free of it, why would he summon a doctor? Therefore I lament and am in torment, because after receiving such a brutal outrage you return from the theatre, and for the sake of a small pleasure you undergo continual pain.
Chrysostom goes on to declare that anyone who has been to the theatre should not be allowed in the assembly of the saints. They should be treated as if they had leprosy. Let them first repent in sackcloth and ashes.
That is how serious he viewed this discretion.
We are bombarded with entertainment constantly in the modern world. Even our “news” is entertainment. It is probably impossible to cut it out completely.
But you should cut back.
You should cut way back.
Show extra discernment in what you let your eyes see.
Give your wife a fighting chance.