It was the weirdest dating advice I had ever received. One of my friends was telling me about a recently-married, mutual acquaintance who had just two criteria. On the one hand, putting so much emphasis on appearance seemed really worldly. But it illustrates the confusion Christian guys are facing in how to evaluate the relative value of physical appearance when dating.
While we cannot — for any reason — approve of objectifying women, the culture around us makes that challenging. For men and women. Movies, television, and the internet are giving us the message that image is everything. You want to honor God and the women you date. But you also want to have real desire toward the woman you may marry. After all, God created beauty.
And yet, you sense that physical appearance can be too important to you at times. Maybe you struggle with lust or pornography, and sense that your heart has the potential to lead you astray. Good call; it does. You feel kind of guilty on both counts. So what do you do with all this? What roles do godly character and physical beauty play in pursuing a potential spouse? For example, research shows that for men, vision is the dominant perceptual sense , while in women the different senses are much more balanced.
In other words, women know what guys want. Guys, God made you that way. Warning Label At the same time, guys, we know that physical beauty should have a warning label. The same bible that praises physical beauty also contains tragic stories of its misuse.
Proverbs states the danger with classic simplicity: As Pastor Matt Chandler puts it , Gravity always wins. We are all wrinkling. Our nose and ears never quit growing. It is only a matter of time till that little component that we are basing so much on starts to vanish and must be replaced by attraction founded on character and covenant.
In what has to be one of the best bible verses ever, Proverbs If beauty and character were to fight, character wins every time. At least in the long run. They usually have someone specific in mind, a friend with godly character.
What should I do? If you pursue the relationship, she will get hurt and you will feel guilty. Your hearts will get entangled, and disaster is likely to occur. Here are two suggestions for what to do if you find yourself in this situation.
At least not automatically. Different guys will be attracted to different women, and that can be from the Lord. At the same time, we are broken and fallen, and we should be suspicious of ourselves. Repent when you fail, and receive the forgiveness and new power to obey that God loves to give 1 John 1: Confess honestly to a friend, and ask him to help you in your fight James 5: Chandler gives some more great advice: Godliness is sexy to godly people.
Want it to grow into more. And I am confident that, over time, character and godliness will win the day. What relative importance do you place upon godly character and physical attractiveness when you think about women?
Be honest with yourself. Who are some women you could get to know in group settings, prayerfully hoping God will take one of them in the direction of marriage?