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Should one disregard physical attractiveness, in pursuing a potential spouse? Of course not.

03 Mar

It is encouraging to find elements of Christian ‘Red Pill’ thinking from outside of the Christian manosphere, within the wider Christian community; recently I found such a blog post written a little over a year ago, here, by Stephen Altrogge, a Reformed writer, musician / songwriter and former pastor, in which he combats erroneous thinking encouraging relative disregard for physical attraction in relationship decision-making processes.

Some excerpts:

Recently Mike McKinley and Tim Challies both wrote articles which argued that young people, particularly men, should choose to be attracted primarily to a potential spouse’s spiritual beauty rather than physical beauty. I really respect both of these guys, love their gospel work, and usually agree with them, but as a pastor, both of these articles made me nervous. They made me nervous for two reasons.

First, the articles don’t fully appreciate the place of physical attraction in scripture. Yes, scripture is clear that in a marriage relationship, character is more important than physical attraction. But physical attraction matters.

[…]

The Song of Solomon devotes chapter upon chapter to describing the physical attraction between a man and woman.

[…]

Solomon clearly delights in the physical beauty of his bride. He doesn’t go on and on about her quiet spirit and devotion to God, as important as those things are. He is enraptured by her beauty. He is magnetically drawn to her appearance, and can’t stop thinking about her. Throughout scripture there is an underlying assumption that a man will be physically and spiritually attracted to a woman.

If a young man came to me, and said he was thinking about a particular girl, I would ask him two questions:

  1. Is she godly? If yes, proceed to question number two.
  2. Do you think she is attractive?

If he answered “no” to number two, I would counsel him to pause, and pray, and wait before pursuing the relationship. I wouldn’t want to press him into a relationship based solely on spiritual attraction, and then later have him feeling trapped in the relationship. Scripture is clear that spiritual character is most important when considering a potential spouse, but physical attraction also plays a significant part.

This leads me to a second, pastoral concern, regarding these articles. As a pastor, I’ve seen difficult marriages in which one spouse felt pressured into marriage, even though they weren’t particularly attracted to their spouse.

[…]

A husband and wife should be spiritually compatible AND physically attracted to each other. This doesn’t mean that the man or woman is a supermodel. Beauty is fleeting, and charm is deceitful, which is why we don’t make those things the primary factors in a relationship. But God created us as both spiritual and physical beings. We are not sexless, spiritual beings. God made us to have flesh and blood. He created us to be attracted to the opposite sex.

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14 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2014 in religion, spirituality, Theology

 

14 responses to “Should one disregard physical attractiveness, in pursuing a potential spouse? Of course not.

  1. Will S.

    March 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Can’t help what we’re wired to like, can we?

     
  2. weak stream

    March 4, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    All of the ‘body image issues’ and the 14 is the new size 2 are nonsense. They feed this crap to the girls to make them ‘feel better’. But girls feel like a pile of shit when they get large. If we don’t keep them honest, we’re only helping the girls to feel like shit. God gave the sexes their various charms so we could be more amusing to each other. Feminists and socialists are interfering with this.

     
  3. Will S.

    March 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Indeed.

     
  4. infowarrior1

    March 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    @Will S.

    Since genetic engineering has the potential to change human nature. A better answer would be thatthere are good reasons for such desires the same way we desire other things like fertile lands that are beautiful to our eyes because it is good.

     
  5. Eric

    March 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    It’s kind of sad though, that our society has sunk to the point where things like this even need to be discussed. It’s like men are asking: ‘Is OK if I find beauty sexually appealling?’ As though it were something to be ashamed of and not a natural reaction.

    Yesterday, I saw a story on the news about a court case involving so-called ‘gay marriage.’ The expert witness who testified on behalf of heterosexual marriage was disqualified. How about that for another yardstick of how far our culture has sunk: we now need academics who qualify as ‘expert witnesses’ to argue before the court that heterosexuality is normal!

     
  6. Will S.

    March 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    @ infowarrior1: True. I shudder at the prospect: imagine genetic engineering of humans for men to be attracted to ugly, fat women. Brrr!

    @ Eric: Indeed. Craziness, there.

     
  7. infowarrior1

    March 5, 2014 at 4:30 am

    @Will S.

    Shh. Don’t give them ideas.

     
  8. Neon Shadows

    March 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

    >If a young man came to me, and said he was thinking about a particular girl, I would ask him two questions:
    >Is she godly? If yes, proceed to question number two.
    >Do you think she is attractive?

    Surely this is backwards? Why would a young man be thinking about a particular girl unless he was attracted to her (i.e. he considered her attractive)? Unless he was told to go against his nature, and was acting against his nature, this is a weird order of questions.

    Surely the normal conversation assumes that you are attracted to the girl you are “thinking about”, and a good conversation would not stop at “Is she godly?” but proceed to specifics about her faith, and her spiritual maturity, family background, ethnic background, class, wealth, &c.

     
  9. Will S.

    March 5, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Indeed, it is strange. And strange that it would be thought necessary to ask that.

     
  10. infowarrior1

    March 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    @Will S.

    This thought progression was made possible by this memetic trend IMO:
    http://www.rooshv.com/the-war-against-beauty

     
  11. Will S.

    March 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    @ infowarrior1:

    Shh. Don’t give them ideas.

    Ha! 🙂

    This thought progression was made possible by this memetic trend IMO:
    http://www.rooshv.com/the-war-against-beauty

    Glad to secular, PUA types embracing Roger Scruton, a fellow secularist, but one who is thankfully a conservative, in spite of himself. So long as they balance that with the other Roger, F. Roger Devlin, all is well. 🙂

     
  12. christianpundit

    March 6, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Often, Christian women are told by preachers and in Christian content about dating/marriage that we ladies should only care about a man’s spiritual quality, and the false claim is repeated that only “men are visually oriented” while women only want “emotional closeness.”

    I wish they would stop with all the stereotyping: myself and many other women are in fact “visually stimulated” and have zero interest in dating or marrying fat or ugly men… no matter how “godly” or “spiritual” they are.

    There is way too much emphasis by Christians on women’s looks – we are told to stay stick thin and have long hair, etc, but rarely do men get told to lose the beer gut and get some Rogaine.

    Most Christian women do care about a man’s looks; this is a fact. If you are a single Christian male and want marriage, don’t assume your steady pay check or daily Bible reading or other inner qualities is enough to snag you a mate.

    Also, a lot of men, secular and Christian need a reality check: if you are overweight, balding, and/or ugly or out of shape, you do not rate for a 21 year old, chesty, stick thin movie star Megan Fox clone, but your male preacher will never clue you in on this, because many of them like these untrue stereotypes that men are entitled to whatever they want in a woman (looks wise) while the ladies are only supposed to care that you attend church weekly and “love Jesus.”

    I’m sorry, but no matter how much you love Jesus and read your Bible, if you are totally bald, missing your teeth, and/or resemble Jabba the Hutt, most Christian single women will not want to date you.

    I don’t believe in being too nit picky about physical appearance (and some people unfortunatley are), but it does matter to both genders, but the majority of Christians only apply this to say looks matter only to men, which is false, because what a man looks like matters to females too.

     
  13. aaronthejust

    April 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    “Also, a lot of men, secular and Christian need a reality check: if you are overweight, balding, and/or ugly or out of shape, you do not rate for a 21 year old, chesty, stick thin movie star Megan Fox clone[.]”

    This seems true on its face, but it presumes feminine and masculine attraction are the same, which they are not. I’ve had no difficulties retaining 18 or 22 year old chesty stick thin women when I was overweight, ugly, and out of shape. I’m not balding, so maybe that’s my secret.

    “There is way too much emphasis by Christians on women’s looks – we are told to stay stick thin and have long hair, etc, but rarely do men get told to lose the beer gut and get some Rogaine.”

    Nowhere is there any emphasis on Christian women’s looks. Christian women are told they are daughters of the king, blah blah, and that any guy who can’t look past an extra 10, 20, or 100 lbs is simply being shallow (especially if that weight shows up out of the blue after marriage vows have been professed).

    “I don’t believe in being too nit picky about physical appearance (and some people unfortunatley are)”

    I do believe in being nitpicky about this. I married a woman I wasn’t strongly attracted to, because I personally don’t care that much about women being young, beautiful, thin, and so on. Unfortunately, life for her was utterly miserable because she could just plain tell, no matter how much I claimed the opposite, that I viewed her as a 5.5 at best.

     

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