This question has been swirling around in my mind for the past couple days. (I have had several blog posts swirling around in my head which resulted in me posting about none of them! My apologies!) My husband and I recently had a friend come to us for counsel on this topic and so we have been discussing and digesting this concept.
What role does physical attraction play in a godly relationship?
Throughout my college years, I witnessed people break up because they didn’t “feel attracted” to the person that they were dating. I don’t want to say that you should totally eliminate attraction from relationships – because we do have an amount of Christian liberty in this area in which we can choose whom we pursue a relationship with – but I do want to prompt people’s thinking that maybe this is an idea that has been ingrained in us due to our culture. Culture tells us if we don’t feel a certain way about someone than they are not the right person for us. But is that really a good basis for selecting a potential girlfriend or future spouse? Feelings change. They can change over the course of time, even over the course of a day. This was something that I had to work through when I was first dating my husband. My feelings were up and down all the time. But I learned that I needed to disregard those flighty emotions and look at my boyfriend’s character.
Character is the most important quality in a person that you are considering pursuing or allowing to pursue you. I know this seems cliché, but I think we easily forget this. We find ourselves “attracted” to someone and then we start to notice their character traits. Sometimes we even imagine characteristics into them because we are wanting this person to be “the one.”
Martha Peace comments on the deceptiveness of feelings in the women that she has counseled, “… I discovered that they usually held some secular beliefs about love. Often those beliefs were ‘love is romance and feelings…’ or ‘love is having my needs met…’ Their beliefs about love were only serving to encourage the lusts of their flesh. Unfortunately, longings of this kind can never be satisfied since our flesh wants more and more and more.”
John Piper would go so far to say that physical attraction should not be a consideration in a godly relationship. You can listen to him here. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch it. I don’t know that I would go so far to say that. It is very clear that in Song of Solomon the couple is attracted to one another even before they wed. I really believe that if we are admiring someone for their character and getting to know them based upon their sincere love for the Lord, that those romantic feelings do come. However, the main point here is to get you thinking about this topic. Here are some questions that I came up with to help you think through this topic and to ask when you are starting to think that a person might be “the one”:
- What is my attraction for this person based off of? Is it based off of something that will fade or change?
- Am I focusing on how I feel when I am with this person?
- Am I striving to show biblical love to this person? Or am I investing my time and energy into this person feeling a certain way?
- Am I more like Christ because of this person? Do I push them to be more Christ-like?
- Are we able to serve the Lord better as a result of our relationship?
- Do I understand that love is a choice? Someday I will have an old, wrinkly spouse who doesn’t always do what I want and I will have to choose to love them.
Lord willing, this article spurs your thinking. What role do you think that attraction plays in a godly relationship?