*NOTE*: I don't believe I possess the sum of all knowledge on this topic, so I'm very interested in your contributions to this discussion. However, I'm not looking for opinions only (although those are welcome)... I really want to know what scripture says about this. I want my beliefs to be shaped by God's word, not what's considered "normal." If I'm missing something or off somewhere, please let me know why you think I'm out of line scripturally. The stated purpose for all this discussion is not to provide a platform for my opinions, but because I'm going to be speaking on this topic and really want to make sure my statements are grounded in Truth.
The man thread brought about a good discussion in the comments section. You can check it out here. Feel free to add your own comments! Here are some of my additional thoughts, untamed as usual (hah!):
- In every friend circle I’ve had since high school, amazing godly women were never asked out because there was one girl in the group who was the most beautiful and all the guys spent their time crushing on her or took turns dating her. Often (but not always) she was not a woman of strong character. It makes me think those guys are, quite frankly, spiritually immature (or maybe I'm just judgmental).
- I've heard countless guys say, "I want to marry the most beautiful woman in the room" or "in the world" or "that I've ever seen." I've never heard a man say, “I want to marry the most godly woman I know” or “the wisest woman” or “the woman with the best personality.” But in 5 minutes, there will be someone more beautiful. Things will start to sag and wrinkle, and it will all go away. If your relationship is founded on this, it is much more likely to fail. In fact, since many godly men view women through the same paradigm as worldly men, it’s no wonder our divorce rate stacks up the same.
- Proverbs warns again and again about marrying a quarrelsome woman. It doesn’t say “woe to the man who marries an ugly chick… sucks to be you.” Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, expounds on a litany of desirable traits in Proverbs 31. His only mention of beauty? He calls it vain. He goes on to say “a wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…” Noble character... Not big boobs.
- In the New Testament, Peter talks about feminine beauty pretty specifically. Here's what he says the focus should be: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." That verse isn't just for women... it's a signpost for men.
Listen... every woman wants to be considered beautiful to her husband, so I’m not suggesting that women abandon all efforts to improve their appearance (for crying out loud, no!!!) or that men marry women that they find unattractive. Here's my suggestion:
- Women, make Peter's words your theme!
- Men, try praying that God would help you to be drawn with the fire of a thousand suns toward character and godliness, and to not be led astray by physical beauty. May you find a woman whose physical beauty is the icing on the cake.
What can you add to the conversation? I welcome your agreement or rebuttal. Bring it! :)