How important is physical attraction in a Christian relationship? How much value should you place on physical attraction in a marriage or a long term relationship?
One AGW subscriber recently asked this very question. There is a Christian girl at his church that he really enjoys being around and who seems to like him too. He finds her to be a good looking person, but she is not his “type.” He stated he is more attracted to women who have different features than her, but he really respects her walk with God and enjoys her company.
Below is my response to him. These 5 pointers will be helpful to anyone asking the question, “How important is physical attraction in a Christian relationship?”
Q&A: How Important Is Physical Attraction in Christian Dating and Marriage?
These are great questions. Here’s a few quick thoughts:
1. If You Are Not Very Physically Attracted to Her, There’s Nothing Wrong With Getting to Know Her More
I agree with what your mentor said to you. There’s nothing wrong with just getting to know her more. Guard her heart by not leading her on, but if you are not sure if you like her or not then you should gather more information and more experiences with her until you know one way or the other.
I wouldn’t take a date or two too seriously. In the big scheme of things going out a few times with a girl won’t hurt anything if you end up not liking her romantically.
2. Physical Attraction Is Important in a Christian Relationship, but Your Spouse Does Not Need to Be Your Ideal “Type”
I do think physical attraction is important. However, I think there is a difference between your ideal “type” compared to a woman who is still attractive to you but just may not have the exact type of body you are most attracted to.
While it would be great if every man’s wife had the perfect body to match his “type,” this is unrealistic. I believe you should be attracted to your wife, but I think most men would remain unmarried if they only would marry someone who checked every box on their physical attraction list.
While I do think you must be physically attracted to your wife, I don’t think she needs to have the ideal “type” of body parts that you would most prefer. If you are not attracted at all to her, then don’t date her or marry her. If you find her attractive but she just doesn’t have as big a chest as you would like (as you mentioned), I definitely don’t think that should stop you from dating her and possibly marrying her down the line.
3. A Great Christian Relationship Leads to Physical Attraction. Physical Attraction Does Not Lead to a Great Christian Relationship.
While I do think you should be attracted to your wife’s body, if I had to lean one way or the other I would rather marry someone I was less attracted to but got along with better compared to marrying someone who I was more physically attracted to but didn’t click as well with relationally.
I say this for a few reasons. For one, if someone has low character but a great body, you will eventually not be attracted to her no matter how physically beautiful she is. There is no bigger turn off than being disrespected as a man. Likewise, if a woman has great character and really respects you, this will be a huge turn on over the course of your Christian marriage.
Physical attraction is not as powerful or sustainable as true love. Proverbs 31:30 states, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Physical beauty won’t last. Therefore relationships build on physical attraction won’t last either.
Additionally, a great Christian relationship between a husband and wife leads to great sex and physical attraction. Physical attraction on its own will not lead to a great Christian relationship; therefore, over the long haul physical attraction will not be enough to produce a great sex life either in the Christian marriage.
4. Physical Attraction Is Important in a Christian Relationship, but Many Other Things Are More Important
With all that said, I wouldn’t overemphasize sex and physical attraction in this equation. It should be a factor, but it should not have as much weight as her character, how well the two of you fit together relationally, and most importantly how her walk with God is.
If she is attractive to you and is a great Christian woman but just doesn’t have the exact body type you would ideally prefer, I would definitely strongly consider dating her to see where things might lead.
As a final tip, if you do end up progressing with her, never let her know that she does not have the body type you prefer. This is information she does not need to know. Only complement your wife’s body, never critique it.
5. To Stay Balanced Regarding the Importance of Physical Attraction, Treat Others How You Would Want to Be Treated
Lastly, you should apply to yourself the standard you are holding woman to. If a woman really liked you and thought you were a good looking guy but you just weren’t her ideal “type,” would you want her to still love you for the other things she does like about you? As Jesus said, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31 NASB).
I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with the questions you are asking or with assessing a woman’s physical qualities. I’m just saying that it will help you to stay balanced in this area by thinking of how you would feel if a woman was using your standards on you. If you would be offended, then you should take a closer look at how much you value physical attraction.
I hope this helps a bit as you seek to answer the question, “How important is physical attraction in a Christian relationship?”
God bless brother,