“If I’m physically unattractive, does this mean God has called me to singleness?”
This is a question that I have repeatedly been asked. So here’s my simple answer: No, being unattractive is not a sign you are called to singleness.
Here are 4 reasons I don’t believe being unattractive is a sign God is calling you to singleness.
1. The Bible Lessens the Importance of Physical Attraction Compared to the World
Most Christians know that we are to have a different view than the world does when it comes to physical attraction. We know that God made each person in a unique, beautiful way with immense value (Psalm 139:14). So regardless of our physical appearance, we are all equally treasured and loved in God’s eyes.
Many, however, swing too far and say something like, “Physical attraction shouldn’t matter at all in relationships if you are a Christian.” I believe this is wrong because the Bible does say physical attraction is needed for marriage.
Where does it say that? Well, when you follow the logic in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, it becomes clear physical attraction is needed for marriage because sex is commanded in marriage and physical attraction is needed for sex.
This also helps us answer the question, “How attracted do I need to be to someone in order to marry them?” To fulfill God’s commands about sex, you need to be physically attracted enough to have sex with them. You don’t need to marry the “type” of person that you find most physically attractive. You just need to marry the man or woman that you love and that you can have sex with.
Now, with that said, the Bible does discourage the overemphasis on physical attraction and places the emphasis back onto character and godliness (1 Peter 3:1-7, Provers 31:30, Ephesians 5:21-33). The Bible redefines true beauty and attractiveness by stating it starts from the inside and works its way out.
In summary, the first reason I don’t believe being unattractive by worldly standards is a sign you are called to singleness is because the Bible doesn’t say that.
2. Physical Attraction Is Always Linked to An Emotional Connection in Biblical Romance
People who blame their looks for the reason they are single usually are using that as an excuse for a deeper character flaw that is actually making them unattractive. I did not say all single people are single because of a character flaw! I said those who blame their looks for being single often have a character flaw that they are ignoring.
First off, it’s unattractive to complain about being unattractive. Whining and complaining is repelling, not attractive. So if you’re someone who’s been blaming their looks for their singleness, right there you have one reason you are less attractive to the opposite sex that has nothing to do with your physical appearance. It’s your negative view of yourself that is keeping people away from you.
Thus, the first step would be stop having such a low view of yourself and stop asking other people to make you feel better about the way you look. If you don’t accept and value yourself, you’re going to make it that much harder for people to see the good traits you do have.
Secondly, people who blame their looks for being single usually don’t understand how to emotionally connect with the opposite sex. Instead of learning how to talk and emotionally bond with someone, they just blame their loneliness on their looks. It’s a lot easier to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Well, God just made me too ugly to be married” rather than looking at yourself and asking, “What can I do better to make a good emotional connection with someone?”
Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” This verse doesn’t say physical attractiveness is bad. It just states it’s not going to last. So clearly God wants a husband and wife’s attractiveness to each other to be based on something more than their bodies, namely, their character in the Lord.
It’s common for someone to not be physically attracted to someone but to then become physically attracted to that person once they have made an emotional bond together. The ability to form an emotional connection with someone is far more important than the way you look when it comes to getting into a relationship.
3. You’re Called to Steward What You Have, Not to Try to Become Something God Didn’t Design You to Be
Another reason I don’t believe “being ugly” is a sign you are called to singleness is because there is something deeper going on when it comes to a healthy, biblical view of human appearance. No matter how God made them, I don’t believe a godly man or woman will be unattractive to everyone unless they are physically unhealthy due to willing negligence or laziness.
Notice how I said that. I didn’t say a godly man or woman will be attractive to everyone. I said they won’t be unattractive to everyone. I truly believe there’s someone out there for everyone when it comes to physical standards. Of course you have to be attracted to people who would be attracted to you, which usually means there is some parity in your physical appearances.
But the fact that there have been people with every kind of physical appearance imaginable who have gotten married in the past is evidence that it’s possible for anyone regardless of physical appearance to get married too. I’ve seen men and women with severe handicaps and severe physical deformities get married to able-bodied people who are perfectly healthy. Just do a simple google search if you don’t believe me.
Even by worldly standards of physical attractiveness, there’s plenty of “attractive” single people and plenty of “unattractive” married people. To think you are the exception is not a self-image issue but a pride issue. You are not that special. You are thinking too highly of yourself if you believe your physical appearance is so different and unique that you are somehow exempt from God’s human design for relationship pairing.
Human history has been multiplying since the beginning (Genesis 1:28). Are you telling me everyone who’s contributed to continuing the human race has only been married because they are physically beautiful or handsome? That’s ridiculous!
Now, being willingly unhealthy due to negligence or laziness will keep you single. People can be more understanding when you have a health issue that’s outside of your control. But if you are severely unhealthy because of bad personal choices, that will make you unattractive and keep you single. But that’s because of your choices, not because of God’s call on you to be single.
When you really dial back what makes someone physically attractive, it’s really just markers of physical health. Of course we all have different God-given variables when it comes to our health. Some of us run smaller or bigger no matter what we eat or do. So big picture, it’s just about being a good steward of the body God has given you. If you are doing that, history has shown you can get married.
Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
4. A Husband and Wife Only Need to Be Attracted to Each Other, Not to Anyone Else
Of course, generally speaking, there are physical traits that humans do often find more attractive. To deny such facts is foolish. But these physical attributes are of zero significance when deciphering God’s call on you to pursue singleness or marriage because you are not going to marry “the world” or “people’s standard of beauty.” You are going to marry an individual.
Again, history has shown that regardless of physical appearance, any “body type” can find another individual who is willing to pair off with them. The masses don’t need to find you attractive. Just one person does (Proverbs 31:29). And that’s possible for anyone.
My opinion is that, in many cases, people are spending too much time on the internet, listening to crazy theories about physical attraction and romance from worldly people or from people who don’t have any real experience themselves when it comes to biblical love and romance.
You don’t need to meet a physical standard to get married. All you need to do is find an individual that loves you and that you love too, and then you can get married.
For more on this, here’s an article called 3 Signs God Has Called You to a Life of Marriage and Not Singleness.