The Attractive Factor: What Role Should Physical Attraction Play in Choosing a Spouse?

Selecting a spouse is one of the most important decisions that we can make in our lives. That one decision has a ripple effect, pouring into all areas of life: physical, mental and spiritual. Many different factors come into play when selecting a spouse, but what should be the top priorities? For many people, physical attraction is the number one factor, and sometimes even the deciding factor. But as believers, should our standards be the same? Should physical attraction be the top priority and deciding factor when selecting a spouse? I’ve asked this question of myself and others, and have searched the scriptures for biblical examples and answers to this poignant question. Here is what I believe to be an informed answer:

Let me begin by saying this: God would never create a spouse for you that you are not physically attracted to. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be attracted to your future spouse and allow a person’s looks to be considered when choosing a spouse. What I am saying is this:

The number one factor that should determine the selection of your spouse is the leading of the Holy Spirit. You want the hand-picked, number one, best fit, most compatible person based on who you truly are and where you are going.

You want someone who will outlast your temporary emotions and attractions and be by your side for the long run. My husband and I both have mentioned to each other that had it not been for the leading of the Holy Spirit, we would not have selected each other. In our case, my husband was considering another young lady while at school at ORU and the Holy Spirit told him to turn his focus away from the woman that he was pursuing and onto me. As he did this and continued to pray, the Lord spoke to him and revealed that I would be his wife. Although he had this revelation in his heart, he never tried to force the relationship to happen. He was cordial, kind, and always friendly to me. On a few occasions, he tried to begin a relationship with me, but because my eyes were so set on his outer appearance (glasses, plain clothes, etc.), I always declined. I never gave him the time of day until I got very sick and spent time on the phone with him while at home recovering from surgery. I finally began to see him with the eyes of my heart and discover how attractive he was as a person. Over the course of time, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that he was my husband and we later began to date, get engaged and then married. Our entire relationship was Spirit-led. I like to say that God arranged our marriage, and our attraction to God brought us together.

But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 MSG

You see, we all know that person who is physically attractive but their heart is hideous, so pervasive that it spills out through the words they say and the actions they make. Many of us have been deceived by our attractions, and fallen prey to bad relationships based on what we thought we were attracted to. Blinded by the outward beauty, many of us have settled for less than God’s best. Singles, it’s so important to see as God sees regarding your future spouse. Physical attraction is important, yes, but looking at the heart of a person is even more important. I know that this is especially challenging for men, as they are visual by nature, but I encourage you, brothers, consider Sampson & David. They were mighty men of God, strong in many areas, but deceived by physical attraction and led into destruction as a result. Remember: “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting...” (see Proverbs 31:30). Also, did you know that Proverbs 31 NEVER reverences the virtuous wife’s physical appearance?! I believe that is a huge indicator as to how God sees the role of “beauty” and physical attraction in the selection of a spouse.

Two important things you should consider and ask the Lord in prayer while preparing for and selecting a spouse are: "Who are You? and "Who am I?". Until you develop an understanding of who God is and who you truly are, you will not know who or what you are really attracted to. (Read more here). For all you know, you could be basing your current attraction on something that you learned back in middle school and high school that is totally irrelevant to who you are now and who you are to become. I don't have the exact quote, but Damon Thompson said it something like this: "Run your race (the calling/purpose that God has given you) and as you're running, take a look around and see who's running next to you." I couldn't agree more.

I have so much to say regarding this topic and will continue this talk in my next blog post, focusing on Genesis 24: A Bride for Isaac. I encourage you to take time this week to read this chapter and allow God to speak to your heart regarding this matter.

So tell me, what are your thoughts regarding the attractive factor? What role/priority should it play when selecting a spouse? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Emonne Markland | Leave Your Beauty Mark