How important is physical attraction when looking for a spouse?
Of course, everyone wants to be attracted to the person they marry, and what's more, they want their spouse to find them attractive. Physical intimacy is a central part of marriage, and physical attraction plays a role in that. Physical beauty and desire are not just things that the world celebrates, but the Bible does, too. The book of Song of Solomon is a love poem in which the bride and groom sing their desire for and attraction to one another. Where we tend to go wrong is when we elevate beauty in a spouse to a higher place of importance than is right. Physical attraction is important, but it is nowhere near most important. Physical beauty fades over time (Proverbs 31:30), not to mention the other physical issues that come with injury, disease, or aging. This is why the Bible puts emphasis on a person's character over their looks.
When looking for a spouse, your first concern should be his or her character rather than initial physical attraction. The Bible tells women to focus on the beauty of their heart rather than their outside beauty (1 Peter 3:3–5). The same would apply to men in principle. The Bible does acknowledge that there is some value to staying fit, but godliness has value in every area of our lives (1 Timothy 4:8). When looking for a spouse, your focus should be on the beauty of their heart and their godliness (or lack thereof). You need to find someone who will be a help when you experience tragedy and loss, someone who won't crumble under the pressures of life because they are standing on the rock of Jesus Christ. You aren't looking for someone who looks great next to you in photos; you are looking for someone who will be committed to Christ and to you. A person's heart and character is the source of true beauty, not their physical appearance.
Another danger of putting physical attraction too high on the list of what you are looking for in a spouse is that you might pass over some of the best people. You might miss the person who would be a wonderful father or mother, the person who you connect with on a deeper level than attraction, the person who would become your best friend, or the person you would enjoy the rest of your life with. This is not to say you should marry someone you don't find attractive just because he or she is a good person, but it is to say that attractiveness should not be top of your list of attributes to look for in a spouse.
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