To summarize the past few posts, a husband is most effective (and godly) when he doesn’t fear his wife. His priority should always be fearing God by trying to do the right thing. A husband that fears his wife (or fears what she might think or fears divorce) will start to change his actions based on what she might think which leads him down the road of capitulation and attempting to make her happy. He becomes a yes dear man, which can often lead to divorce.
One of the classic distinctions is in the intentions and the process. Too often men will think “oh, I gotta start working out because I want to be attractive for my wife” not understanding that while this is true, the very intention of prioritizing what she thinks makes it much easier to fall into the frame of mind to make her happy and change your desires to suit hers. For instance, if she’s not coming around for submission or sex, it can lead men to think that “if only I become more attractive then she’ll come around.”
This is one of the traps of conventional RP thought that often rears it’s ugly head. RP tries to get around this by saying “do it for yourself,” but that only goes so far because most men are never really doing it for themselves. At least initially.
For Christians, our main goal is all about being effective ministers for God. How can we influence those around us toward the gospel? We are supposed to excel in all that we do for Christ. It’s also true that all things being equal, a more conventionally attractive Christian man will have a much easier time to ministry to other believers or unbelievers than those who are not (obese, lazy, don’t care, etc.).
The fact that being physically muscular is attractive to women is a secondary but useful feature. In other words, the goal is to prioritize the process and function (how this affects your mission for God) over the results (more attractive to women).
When we are focused on being more process oriented more than results oriented, the results generally end up coming with tweaks here and there. However, if you’re focused on results, the end result will usually be an pedestalizing/idolatrous tunneling which affects the process negatively. It’s very easily to get embroiled in “what does she think” which subtly and irrevocably changes your behavior to catering to her which sabotages the marriage because then you are not acting as the leader. You are led by her feelings.
Coming back full circle, when sanctification is the process that is focused on I don’t fear my wife’s feelings, divorce, or the state. This leads me to lead, teach, correct, admonish, and rebuke as necessary for sinful behavior. Because I don’t fear her feelings or falling out, she is more drawn to the strong masculine behavior which decreases her unhappiness long term (maybe there is short term happiness from being corrected) which decreases risk of divorce. Eventually, she is the one telling our friends that she doesn’t want equality or feminism or other nonsense but wants to obey God.
It’s interesting how each process seems to be a self-reinforcing cycle of behavior.