A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage Part 3

So I just had some new insight on this topic since the previous post on A Christian understanding of attraction and the role it plays in marriage Part 2, so I’m going to be going through that post again and adding onto it.

Topics:

  • The lens of heaven — marriage is an earthly institution
  • The lens of earth —  the context surrounding the creation of marriage
  • The purpose of marriage as an earthly institution
  • What is attractive to both sexes?
  • Understanding how attraction plays into the roles and responsibilities of marriage
  • New Testament Scriptures reinforce God’s Old Testament design of creation
  • Exploring the Scriptures on attraction and sex
  • Other Biblical pitfalls of downplaying attraction
  • Conclusion

The lens of heaven — marriage is an earthly institution

Marriage is an earthly institution.

Matthew 22:23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, 24 asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife, and raise up children for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26 so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last of all, the woman died. 28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not [m]understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Jesus gives us some interesting insight into heaven. There’s no marriage there.

This means that marriage is a covenant institution between a husband, wife, and God, but it is also mainly an earthly institution. There are no marriages in heaven. The earthly institution of marriage does not transcend to heaven nor do any of the beings in heaven marry.

If you look closely at the sequencing of events in Revelation the marriage of the Lamb occurs before the new heaven and new earth is created when Jesus comes back again.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” … 9 Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” …

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Theologically, the marriage of Christ and His bride is literally uniting us and making us one with Him. The ordering of events is Jesus’ second coming back to earth to marry His bride, the judgment occurs in Revelation 20, and after that is the new heaven and earth in Revelation 21.

The marriage of Jesus and His bride occurs before the new heaven and new earth is created and the temporal things associated with the old earth and old heaven pass away. This is important to understand because one of those temporal things that passes away is the earthly institution of marriage as is written about in Matthew.

In other words, Jesus must marry His bride before the institution of marriage is abolished when the new heaven and new earth are created. Since marriage is an earthly institution and not heavenly, Jesus marries His bride on the earth.


The lens of earth —  the context surrounding the creation of marriage

Now that we understand marriage is primarily an earthly institution, we should understand that its function is to address earthly needs. We have a intelligent Creator and our Creator does not create without a purpose.

To understand the function of marriage addressing earthly needs, we need to go back to the creation. Let’s examine the status of man in the garden in both creation accounts. Genesis 1 is considered the first creation account, which gives an overview of all of the creation. Genesis 2 is considered the second creation account, which gives an overview into the creation of man specifically.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

God’s commands to man were two fold in the first creation account in Genesis 1:

  • Rule and subdue the earth — 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” […] 28b and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
  • Be fruitful and multiply — 28a God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,

We will come back to these two commands after the next point.

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

God has two more commands:

  • Cultivate and keep the garden (directed to Adam and not Eve)
  • Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2 gives us more details about the ordering of creation. Man was created first, but there was no helper suitable for him. Hence, God created a helper suitable for him.

  • The first command — rule and subdue the earth — could be fulfilled by Adam himself such as taking dominion over the beasts as they came to him and gave them names. However, Eve could help with that.
  • The second command — be fruitful and multiply — was unable to be fulfilled without Eve.
  • The third command — cultivate and keep the garden — was being tended to by Adam but Eve could help with.
  • The fourth command — Obey God: do not eat of the tree — Eve could obey as well.

God knew before the animals were created and brought before Adam that he had no helper suitable for him. I believe God had this in mind before he did all of this simply because of the examples of sexual dimorphism — two sexes — within the animals he created as well. Indeed, to Adam’s male God wanted to create a female helper for him not only for the loneliness but to fulfill the rest of the command to be fruitful and multiply.

All of these lead into God putting Adam to sleep, taking out a rib, forming Eve (who was still unnamed), and giving her to Adam as an example of the first marriage.

As a side note, Adam was given work in the garden as a steward already, but it was multiplied in punishment. This relates to Genesis 3 and the punishments that God gave for sinning. However, it is important to realize that Adam is already the head of Eve in the way marriage was created.


The purpose of marriage as an earthly institution

To understand the purpose of marriage, we need to examine what tends to drive relationship and marriage formation. Attraction appears to be one of the primary drivers. Thus, since God created man, woman, and marriage we should assume that there is some intent of the Creator behind the phenomena of attraction.

What is attractive to both sexes?

Generally speaking, attraction is different between both sexes.

  • Men are primarily attracted to physical beauty and femininity. Examples of physical beauty are a woman’s face and her figure like waist to hip ratio. Examples of femininity are long hair and female-only attire like dresses and skirts. These things are [sexually] attractive to men.
  • Women are primarily attracted to PSALM traits and masculinity. PSALM is an acronym for power/personality, status, athleticism, looks, and money. Generally speaking, these are embodied in a man such as a confident, handsome, ambitious, successful leader. Masculinity also embodies many traits that correlate with this such as strong, confident, independent, driven, tough skinned, competitive, and so on.

Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, these are generalizations. We’re not discussing them now.

These are the things that are primarily [sexually] attractive to both sexes. There is a reason for this.


Understanding how attraction plays into the roles and responsibilities of marriage

We, as humans, implicitly understand that attraction — by very definition of the word — is a driving force for marriage. Indeed, typically no one really gets married to someone that they don’t find attractive. If you were a Creator, it would make sense that the commands given to man for marriage would directly apply to the things that attract men and women to marriage. After all, these things are to be a preparation for the roles and responsibilities of marriage. 

Even in cultures with arranged marriages such as Judaism, the two getting married were required to see each other and they had some influence in terms of veto power over the person they would get married. The families of the two parties ‘set them up’ on ‘arranged dates’ that they had to go on to get to know each other. There had to be agreement from all sides, including the two getting married. Very few cultures, if any, have forced marriages.

Now, relating this back to the Scriptures in Genesis 1 and 2 we can logically see how attraction plays into the various roles and responsibilities given to men and women in marriage. The commands of God are directly related to what we find attractive in the opposite sex.

  • Rule and subdue the earth
  • Be fruitful and multiply
  • Cultivate and keep the garden
  • Obey God

and

  • Men are primarily attracted to physical beauty and femininity. Examples of physical beauty are a woman’s face and her figure like waist to hip ratio. Examples of femininity are long hair and female-only attire like dresses and skirts. These things are [sexually] attractive to men.
  • Women are primarily attracted to PSALM traits and masculinity. PSALM is an acronym for power/personality, status, athleticism, looks, and money. Generally speaking, these are embodied in a man such as a confident, handsome, ambitious, successful leader. Masculinity also embodies many traits that correlate with this such as strong, confident, independent, driven, tough skinned, competitive, and so on.

Thus,

  • Men were commanded to rule and subdue the earth: hence, confident, ambitious, successful leaders are likely to do that. It’s no surprise that Scripture tells men that they are to be Protectors and Providers for their wives and families. A confident leader won’t back down from Protecting his wife when necessary or sacrificing himself as Jesus did for us such as in Numbers 30 and Ephesians 5. An ambitious, successful husband can easily provide for his family such as in Exodus 21 and 1 Timothy 5:8.
  • Woman was created as man’s helper and so that  he wouldn’t be alone. Eve was created to be a primary help for multiplying and filling the earth, and secondary help for ruling and subduing the earth and cultivating and keeping the garden. Beauty is a general proxy for healthiness and fertility because it signals less genetic errors and ability to bear children. Waist to hip ratios or curves garners a lot of attention by men because they are attractive, but they are also related to a woman’s health and her ability to bear healthy children.

As you can see, these are a good fit for the purpose of Creation and what we observe in real life.


New Testament Scriptures reinforce God’s Old Testament design of creation

It should be clear that Adam had headship prior to the fall. God creates Adam first and then Eve as Adam’s helper. There’s other textual information in the link to corroborate that statement. However, this is also backed up by the stated commands in the New Testament. The NT Scriptures delineate the roles and responsibilities of the husbands and wives as thus (e.g. Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 7 and 11, Colossians 3, Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, 1 Tim 2 and 5, etc.)

  • Husband — Headship, love your wife for the purpose of sanctification, live with your wife in an understanding way, don’t become embittered at your wife, provide for your family, etc.
  • Wife — Submit to your husband, respect your husband, have affection for your husband, main focus should be on the home and childbirthing, etc

These directly align with not only the Creation commands and intent but also with what we observe. The husband’s headship directly aligns with ruling, obeying God, provision and protection of his wife and family. The wife’s submission directly aligns with being her husband’s helper and being a mother aligns with being fruitful and multiplying. 

This does not seem to be a mistake unlike the failed egalitarian argument. Since God created woman’s attraction to operate on the principle of hypergamy, we can see how she would be attracted to and respect her the husband as he was appointed to lead, protect, and provide for his family.  If you try to depose of headship or any of the other parts of the design, you are deposing of God’s design intent which more likely leads to a failed marriage. A wife that doesn’t follow her husband and disrespects him and is rebellious is only one signature away from divorce.

All in all, there appears to be a consistent affirmation of the the roles and responsibilities of men and women at creation, in the OT, and in the NT that also demonstrate what the sexes tend to find attractive in each other.

This should not be a surprise. God’s design was planned from the beginning of creation and continues to persist through time. 


Exploring the Scriptures on attraction and sex

Much of the modern Church has fallen ignorantly into the lie that godliness is attractive. This is the Christian ought fallacy which follows that ‘because godliness is a good thing it should be what is attractive.’ However, when we examine NT Scriptures, we find this to be false.

Paul tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6 to marry believers and not unbelievers. ‘What fellowship does light have with darkness and darkness with light?’ However, if godliness and good character were attractive, everyone would be attracted to Christians. That’s clearly false. Rather, it’s the case that any man exhibiting PSALM traits and masculinity will be attractive to women and they will not necessarily be believers or not. This is why Paul warns not to marry unbelievers because some were attractive but bad choices for marriage.

Similarly, Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7 the only reason given in the NT to marry: “it is better to marry than to burn.” In fact, it is even ideal or at least preferable [to him] that all men remain single as he so full attention can be focused toward the Lord. What are the things that cause us to burn for marriage? It is what sexually attracts us. This is the sex drive and beauty for men. This is the sex drive and strong, confident, handsome, ambitious, successful leaders for women. These are the things we look for in a mate, aside from important qualifiers such as godlines and character.

Why should women not usurp authority over man [in the Church and family] and why is she saved through childbearing in 1 Timothy 2? Because she is fulfilling the initial commands of God to be fruitful and multiply, and her offspring like Jesus will take dominion over the earth. Jesus added from the initial command of God to take dominion over the earth to also win the people of the earth through the gospel. Make disciples of all nations.

Another  problem, from what I’ve seen, is not solely that the modern Church parrots false narratives about what is attractive to both men and women. That is definitely harmful. However, there is the issue that makes it seem like godliness is mutually exclusive with the traits that attract the opposite sex. For example, beauty is somehow mutually exclusive with godliness, which 1 Pet 3 does not say at all. Another example is that a successful, ambitious man may be looked on as ‘too worldly’ because money is evil when it is the love of money that is evil in 1 Tim 6. This is a problem because these things are false. You can be beautiful and godly. You can be a confident, ambitious, and successful Christian leader.


Other Biblical pitfalls of downplaying attraction

Generally speaking, the modern Church loves to downplay the role of attraction in marriage. I believe that this is because it is based on a faulty understanding of why attraction is important.

For example, it’s clear from the Scriptures that beauty is what is attractive to men. However, beauty without godliness and character has disastrous consequences result for men. They’re carried away to worship idols (e.g. Solomon and harem). They get caught in adultery (e.g. David and Bathsheba). They get scared into lying (e.g. Abraham, Sarah, Abimelech, and Pharaoh). They get dragged down into the pit (e.g. the vast majority of Proverbs on beautiful but deceitful women). The beauty of women is never downplayed. In fact, in Song of Songs Solomon lauds the beauty of the Shulamite woman the entire book without mentioning her character once.

Those who claim beauty is shallow fall into the trap of false humility. God created beauty, and beauty is objective. Some examples are nature, facial symmetry, a woman’s waist to hip ratio, and strong, muscular men. Without a God as an anchor, there can be no objective Truth such as beauty. Those who downplay beauty don’t understand the role it plays within marriage.

Obviously cultivating beauty or cultivating strong, confident, handsome, ambitious, successful leaders should not be placed over godliness and character. However, they are not mutually exclusive. Beauty is only vanity when focused in the wrong direction. Beauty for attention, beauty for power, beauty for other men are not good. However, beauty for a husband in marriage is good. Similarly, the same is true of the sex drive.


Conclusion

Creation

In summary, the Scriptures describe that God directs commands to man and woman when He made them and married them. These are:

  • Rule and subdue the earth
  • Be fruitful and multiply
  • Cultivate and keep the garden
  • Obey God

If we look at them from an observational perspective, we see that these commands also fairly accurately describe what each sex finds attractive in the opposite sex.

and

  • Men are primarily attracted to physical beauty and femininity. Examples of physical beauty are a woman’s face and her figure like waist to hip ratio. Examples of femininity are long hair and female-only attire like dresses and skirts. These things are [sexually] attractive to men.
  • Women are primarily attracted to PSALM traits and masculinity. PSALM is an acronym for power/personality, status, athleticism, looks, and money. Generally speaking, these are embodied in a man such as a confident, handsome, ambitious, successful leader. Masculinity also embodies many traits that correlate with this such as strong, confident, independent, driven, tough skinned, competitive, and so on.

Thus,

  • Men were commanded to rule and subdue the earth: hence, confident, ambitious, successful leaders are likely to do that. It’s no surprise that Scripture tells men that they are to be Protectors and Providers for their wives and families. A confident leader won’t back down from Protecting his wife when necessary or sacrificing himself as Jesus did for us such as in Numbers 30 and Ephesians 5. An ambitious, successful husband can easily provide for his family such as in Exodus 21 and 1 Timothy 5:8.
  • Woman was created as man’s helper and so that  he wouldn’t be alone. Eve was created to be a primary help for multiplying and filling the earth, and secondary help for ruling and subduing the earth and cultivating and keeping the garden. Beauty is a general proxy for healthiness and fertility because it signals less genetic errors and ability to bear children. Waist to hip ratios or curves garners a lot of attention by men because they are attractive, but they are also related to a woman’s health and her ability to bear healthy children.

There are multiple passages of Scripture both from the Old Testament and New Testament that affirm continually affirm these characteristics.

  • Husband — Headship, love your wife for the purpose of sanctification, live with your wife in an understanding way, don’t become embittered at your wife, provide for your family, etc.
  • Wife — Submit to your husband, respect your husband, have affection for your husband, main focus should be on the home and childbirthing, etc

In other words for men: rule your family well, obey God, cultivate and keep your family, and so on. For women: help your husband rule well, obey God, and help him be fruitful and multiply. 

These directly align with not only the Creation commands and intent but also with what we observe. The husband’s headship directly aligns with ruling, obeying God, provision and protection of his wife and family. The wife’s submission directly aligns with being her husband’s helper and being a mother aligns with being fruitful and multiplying. 

We do both singles and married a disservice by downplaying the role attraction plays in marriage. If we don’t show them why, from the Scriptures, God created these traits to be important and attractive to the opposite sex we risk alienating them and/or giving them cognitive dissonance. Exceptions are exceptions. Hanging onto exceptions when you want to be married give you a low probability of success. Sure, some men marry obese women. Most men don’t. Sure, some women marry men the stereotype of a man in his parent’s basement playing video games all the time. Most women don’t.

“Oh? You want a beautiful wife? That’s shallow and superficial.” However, we implicitly understand that beauty is objective, at least in part. That creates strong cognitive dissonance in Christian men: “Oh, I shouldn’t want beauty? Then why do I desire a beautiful wife? Is beauty a bad thing? Why do I want a beautiful wife if beauty is superficial?” Sadly, this is too often the case.

That which God creates is beautiful. He created us, and we were very good. He created attraction and our sex drives. He created marriage. He command us to take dominion and be fruitful and multiply. The loving gaze of a husband on his beautiful bride. The respect of a wife toward her strong, confident husband. Our righteousness is our beautiful clothing to Jesus. The beauty of a large family.

All of these things come together to form a coherent whole that exemplifies the nature of the beauty of marriage and the plan that God created for us to accomplish.

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11 Responses to A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage Part 3

  1. Pingback: Plans of action on attractive traits for men looking for a wife for a godly marriage | Christianity and masculinity

  2. Pingback: A Christian understanding of attraction and the role it plays in marriage Part 2 | Christianity and masculinity

  3. Michael says:

    You’ve been saying for a long time that it is a mistake to say that godliness is attractive. I never understood until now why it was important to make that point, but I agree now! Great post!

  4. Sharkly says:

    A very good post overall. However, I’ll still try to sharpen you.
    Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

    I think we follow Hollywood’s cultural influence in putting too much emphasis on attraction. My Mennonite ancestors, even just a generation ago, had a zero percent divorce rate, and they often reported focusing on other factors when choosing their mates. In a way it was like they used the same priorities that somebody else might use when setting up an arranged marriage. Much of their calculation seemed to be focusing on what would provide a solid foundation for the next generation.

    Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    For what it is worth, there is not a word in the Hebrew where the “them” has been added to Genesis 1:26 in this English translation. The only two personages mentioned in the verse in Hebrew are Elohim and Adam. The word “them” was added to refer back to Adam. Some other translations say “and let him have dominion”. The plural pronoun “them” is selected to denote that this dominion/headship had continued and been transferred onto all men. So, Adam was given dominion over all earthly creatures including Eve, whom he straightaway named, just as he had named all the other creatures under his dominion.

    “… marriage is an earthly institution and not heavenly …”
    However, don’t forget that it is God that joins the two into one flesh,(Matthew 19:6) so it is God’s institution and God’s will enacted in our flesh.

    “Sure, some men marry obese women. Most men don’t.”
    Obesity is not a fruit of the spirit, but reflects both a pattern of gluttony or self-indulgence, and a lack of self-control. It isn’t healthy, and it shows that person lacks the sense, and/or is not pious enough, to fast. Gross obesity is naturally repellant, as it bloats what should effectively be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Feminist “Fat Acceptance” movement is contrary to godliness.

    Also you’re far too reserved in only citing “waist to hip ratio” as an attractive fertility indicator.
    Proverbs 5:19b-20 Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress, and embrace the breasts of a stranger?

    Admit it. Most men like breasts with a decent volume and with big nipples they can easily suck on! Why would you be attracted to some flat chested girl who will struggle to keep your babies fed, or some girl whose nipples are small like a man’s, that your baby will have difficulty staying latched onto, when he should be full and contentedly drifting off to oblivion, still effortlessly attached to his mother, like a pacifier. The same things that make breasts great for babies are usually what men find attractive about them also. Usually if a woman’s breasts will satisfy her husband, they’ll likely satisfy his babies too.

    “… and why is she saved through childbearing in 1 Timothy 2? Because she is fulfilling the initial commands of God to be fruitful and multiply, and her offspring like Jesus will take dominion over the earth.
    1 Timothy 2:15(CEV) But women will be saved by having children, if they stay faithful, loving, holy, and modest.
    Some preachers seem to fail to realize that Paul first revealed that freshly inspired doctrine to Timothy and the church, after Christ had already been born and died. So it is unhelpful to water down the true meaning and full implication of the verse, as if the most of it was already fulfilled and moot after Christ was born. My wife’s salvation does not hinge on the possibility that she might again give birth to Jesus Christ, it hinges on her obedience in endeavoring to fulfill her God given purpose and role as helper and mate to her husband, who is the image/likeness/representation of Jesus Christ in the marriage, whereas the wife images the church. That verse was written well after Jesus Christ was born and had died, and describes how women are to work out their own salvation with works that display the existence or lack of saving faith, through how they treat their “lord”/head/husband/savior. The husband “saves” the wife by keeping her on the narrow way by washing her with the word of God and helping her to become “holy and without blemish”,(Ephesians 5:27) as she submits to her husband who is the image and glory of God(1 Corinthians 11:7) and she seeks to do those things that are well pleasing to her “lord”.(1 Peter 3:6) Yes, her sinful ways are to be scrubbed away by her bridegroom, even as the penalty of our sins is ultimately washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ the church’s bridegroom.
    Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.

    Matthew 25:45 “He will answer, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it not for one of the least of these, you did it not for Me.’ 46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    Even if her husband scores low on your LAMPS metric, and is “the least” of men, a wife’s salvation is dependent on how she treats her husband, because that directly reflects whether or not she is submitted to Jesus Christ. If she choses to deny her husband children, faithfulness, love, and sobriety, she will be sent to where faithless immodest unloving adulteresses all spend eternity experiencing shame and the contempt of the Creator. If a woman claims to be redeemed but yet she treats her husband poorly, she is a liar and the truth is not in her.

    Our churches preach Feminist crap and are full of Feminist rebellion. Marriages crumble, because they preach a false gospel of being saved by saying a magic prayer that stands in stark contrast to the evidence of their faithless unsubmitted lives.
    James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

  5. @ Michael

    You’ve been saying for a long time that it is a mistake to say that godliness is attractive. I never understood until now why it was important to make that point, but I agree now! Great post!

    Glad it helped.

    Yeah, the “godliness isn’t attractive” is somewhat of an oversimplification but hopefully gets the message across mainly.

    For example, someone who is part of the worship team or leads a Bible study will tend to be more attractive than not to women because they are in a higher status and leadership positions. However it’s not cause they are doing anything more pious than a Christian worshiping God at home or doing their own Bible study in quiet time.

    Moreover there are also ‘thankless’ leadership positions like your church greeter or parking lot coordinator or janitor that are not higher status that are not attractive.

    What is attractive tends to go back to God’s commands and marriage at creation, so if we can understand that better both men and women can appreciate those details more than basically inadvertently lying to Christian men and women about it.

  6. @ Sharkly

    I think we follow Hollywood’s cultural influence in putting too much emphasis on attraction. My Mennonite ancestors, even just a generation ago, had a zero percent divorce rate, and they often reported focusing on other factors when choosing their mates. In a way it was like they used the same priorities that somebody else might use when setting up an arranged marriage. Much of their calculation seemed to be focusing on what would provide a solid foundation for the next generation.

    I definitely agree with you here, but you make do with the culture that you are in. With most of the drivers toward stabilized marriages gone (e.g. less Christian, no fault divorce, masculinization of women and feminization of men, “equality”, etc.), I think it is a *wise* idea to maximize the things that can improve keeping marriages together. Attraction seems to be one of those factors.

    Even if her husband scores low on your LAMPS metric, and is “the least” of men, a wife’s salvation is dependent on how she treats her husband, because that directly reflects whether or not she is submitted to Jesus Christ. If she choses to deny her husband children, faithfulness, love, and sobriety, she will be sent to where faithless immodest unloving adulteresses all spend eternity experiencing shame and the contempt of the Creator. If a woman claims to be redeemed but yet she treats her husband poorly, she is a liar and the truth is not in her.

    Yeah, the commands of marriage are irrespective of how the other person is acting. Even if the husband is a disobedient to the word 1 Peter 3 mentions that wives should be submissive and respectful with a quiet and gentle spirit in order to win him to Christ.

    Sanctification is obviously the goal though this post does not cover that completely.

  7. Raymond says:

    I agree with the spirit, but not quite the words, when I read essays about how godliness is not attractive, and I also slightly disagree with those words here.

    This paragraph is essential:

    > Another problem, from what I’ve seen, is not solely that the modern Church parrots false narratives about what is attractive to both men and women. That is definitely harmful. However, there is the issue that makes it seem like godliness is mutually exclusive with the traits that attract the opposite sex. For example, beauty is somehow mutually exclusive with godliness, which 1 Pet 3 does not say at all. Another example is that a successful, ambitious man may be looked on as ‘too worldly’ because money is evil when it is the love of money that is evil in 1 Tim 6. This is a problem because these things are false. You can be beautiful and godly. You can be a confident, ambitious, and successful Christian leader.

    I think this post really hits at the spirit of the problem, and that ambition, success, and leadership need to be reclaimed as positive character traits in line with Genesis 1:28. When they are seen as *related to* godliness, godliness no longer describes something that’s unattractive.

  8. @ Raymond

    I think this post really hits at the spirit of the problem, and that ambition, success, and leadership need to be reclaimed as positive character traits in line with Genesis 1:28. When they are seen as *related to* godliness, godliness no longer describes something that’s unattractive.

    Sort of. I agree that ambition, success, and leadership are to be reclaimed.

    Yet on the other hand, another analogy I use often is the Church pastor or worship leader vs the Church parking lot coordinator or janitor. Each one of these people can be serving God wholeheartedly without selfish ambition or conceit — in other words, they are practicing godliness in what they do. Yet only the former are generally considered attractive to women.

    Rather, it is more accurate to say that the characteristic way in which something is done (e.g. traits of masculinity) or the position (e.g. power, status) are typically representative of something that is attractive. Things in the Church like leading a Bible study can be attractive to women and godly, but not everything is attractive. Some are just neutral or unattractive depending on what it is. Some of the things Jesus did was unattractive by conventional means (e.g. washing his disciples feet), but mostly because his disciples didn’t understand His mission until after He died and was resurrected.

    Chivalry is the “appearance of godliness” but unattractive so I wouldn’t count that as godly but unattractive.

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