September 8, 2014

May I marry for looks? An Open Letter to Single Male Idiots

by Clint Archer

Dear (usually young) single male,

I have been asked this same question by many of your ilk. To be more honest than I’d be if I were posting this answer on a blog, I confess I have made that same enquiry myself. The conventional wisdom I received was that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That is true, but some beholders are idiots. I was one of them.couch potato

The answer is now so obvious to me; but it is because I can still remember the days before I got married twelve years ago that I don’t want to make too much fun of you. so, here are five principles I’ve learned you might find helpful.

 

1. Know Thyself

As the ancient Delphic maxim goes, you must have self-awareness to avoid much frustration. One mentor proffered this rather opaque aphorism:  “If you want to shop on aisle ten, you need to stop looking like you belong in aisle one.” I’m still not sure exactly what that means—is there a rating system to the aisles in grocery stores?— but I stewed on that wisdom til I realized he was saying: “If you want to date a cute, smart, well-dressed, well-groomed, intelligent gal, then lose the earring, get a haircut, wash your clothes more often than you do, stop stuffing your face, trade your PlayStation for a library card, and try breathing through your nose.”

Many young men are oblivious as to what league they are trying out for. If you want to marry a godly woman, start by becoming a godly man. And if you’d prefer her to be easy on the eyes try becoming a bit more presentable yourself.

2. Do unto others

Some males are mystified as to why the svelte ladies they find so appealing all seem to be “too shallow” to overlook their foibles and physical shortfalls. It is worth reminding these myopic males that they should treat others the way they would want to be treated. If you hope your future wife will see past your corpulent girth, oily skin, and caprine facial hair, don’t get hung-up on her muffin-top.

single guy with beardSome guys slip off the other side of the self-awareness horse. They become so obsessed with every bulge of muscle they manage to generate in front of the gym’s mirrors that they begin to assume having a six-pack is normal (it’s not).

3. Believe the Bible

God repeatedly warns in Scripture that beauty can easily be a skin deep minefield of deception, a ticking time bomb of regret wrapped in cheap, pretty paper.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I like how cigarette packaging comes plastered with cancer warnings. This should be the warning label on fashion magazines:

Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Though there is certainly nothing at all wrong with a woman watching her weight, using some rouge, combing her hair once in a while, or otherwise taking care of her appearance, her efforts become self-defeating when she dresses to draw inordinate attention to her physique. I don’t mean a lady needs to don a sack-cloth muumuu to prove her modesty. But if she wants you to ogle her flesh, if she encourages you to focus on parts of her body you have no business enjoying before marriage that reveals something about her character. That’s not the view of a fuddy-duddy prude; it’s God’s standard for feminine beauty:

1 Pet 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

 

4. Love, Love Me Do

Even the Beatles knew that love is a verb. You don’t feel love, you do love. The feelings of affection ebb and flow with the seasons of life.

The physical beauty and shape comes and goes with fatigue, flu, ageing, childbearing, etc. but cheerfulness, kindness, commitment, and patience (a requisite for putting up with your cheesy humor, your absent-mindedness around anniversary time, and your snoring), are all virtues you can’t glean from a Photoshopped selfie, and yet they are the glue of marriage, in season and out.

 

5. Blind Faith

Am I saying that looks play absolutely no part in selecting a spouse? Am I advocating that girls go out of their way to mask their appearance to test the sincerity of their suitors, like a ninja matchmaking service? Um, no.

Physical beauty is a gift from God in nature and art and people. It is perfectly fine to recognize, enjoy, and pursue beauty…in its place. Architects know that a good design never elevates form over function. You wouldn’t buy a sleek Ferrari if it didn’t have an engine.

alonePhysical attraction is a wonderful luxury that you may choose to wait for. You may even choose to be single forever rather than marry someone you aren’t physically attracted to. Good luck with that. Just don’t prioritize looks over character. You may insist on both and be willing to die single, or you may have to choose. My advice: choose character. You will eventually find true beauty shapes your perception from the inside out.

 

Disclaimer: 

If you’ve seen my stunning wife, you may accuse me of not practicing what I proffer. But everyone who has met her knows that I married her despite her head-turning beauty.  As one who has been married to a hot girl for twelve years now, I can tell you it is her godliness and maternal instincts and ability to forgive me and be patient and to persevere in trials and confront my sin in a way that makes me laugh that are BY FAR the most important part of why I have a happy marriage, great kids, and a really fun life.

 

So, the short answer to your question, “May I marry for looks?” is yes, you may, in the same way that you may bath with a cat or embrace a beehive. “All things are lawful but not all are profitable.” Just don’t be an idiot.

Clint Archer

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Clint is the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church. He and his expanding troop of Archers live near Durban, South Africa (and pity anyone who doesn't). When he is off duty from CGate, his alter ego blogs at Café Seminoid, clintarcher.com
  • On the wedding day is the BEST the man & woman will look for the rest of their lives.

    • But not the best they will ever see. The longer you’re married the better you get at looking at your spouse!

    • Michael Roe

      Actually, my wife is hotter now than ever. Smokin’. And that is after almost nine years. Course, I married up big time.

  • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

    So the short answer to your question, “May I marry for looks?” is yes, you may, in the same way that you may bathe with a cat or embrace a beehive. LOL!

    As a woman who has been married for 30 years to a wonderful man with a great sense of humor, keep making your wife laugh. That is a gift!

    • I try; I need to make up for my deficiency in the looks department.

  • Realist Idealist

    Here are some thoughts from the other side. Christian guys who actually care about living in a manner worthy of God are stuck in a really bad place right now. The “dateable girls” are rarely godly. If they’re believers, they’re utter infants in the faith, no matter how long they’ve professed the name of Christ. And the godly girls are often so unattractive that it’s very unwise to date them (I’ll explain below).

    I’m a 27-year-old Christian who’s been single for four years, and I’m struggling to find a dateable girl. I know the Bible. I’m educated (lawyer). I’m well-read. I go to the gym three times per week. I would consider myself fairly attractive, etc. etc. But there aren’t too many girls out there that (1) moderately care about God enough to abstain from sex for the short time while we date before marriage [not kidding either]; and (2) keep themselves in good shape. They don’t have to be beauty queens–that’s vanity–but everyone should keep themselves up. Health matters.

    I don’t think pastors get how much the hook-up culture has damaged young Christians. Honestly, hardly anyone makes it to marriage anymore without having sex. Heck, most people have sex now and don’t even care about it. And these are people that go to church every week. It’s a travesty. How on earth am I supposed to date a girl and lead us in purity if she can’t even go a few months without sex? How am I supposed to get us from the first date to marriage and lead her in the godly virtues (humility, peace, patience, love, etc.) if she likes to get undressed in front of me because she feels unattractive one day and wants me to reaffirm that I like her. That might sound stupid, but that’s exactly what happens now.

    I know all of you older men love to preach to us that it’s all about character over beauty, but it’s not that simple anymore. Look, every single one of us is slammed day-in and day-out with porn. If it’s not traditional porn (videos on the internet), it’s images in news articles, music videos, or on commercials. Literally, I can’t even catch up on current events or watch the Big Bang Theory without seeing some woman in her underwear or in a skimpy bikini. Not joking here. It’s everywhere.

    And when you live in a society so drenched in porn, you need someone that you find physically attractive or you will stray from them. I know that sounds shallow. But sin is fought before you ever get tempted by it. I hate this about myself. I really, really wish that I could date some of the less-attractive, but godly girls at my church. But I can’t. I know that I will stray from them, especially when so many non-Christian girls see a good Christian guy (who they know will treat them well) and try to flirt with us and offer us sex so we will be with them. Again, I’m not kidding.

    And, to be clear, I know that this leaves a lot of good girls single. And this often leads to them dating worthless guys that don’t treat them well. It breaks my heart to hear the stories of awful guys mistreating women. But I just can’t date someone out of sympathy. And I can’t date someone–including telling her how attractive I find her, which all good boyfriends/husbands should do–if I don’t find her attractive.

    It’s so flippin’ hard for serious Christians to date in the age of Tinder. We’re all just so broken.

    • Shane Williamson

      Come to Africa, bro.

      • Says the guy dating an American. 😉

    • At the risk of sounding flippant, the essence of this malaise can be cured by taking to heart what Jesus said: “If your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it from you.” He did not say, adjust your standards to accommodate the input. The attack against sin needs to be variegated. Flee temptation, get mature, get accountability, pray for help, find a wife, commit to her, etc, etc, etc. Thanks for your honesty.

      • Realist Idealist

        That was a flippant response. I have been “tearing out my eye.” I’ve been single for four years now, waiting for a girl who will let me lead us both with purity.

        The problem is: most of the girls I’m attracted to have succumbed to the hookup culture and, thus, aren’t dateable if I want to remain faithful to God; and I’m not attracted to the one’s that are godly, and I’m extremely afraid that I’ll end up cheating on them if I pursue a serious relationship/marry them. I’ve had numerous non-Christian women offer to sleep with me thinking that it will win me over (probably because it does with many guys), and I know that if I’m not attracted to my girlfriend/wife, and another one of those girls does that, I might succumb to temptation.

        • victory in Jesus alone

          I don’t want to come across as rude or not understanding. I realize that porn is a huge problem, I have brothers. I also have a husband. I am very sorry that our culture is like this. Especially as a young married Christian woman who would like to think that other women aren’t a threat. But I have a most genuine question. It’s one I had to face as a possibility when I said “I do”. What happens if you marry a perfectly beautiful person and tomorrow she is involved in a car crash? If your fidelity to your spouse would be based on what they look like, then it may be that you are not ready for marriage. Remember that Christ’s faithfulness to His bride the church is nowhere dependant on her, but entirely on His predetermined will (see Ephesians and Romans).To say that this kind of commitment is easy would be a farce, because you’re right that we are broken in sin. But God is more than able to give strength to stay faithful to your spouse like He has been in keeping you from premarital sex. As long as you’re living sin is a struggle. It doesn’t matter who you marry. It doesn’t matter how sheltered you are. Because ultimately sin is rooted in our hearts and only God can work in us both to will and to do what is right. And only what Christ accomplished can give any of us a standing before God because our best is filthy rags.

          • Realist Idealist

            It’s not rude at all. It’s a great discussion to have. You asked: “What happens if you marry a perfectly beautiful person and tomorrow she is involved in a car crash? If your fidelity to your spouse would be based on what they look like, then it may be that you are not ready for marriage.”

            Attraction is deeper than one’s exterior. If I were to marry a girl, I would do so for a list of reasons that beauty would be the bottom of. She would be a girl with hopes, dreams, needs, perfections, and imperfections that make me desire her. I’m a conversationalist at heart. If I married a girl, it would be because of all the places in the world I could be, I would almost always want to be beside her with a cup of coffee, next to a fire, talking about Christ. It would be because when I think of my life down the road, I can’t imagine it without her. When I think about her, all I can think about is the things that I can do for her, and how I can make her happy. Beauty alone does not do that.

            Her physical appearance wouldn’t be sufficient, and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But it does matter. Any guy that says otherwise isn’t being honest.

            And girls know this. Whether it’s a father or potential suitor, women want men to tell them that they’re beautiful. Am I supposed to lie to her?

        • Brother, I really didn’t mean to be flippant. Your question is a good one. It needs counsel that would require more specifics than is appropriate for this forum.

    • Dennis HC

      If I could ask two quick questions before responding further, do you attend a solid church, and do you live in a major metropolitan area?

      • Either way, my theory is that since you only need *one* and God is sovereign (“A wife is a gift of the Lord) the odds don’t matter much anyway!

        • Dennis HC

          I don’t disagree with that concept, my questions were simply designed to get a sense of the environment of the writer.

      • Realist Idealist

        Yes to both. I’m actually a lay leader in the very solid church.

        • Dennis HC

          Thanks for answering. I have great sympathy for you, simply because I once thought as you do. As a single man, I considered myself to be successful, spiritually mature, not terrible looking, and ready to be married. I, too, managed to resist the call of worldly women, although that was obviously commanded by Scripture, with a particularly powerful warning in Proverbs 7. And in obeying those commands, I was merely being an unworthy slave per Luke 17:10.

          But I, too, struggled greatly in finding a wife. I eventually realized that I was thinking far too highly of myself per Rom. 12:3, to the extent that despite my understanding of the theology of man’s depravity and what he truly deserves (i.e. hell), I started believing that I nevertheless deserved a hot-and-godly wife who would gladly submit to a knucklehead like me. And that prideful sense of entitlement tainted the entire process for me. I’m not saying you’re necessarily doing the same thing, but rather that it just isn’t a far step from “I’m such-and-such, that’s just reality,” to “yes, I deserve something.”

          It wasn’t until after I realized I truly DIDN’T deserve anything, and that my own standards had been so polluted by the world (which hates us per 1 John 3:13) that I needed to get back to looking for what the BIBLE praises (see Clint’s article above), rather than what the world values, that God brought me together with the wonderful woman who later became my wife.

          I’m not talking about a formula, or a works-righteousness sense of “if I only be more holy in this area, then God will reward me,” or pretending that attraction is unimportant. I’m suggesting attitude matters, and earnestly praying on your knees for God to raise your standards (not lowering them or “settling” as some like to believe) to conform to His rather than the world’s, may be of some benefit to you.

          Finally, if you go to a solid church in a major metropolitan area, I’m honestly a little surprised you’re having such a hard time finding attractive, godly single women. I’m familiar with churches in a few major metropolitan areas, and without fail, there always seem to be more attractive, godly single women than men.

          • Realist Idealist

            Piercing words, Dennis. Thanks for the response. I’m not sure that it perfectly corresponds that my situation, but it’s terrific content to meditate on. You very well could be right. Edwards once said, “Pride is the worst viper that is in the heart…and there is no one sin that does so much to let the Devil into the hearts of the saints, and exposes them to his delusions.”

          • Dennis HC

            I greatly appreciate your response, and although I truly didn’t intend my words to be piercing, the fact that you took them that way may speak well as to your humility and openness to the Word.

            On a more practical level, if you’ve faithfully plugged into your local church (as it sounds like you have), and don’t struggle with a church hopping/consumerism mentality, I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with visiting ministries at other faithful local churches that meet outside of Sunday mornings. Sometimes there are some fantastic Sunday night services and/or college-and-career ministries that meet on weeknights.

            I’ve seen tons of great brothers and sisters meet their spouses by switching up their routine even just a little bit. Perhaps it’s the exposure to new acquaintances and potential friends, or leaving one’s own immediate high-pressure bubble, or even just stretching yourself to step outside of your comfort zone a bit to be more open and outgoing… whatever it is, it’s one of the benefits of living in a major metropolitan area. May as well take advantage of it!

            Again, all of this presumes you remain faithful in your responsibilities at your own church. Much love and grace to you, and I’m praying for you. And one last look at the bright side… there are tons of poorer, less attractive brothers who would probably love to have the chance to experience the problems you’re going through (and I pray it would be with equal steadfastness for purity).

          • Heather

            Mind if I add my two cents? First off, I have to say, I’m SUPER surprised to hear that you, Realist Idealist, are having a hard time finding a nice Christian young women!? It must be the circle of people you’re in, because in my circles, I know a TON of pretty Christ-like women just waiting for godly husbands, except their problem is that they can’t find any godly men! I couldn’t agree more with Dennis HC, that if you want to find a wife, go to other faithful local churches, because they are definitely out there. And I can tell you, more likely than not, those women won’t be going around to other churches looking for a husband. I think most Christian women waiting for a husband expect him to find her, not her to find him. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is 😉

            Anyways, I may not know what you’re going through, but I do sympathize. Can I be honest? Just from reading your comments and description of yourself, you’re the type of guy that I, and I’m pretty sure other Christian women I know, would normally be intimidated by. It’s the whole looks thing. I’m not judging your character or anything, it’s just that for most of us gals, we really don’t mind a guy who might be over weight or balding or unstylish or clumsy or whatever, as long as his heart is set on the Lord Jesus Christ. But when a guy is good looking or works out all the time or is overly charming or whatever, it is intimidating, and makes us wonder what his heart is really set on? The fear of divorce is something that looms over all of our heads, and I know a lot of single Christian women fear that a good looking husband would eventually “fall into temptation” and leave her for another more beautiful woman, so we tend to look for the more simple-looking, humble guys that are purely living for the Lord. Outward beauty really is deceiving and quickly fading. I know plenty of Christian women who, although they may look more simple, are worth more than a thousand outwardly beautiful women. They are beautiful daughters of God whose hearts are set purely and sweetly on the Lord Jesus Christ and whose intentions are to live for Christ by serving along side a husband in love and joy, and if you don’t take the time to get to know them and give them a chance, I’m telling you, you’re missing out. Sometimes Christian girls may dress like that because the pressures, when you’re single, to look beautiful are unbelievably and unbearably strong, and sometimes the best way to fight against the current of it all is to just get out of the stream altogether (make of that what you will, but it makes sense to me lol, and, anyways, I’ve seen plenty of “simple” girls transform into really pretty women after they get married). Anyways, I have a feeling that if you married a godly girl like that, she’d still be the most beautiful woman to you in the whole world 🙂

    • GinaRD

      Realist Idealist, I’m 38 years old and have never had sex in my life, out of love for and obedience to God. I’ve been a Christian since I was three. And not to toot my own horn, but — since the subject has been raised — people tell me I’m reasonably attractive. I exercise every day, practice good hygiene and good dietary habits, and dress nicely (modestly enough that it won’t make you blush, but not the “flour sack covering me from neck to heels” kind of modestly).

      Keep looking, R.I. We’re out here. 🙂

      • Realist Idealist

        GinaRD, thanks for the boost of hope. Also, I’m glad that you don’t wear flour sacks. 🙂

        • GinaRD

          So am I!

          And you’re welcome.

    • Marla Beale

      Just a few words of encouragement for you, and they aren’t cliches because my dh lived them. Don’t give up, God is faithful! I know 4 years may seem like a lot longer, but you are still here and God is still working in your life. My dh was 28 when we met, nearly 29 when we married. He was in the same despair. The hook up culture in mankind’s heart hasn’t changed that much — just now with technology it seems like it is easier to advertise.

      He had to wait so long, because I was considerably younger than he, and he had to wait for me to grow up to meet him. 🙂 We’ve been married 21 years this year and have quite a family (our youngest born last year when my dh turned 50).
      I don’t know where your future wife is, but keep your mind on the Word, and keep asking God to bring her closer.

      • Realist Idealist

        Marla, thank you for the encouragement!

        • Steve

          RI – I’m so thankful for your response in this thread, my brother. Your wisdom and humility is an example for many. As one who is in a similar season of life as you, I can greatly identify with the struggles and issues you present here. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that we live in a broken world where much gray area exists and more often than not, married folks with good intentions address our singleness and our situations in terms of black and white. They ought to take heed and realize the insensitivity in their words and actions, but that would demand a level of maturity that frankly, many of them have yet to attain. And that’s ok. So we’ll just smile, say “thank you” for their advice, and move on, not having been helped or edified in anyway. I would encourage those folks to read this article http://biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/blogs/2014/08/05/4-things-not-to-say-to-hurting-people/
          and pay special attention to points #3 and #4. What many people fail to acknowledge is that singleness for those who desire to be married is very much a form of suffering. Yes. I understand that scripture says singleness is a gift (1 Cor 7). And yes, I understand that guys (and gals) like us have much pride to repent of and much wisdom to gain. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s tough. It’s very difficult. And just because it is a form of suffering doesn’t mean that we will just wallow and waste away feeling sorry for ourselves. What we must do, my brother – and I trust that you already know this – is recognize and thank God for His sovereignty over our situations in life (even those of suffering) and praise Him regardless of the season of life we find ourselves in. He hasn’t forgotten about us, He hasn’t stepped down from His throne, He won’t forsake those who righteously pursue Him, and He won’t withhold good things from His kids. So let us be enthralled with His majesty and content with His good sovereignty. I know you know this. I think so often we focus on in our suffering the “why” of how things got to be this way, when we should, like Job, be afforded a lesson in the “who” of who God is (Job 38-42) and we would be much better off. So keep straining forward brother! Be strong in the faith! Don’t give up your hope or joy in the Lord! Whether He has wives for us in the future or not is a tertiary issue. How we love and adore and praise Him in the present is what is of first importance. There’s so much more to say. If you need someone to talk to who understands, you can reach me at steve@cornerstonejh.com.

          • Eric Davis

            Sound words, Steve. As one who has done much thinking, wrestling, & glorifying of God in this issue, I’m thankful you chimed in.

          • Dennis HC

            As someone who struggled for years with being single, and is ministering alongside and to many single people now, I totally agree with you that trite, simplistic, black-and-white pronouncements from married people to their single brothers and sisters can sometimes, perhaps even often, be unhelpful.

            That said, I believe it’s important to remember that the married people are — nearly uniformly, from my experience — rooting for, in favor of, trying to encourage, and doing their best to support, their godly single friends. The married couples are perhaps enjoying a good thing in marriage, after all, and they know their single friends typically desire the same thing, and so they want to help out however they can.

            How that help can be best expressed is a tricky thing, and it can often differ from single person to single person. But love believes the best, and bears all things, and even if it’s a not-particularly-helpful comment, hopefully the love present on all sides will help buffer it. Not just in the “smile, say ‘thank you’ for their advice, and move on” external part of the response, but even in the internal heart attitude toward it.

            Similarly, when single people inevitably experience struggle and suffering in their situation, there will prayerfully be a loving shepherd in their lives who can offer careful and gentle encouragement and exhortation, if that struggle and suffering ever starts turning into complaining and bitterness.

            Much love and grace to you, Steve. I just said a prayer for your situation, and will do so again from time-to-time as the Lord brings it to mind. All my best.

          • Steve

            Amen. Thank you for the kind words and prayer, Dennis. Much love brother.

  • David

    Nooo!!!! The Playstation dig. Games are not the problem, maturity is. Unfortunately, they go hand-in-hand in a lot of cases but do not have a direct correlation. As an avid gamer, father of four and full-time minister I will defend my hobby when it’s unfairly categorized as exclusively ‘something immature men/boys do’. The gaming industry is a different industry than it was years ago, it is the future of entertainment (family) and does not deserve this tired stigma. So, don’t trade your Playstation for a library card … just grow up.

    • I bet Paul would agree if he were writing today: “Call of Duty is of some profit, but godliness is profitable in every way.’

  • Dave

    “You either keep tearing up the girl or eventually tear up the picture.” -H. Hendricks

    • Yes. What Hendricks said.

  • Haha, love this! My son and daughter-in-law strive to teach this to their 15 year old daughter and they’ve been successful so far but this is an awesome post and I will be forwarding it to them as my daughter-in-law will be working with teenage girls this year at their church. Great timing – thank you!

    • This is a timeless issue, so the timing will always be right!

  • “…trade your PlayStation for a library card….” Super. Great advice. One reason why my beautiful bride gave me a fightin’ chance was because, unlike her previous “boyfriends,” I didn’t own a video game system. Nothing has spurred on the “Peter Pan” mentality like video games. Take the advice, my young single brethren! Get outside and do something!

    • I wonder what she says about blogging!

      • Thankfully, I think she benefits more from my blogging than she would if I were an avid “gamer.” 😉

  • Sara Mallon

    oh clint. miss you!!! 🙂

    • Hey speak of the devil! A young lady who is beautiful both inside and out (except when she’s carrying frogs).

  • Johnny

    Whatever the situation, though, is understand that when you say “til death do us part” it means just that: no wonky exception clauses and sneaky ways out of the vow. You make it, you keep it until you die. I’ve seen far too many messed up people from so-called Christian homes whose lives were destroyed by the satanic sin of divorce.

  • tovlogos

    Ha — What can I say but — Amen.
    Thanks Clint.

  • elainebitt

    I don’t think any Christian man should call their wives “hot”.

    • Cari

      What? My husband and i have been married for 24 years and i love it when he calls me hot or smokin. Gosh, i disagree.

      • Cari

        And BTW, I just sent this blog post to my 21 year old son because i think it is terrific. Thank you. Wonderful discussion too.

      • Dennis HC

        I think it’s great if a husband calls his wife beautiful or hot all the time, in private.

        To be honest, however, I’m not usually a fan of hearing this in public. This is because first, I’d rather hear him extol her character. Second, I don’t really need my mind aimed in that direction about anyone else’s wife (ESPECIALLY when it’s a pastor in the pulpit while I’m trying to focus on God’s Word). And third, how is anyone else even supposed to respond in that situation? Agree (weird), disagree (insulting), or make some awkward comment and move on (most likely, but still shouldn’t even be necessary)?

        • Lol. Yeah, you don’t want to agree or disagree!

      • elainebitt

        I should have added “in public”.

        • Good qualification.

    • I, on the other hand, don’t think any Christian man should call anyone but his own wife “hot”. But point taken, I realize it can in some circles be taken as a crass word. Apologies.

      • elainebitt

        Does the term “hot” in the context in this blog mean anything different in your circles other than calling your wife “sexy”?

        • I was going for physically attractive.

          • elainebitt

            Well, that too makes my point. Why would you want to point that out to other people? Just switch the word “hot” for “physically attractive” and see how weird it sounds, nevermind coming from a Christian man.

            I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I think this is one of those things that unbelievers do and we just go along with it without thinking it over twice.

            Anyway… I am sorry… I understand this is not the point of your article.

          • Point taken Elaine. Again. Thanks.

      • The issue with words such as “hot” and “smokin” in the Christian realm are that they imitate the worldliness-of-the-world (in some of its deepest depravity no less) in describing the outward beauty of the male or female form.

        And it makes us look silly, I think.

        When I first started seeing those terms bandied about in Christian circles I was taken aback, it only made me think of bilboards and such in Vegas, or Sturgis..

    • Emma

      good thing it doesn’t matter what you think about what a husband and wife call each other if it makes the other feel loved or attractive.

      • elainebitt

        I meant in public Emma.

        Your opinion about my opinion has the same value you gave to mine.

        Edited to add: I just don’t understand the attitude of comments like yours. If you are going to dismiss every single comment that disagree with your opinion, why do you even bother to read and comment on blogs though? Why? Just write all your opinions on a piece of paper and read them to yourself.

    • Carrie

      I love it when my husband tells me I’m hot. It makes me feel desirable. I think men can think of their wives as “hot” but not turn it into something perverted or degrading. Within marriage we have the freedom to say those kinds of things as long as we are not offending or hurting our spouse. Which brings me to a question for you Elaine- do you think it’s wrong for a woman to call her husband “hot?” Does it have the same connotation?

      • I agree with you, Carrie, it’s neat when the hubs tells us these things in private 🙂 I’m with Elaine in that it’s the “public” / publicizing of these terms. But I am over 50, so perhaps a bit on the curmudgeonly side (LOL 😉

  • Emma

    I’m not quite sure how you got his picture, but the man with the beard in the picture towards the top of your post is my friend’s son-in-law.

    • No way! My wife literally said “If you use a picture of a real person, they will find out!” I just googled “well groomed single man” and that guy showed up. I really liked the look of a bearded single guy with what looked like a wedding set-up in the background. Please don’t tell him I think he’s a single male idiot!

      • Emma

        What’s funny is that it’s a picture of him at his own wedding 🙂

        • Ha! So his well groomed beard worked.

  • Lyle Wetherston

    Wait, six packs are not normal?

    • Says the personal trainer. Don’t tell your clients that, they might think they don’t need you after all. 🙂

    • Benjamin Coussens

      Only for rugby players 😉

  • J

    Just don’t prioritize looks over character. You may insist on both and
    be willing to die single, or you may have to choose. My advice: choose
    character. You will eventually find true beauty shapes your perception
    from the inside out.

    I could not agree with you more.

  • Billy_Quan

    Great blog! So much truth! I think there is a balance. I feel for Realist Idealist. And like you, Clint, it’s hard for me to sympathize because I married a super Hot (sorry elainebit) Godly woman at 25. We were both virgins, so it is possible. I grew up in a very un-godly city where I was a huge anomaly as a Christian virgin. You are correct, that porn and pseudo pornographic images are everywhere, and it’s getting worse. But unless you are going to go “off the grid” and move to the woods of Idaho, you are going to have to find a way to deal with it. It takes self- control and a focus on the things of God. I see too many christians that want the world to conform to their lack of self-control and not confront them with anything tempting. Not gonna happen. “Know thyself”. If you struggle with lust, don’t go to the beach. I agree that our women should practice modesty, but physical attractiveness is important to us men. That’s just how we’re wired (which is why porn is such a problem. We are visually stimulated). So it’s hard to want to date a godly women in a burka. I was told once when I was single that I should try to be the man I want my future wife to marry. That really made me look at myself and what I was presenting to the world. I think women can benefit from this as well. You want a man that loves to look at you as well as talk theology with you. It’s interesting when christian girls dress like the amish and go out of their way to look homely then complain that their single. (I exaggerate a bit to prove a point) Anyway, hang in there Realist! It will be worth it.
    On a side note: Health IS important. True that the 6 pack abs are not the norm but we should be some what health conscious and good stewards of what God has given us. I get frustrated with Christians that preach self-control when they are 100 lbs over weight.
    Also, I think MORE Christian men should call their wives HOT!!

    • Steve

      As one who lives in the almost woods of Idaho, I can say that it’s not too bad…

      • I mean, you obviously have the internet.

  • Josh Smoke

    “Caprine facial hair” says the guy rocking the soul patch. That is the best part of the article.

  • OhSleeper

    Great article Clint. This is definitely been on my mind and a topic of discussion for me frequently as I am a young professional on the hunt for a godly wife 😉 I think it is tough for young single guys like me to know sometimes what to look for in a wife. Which is why I try to ask older married Christian men in my life what their advice is in this area. I think for me, what I consider beautiful is probably different than what the culture says is attractive. But I find it hard to find a godly girl because most girls in my churches singles group (which mind you is about 700 people) are very immature spiritually and theologically. Although it doesn’t help that I would describe myself as Reformed at a major evangelical church and am somewhat picky about what I want theologically in a girl (cessationist and Reformed). But my mom told me that when she was single she always prayed that God would give her what she needed and not what she wanted. I think that is a very great way to put it and I am constantly being reminded that I should be looking for a wife who can partner with me in serving Christ in a world lost without the Gospel and not my idea of a perfect partner. Thanks for your wisdom on this!

  • 4Commencefiring4

    “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pret-ty woman your wife. So from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you.”–The Coasters.

    • That song is hilarious. To men. Not sure if I’d hum the tune near my wife though.

  • Benjamin Coussens

    Hi Clint,

    Just curious, do you find this more prevalent in guys that are older, or is this basically across the board?

    • Hey Ben there are mature and immature men and women of all ages. The ones who ask me the question tend to be younger, single men. Usually married men (regardless of their age) recognize the importance of character over looks, from their experience. So it tends to be the inexperienced, or niaive guys who ask the question.

  • Kevin Peterson

    If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
    Never make a pretty woman your wife
    So for my personal point of view
    Get an ugly girl to marry you.

  • Leah, not Rachel

    You know who hasn’t appeared in this conversation yet? The ugly Christian girl. As someone who has a face that would launch 1,000 paper bags, I feel I should add my two cents.

    I’m not sure I understand why it’s OK to dismiss learned, mature, Godly women solely on looks, in light of the Scriptures shared above. We didn’t give ourselves these faces, disfigurements, disabilities, etc.

    I think I dress appropriately for my station. I keep myself in pretty good shape. I just have an unattractive face.

    I’ll admit. It’s hard sometimes being passed over for the unfaithful women who can barely count to six. I’m over here like “exegesis this” and “hermeneutics that” and no one is interested because Tyra Banks doesn’t want me on her show. Go figure.

    That’s when I need to repent of my wicked covetousness and rejoice in the things our Lord has given me.

    I have to remember God’s goodness to me. He has saved me from all that I deserve and promises that I’ll be conformed to the image of his son. That is more than enough to be thankful for and mediate on in this life and the next.

    Every now and then, you’ll come across the Godly people who have a good view on these temporary marriages. Praise the Lord for that. (Ian & Larissa Murphy, anyone?)

    Any other (unsought) Leahs out there: be encouraged. Stay away from the temptations that seek your hurt, especially “romance” novels and movies, and pornography. (Oh, you didn’t know porn affects women, too?) Don’t rail against those who say their wives have to look a certain way — just be glad you’re not a part of that relationship. We have a wonderful opportunity to serve our eternal Lord with undivided attention on this temporary earth for however many more breaths he has given us. And we will take part in the most wonderful wedding feast ever — along with the brothers who snubbed us and the girls who got the guy. So let’s love everyone now like we will love them then.

    I got a bit rambly towards the end, but you know what I mean 🙂

    • Dennis HC

      Very powerful words. I pray that God blesses you richly indeed, sister!

      • Leah, not Rachel

        Thank you for the prayers, Dennis.

        I greatly appreciate what you said about the public “hottening” of one’s wife. I also think it makes things awkward for everyone, including the sisters lacking in hotness who feel inadequate in society anyway. Do we have to feel inadequate in the church, too?

        By the way, I want to apologize to everyone about the “women who can barely count to six” line. It was supposed to be a hyperbolic quip about women who disdain learning the Scriptures. I understand that what I said was rude, and even dishonoring to God. I’m sorry.

        • Heather

          I think the point is, it shouldn’t be OK to dismiss learned, mature, Godly women (or men) solely on looks.

          You may think of yourself as a “Leah,” but I’m sure one day you will be a lovely “Rachel” to one very happy guy 🙂

          I couldn’t agree with you more that “we have a wonderful opportunity to serve our eternal Lord with undivided
          attention on this temporary earth for however many more breaths he has given us,” except I would equally say it to all the single Rachel’s, too.

          I’ve always believed, and shared with younger sisters, that our happiness should not be dependent on whether we get a husband or not, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of love and happiness, and He alone is the one who can truly fill us with the happiness and love of content joy!

          “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

          For all the single Leah’s and Rachel’s, we not only have the opportunity to give our undivided attention into serving the Lord, but we also have the time and undivided attention to invest in a relationship with the one and only Man who literally gave Himself for us and sweetly loves us unconditionally, and how truly happy we will be when we flourish in that care-free heavenly relationship with the Lord! 🙂

          “There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world–how she may please her husband.” 1 Cor 7:34

    • Thank you for sharing your feelings and insights. I recognize that even in the Bible there is a recognition that some men find some women attractive physically, and not others. Rachel and Leah, Abigail, Esther…etc. But I think the Bible is equally clear about the risk involved: Bathsheba, Delilah, and God’s warning to Samuel’s assumption about Eliab, especially after the debacle of Saul the king who was tall, dark, and disappointing.

    • Particular Baptist

      “I have to remember God’s goodness to me. He has saved me from all that I deserve and promises that I’ll be conformed to the image of his son. That is more than enough to be thankful for and mediate on in this life and the next.”

      AMEN! What wonderful words sister! You made me tear up. 🙂
      I don’t know about your face but you certainly have a beautiful heart! Prov. 31:30

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