This is a topic that came up a lot at camp the past week that I spent there volunteering and helping them get ready for campers. Two friends and myself made the argument that the world and most Christians make the mistake of looking for certain attributes in potential spouses. I’ve had that same mindset for a long time, and it wasn’t until I realized what was important that I found my soon to be wife.
Our argument is simple. Guys, find a girl who has a heart for the Lord and a willingness to serve and submit to Godly leadership and marry her. That’s literally all there is to it (of course, you yourself need to have a desire to serve and submit to Christ’s leadership first before you even consider dating). The most common objection is to this is “you can’t control who you are attracted to”. First off, what a load of cow pie we have been shoveled if we really believe this. If a woman is reflecting the glory of Christ and she isn’t “your type” or “cute enough”, whoa is you. You have all the say in the world in who you are attracted to, especially as a Christian.
It’s no wonder that the national divorce rate is so high (it’s just as high among Christians as any other section). We see dating and marriage as trying to find the person who will make me the happiest and will make marriage the easiest. So when we stop being happy or the marriage starts being hard, we opt out. What could you possibly add to christ-likeness to make someone a better match? “Hey, you have a great heart, a servants attitude, and I can see Christ in you…. but I can’t stand your taste in music, sorry”.
Don’t get my argument twisted, I obviously don’t think there is anything wrong with marrying someone you’re physically attracted to in any way. I think my fiancée is beautiful. But in the scheme of things, her beauty plays such a small role in the equation. Our shared relationship in Christ is what our relationship is and should be based and solely revolved around. I can’t even say that anything should even factor in as .0001% of the marriage equation but even that would take away from how essential Christ is in marriage.
I’ve heard respected Christian leaders while I was in college talk about how important it was to be physically attracted to your potential spouse, that you shouldn’t even consider the thought of marrying someone who you can’t wait to shack up with. How flawed is that thinking. Marriage is about displaying the relationship of Christ and His Church to the world. The church isn’t always pretty, most of the time is pretty ugly. Christ doesn’t leave us or tell us “I don’t think my Dad wants us together. We can still be friends”.
We have a tragically flawed view of marriage that is poisoning how we show the world Christ’s relationship with his bride, The Church.