Choosing to Find Your Spouse Attractive

I’m amazed at how my appreciation for my husband’s physical attributes has grown throughout our marriage. Though I found him attractive when I married him, I find him even more attractive now.

Do we have a choice in what we find attractive or are our preferences inherent? How you answer this question will have a profound impact on your marriage.

I remember back in my single days having conversations with other single ladies and single guys about attractiveness. There was this overall feeling that our standards for attractiveness are inherent—we don’t consciously choose them. Some women naturally prefer tall guys, some women naturally prefer blue eyes, etc.

This fatalistic view of attractiveness led many of these single men and women to overlook wonderful, God-fearing individuals who would make great spouses simply because they were not attracted to them.

This view of attractiveness poses challenges for married individuals, too. Time tends to usher in grey hairs, weight gain, wrinkles, etc. Even if you marry a person who is the epitome of attractiveness, the traits you find to be attractive may someday fade and be replaced by traits you find to be unattractive.

I realized the limitations of this view of attractiveness when I read Sacred Marriage for the first time. The author, Gary Thomas, wrote this about his wife, Lisa, and attractiveness:

For instance, marriage calls us to redirect our desires to be focused on one woman or one man in particular rather than on society’s view of attractive women or men in general.

On the day I was married, I began praying, “Lord, help me to define beauty by Lisa’s body. Shape my desires so that I am attracted only to her.” I knew from the book of Proverbs that I was to take delight in my wife, not in women in general…

I cannot fully explain without embarrassing my wife, so I’m going to speak generally. God has answered my prayer. The physical characteristics that distinguish my wife are the characteristics that I generally find most attractive in other women.

What a different way of thinking than the view I described above! We are not at the mercy of what we naturally find attractive. We can ask the Lord to help us define attractiveness by the appearances of our spouses.

To be perfectly honest with you, I do think that a lot of our understanding of attractiveness is inherent. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s fixed. After all, we’re naturally inclined to sin, too. My inherent inclination is to lie and cheat, but I can avoid these behaviors because I’m not controlled by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit (Romans 8:9). This same Spirit can move in our hearts to help us define beauty by our spouses.

I made the choice to find my husband attractive when I began praying during our engagement that I would define attractiveness by his appearance. I’ve never struggled to find him attractive, so perhaps this was completely unnecessary. However, given how much my attraction to him grows with each passing day, I’m glad I did.

Have you ever thought to pray about how you define attractiveness? Choose to find your spouse attractive by joining me in praying that you’ll define physical beauty by your spouse’s appearance.

Shared on the following link-ups:

Works for Me Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Motivation Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Making Your Home Sing, Essential Fridays, Thrive @ Home & Thriving Thursday.

Comments

  1. This is kind of like when people say they just “fell out of love” with their spouse. We can choose to love our spouses, even when they do or say things that are unlovable. We have control over our choices.

  2. This is such a great lesson! I feel like every young couple getting married should read this. I also have found my husband more attractive with the passing years. His graying hair drives him crazy, but I see his wisdom in it… I’ve never thought to pray “that I would define attractiveness by his appearance.” What a fantastic tip for all newlyweds :).

  3. Michael says:

    Awesome perspective. I need to find a way to express to my wife that this is how it has been for me all along. I drew a picture of her when we were dating (and I was 16) and titled it “Beauty Defined”. I don’t think it got the message across though. I feel as though when I say “you are beautiful”, she hears “you fit the world’s definition of beauty in my eyes. It is so much more than that though. She is the standard to which all other women are held (and in my very biased opinion, cannot surpass) because she is the very definition of beauty to me. Her personality, character traits, physical appearance… the very essence of who she is is, to me, the very purest expression of attraction. How could she ever worry of me having eyes for another if she knows that no one could even compare to her (were I to even do so). In order to surpass her beauty, they would have to be everything that she is, which is impossible.

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, but it looks like I just got the inspiration for my anniversary letter next month! 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      I think she would appreciate reading about how she is the standard in your eyes. Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a great way to purposefully have eyes only for your spouse.

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