I was in discussion with some male bloggers recently whose focus is on getting back to “authentic” masculinity and a biblical approach to marriage. One of them has created a framework to describe what women are attracted to in a man, with the aim of educating men so that they can focus on these areas and make themselves more attractive to females. The structure was that women are attracted to power/status/athleticism/looks/ money. I took issue with this framework because it seems to focus on worldly attributes that the New Testament does not focus on, and should not be the focus of Christians.
For example, they feel that physical beauty is a virtue and a sign of superior genetics and that if alpha males (dominant personalities) marry beautiful Christian women, this will somehow elevate the kingdom of God. The Bible in no way elevates physical beauty as a virtue; rather holiness is seen as beautiful and the New Testament says nothing about it (the word beauty is not mentioned in the New Testament and the closest words to it are adorn and glory and variations on them). Peter and Paul both say that modesty, chastity and holiness are what make for virtuous women, and that that submission to her husband makes the wife glorious (1 Corinthians 11:7, Ephesians 5:27).
I provided many examples where I’ve seen that this isn’t true, but one primary example was of a gorgeous beautiful lady married to a preacher who wasn’t exactly good-looking. I didn’t mention that this man was an evangelist, but they seemed to see a man of status in the church. I’m not sure how it works in their churches (I’m not even sure they are evangelicals), but an evangelist is not really a position that women would see as a status position.
Of course, being married to a preacher is a mixed bag. There is a lot of focus on you as a couple. People look up to and admire you as examples to the church. However, when you think about the life of an evangelist, is it not exactly the life a woman aspires to. The evangelist may have a very nice motor home to live in, but it’s not the same as a steady, stable home. You are visiting at least 25, if not more, places a year, in various places across the US. You might be focused on one region, or you may end up in different parts of the country. One never knows where God will call you.
Meanwhile, you are living out of a possibly 500 square feet box, possibly with children, confronting illnesses, the educational needs of your children. If you are fortunate, the pastor of the church you visit can put you up in his house or another home. The children have to continually make new friends, you have to make new friends. Think army life magnified. It’s definitely not a glamorous life, and while the spiritual benefits are rewarding, it’s not exactly a status life.
The male blogger I was telling this to said, “Let me know when the gorgeous lady marries a janitor.” Well, that simply isn’t possible in the churches I’ve been in where the church is cleaned by single women or families. He isn’t familiar with the structure of a church where God isn’t a respecter of persons, where status isn’t as important as it might be in a more mainstream church.
But moving forward, I’d just like to emphasize that the Christian church, should not be focused on externals in terms of finding a mate. The focus should be on the person and whether they have the qualifications for the role of a husband/wife. Are they spiritual? If the person isn’t living for God in a very consecrated and real manner, then none of those externals is going to make them a good candidate for marriage. And externals can be taken away in a flash–one need only remember the example of Job.
God repeatedly through His word tells us not to trust in the externals of life, but to trust in Him and stay filled with His spirit.
Pamela Parizo © 2017