Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Myths About Christian Romance: Attraction (2)

To finish up my thoughts from yesterday, I'd like to reiterate that attraction does matter in Christian romance. This includes both emotional and physical attraction. One should enjoy the person of one's interest on a variety of levels. Too often, Christians can think that all that is needed for romance to blossom is a firm trust in God and a desire for companionship. Sure, this can and does happen, and we rejoice for whom it works. But there are many for whom this rather passionless formula is lacking.

Picking up where I began yesterday, God made humanity as composite creatures. We are not one-dimensional. We are not simply spiritual beings. To pretend that we are souls who don't float is to slip toward the outer edges of heresy. God made us as physical creatures. He gave us eyes to behold beauty, lips to taste it, ears to hear it. He made us to burn with passion at a certain point, and gave us this passion to drive us into the sunset of Christian marriage. He gave us emotions and personalities which are distinct and nuanced. Many conservative Christians, I think, have lost sight of these truths, and emphasize almost entirely the spiritual dimension of our beings. This is a regrettable mistake, and one that will certainly have effects on our churches, our individual lives, and our refracting of the glory of God.

Most troublesome of all, though, are Christians who decry the role of physical and emotional attraction in romance and who yet have spouses that are either clearly attractive or to whom they are clearly attracted. Nothing kills a good word faster than hypocrisy. To young people, who are seeking to find their way in the world and who use a blend of doctrine and example to do so, nothing could be more damaging to a potential influencer. It's like the man who samples the finer things of life but insists that no one else ought to, for he's tried them and they're far inferior to the everyday and commonplace. Whether leaders know they do this or not, and I'm sure they don't, their lives sometimes seem to invalidate their words. How about this--let's all work to prize the spiritual dimension of romance. The culture has cut it right out of things. Well, let's restore it. But in the process, let's not ignore the distinctive way God made us. We are physical and emotional. This isn't simply a matter of clarification--it is a matter of glorification.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I like the idea of being attracted to the person we marry. However, as time goes on sometimes the 'things' that attracted us don't any more. We now, after being married for awhile, think - what did I see in 'her'.

My point, whether we start out with attraction or not, in marriage one needs to continue to find their mate attractive. And this is work.

ESV Proverbs 5:18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

Al, an old married man

5:26 AM  

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