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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Choose to be Attracted to Your Wife (or Potential Wife)


Every so often, I have conversations with some single guy or another who has his eyes on a great young lady but is concerned that he’s not “all that attracted to her”. Basically, he’s worried that if he pursues this woman he’s going to wind up spending his life in the nightmarish prison of a long-term, committed love relationship with someone that he doesn’t find to be extremely physically attractive.
I have little patience with this kind of conversation, so I’d like to offer four thoughts that may be helpful to you if you are this guy or if you know someone like him: 

  1. Have you looked in the mirror lately? It’s unlikely that the paunch hanging over the waistband of your cargo shorts represents her idea of masculine perfection. And even if women are less hung up on physical appearances, you’re probably not the romantic and emotional connection she’s been dreaming of her whole life either. We’re all making compromises here, Jack.
  1. It could also be that all of the porn you’re looking at is warping your perception on this matter. You know that women don’t actually look like that, right? The virtuous, godly, stay-at-home wife with the body and moves of a porn star doesn’t exist anywhere except in your mind.
  1. The Bible says if you choose a wife based on appearances rather than character, you’re a moron (Proverbs 31:30).
  1. We can choose to be attracted to our spouse. We don’t need to let beauty be defined by Madison Avenue or the Internet. Just because our culture declares something to be beautiful or unattractive doesn’t make it so. The Bible tells us to delight in our wives and their bodies (Proverbs 5:18). Your wife should be beautiful to you because she is your wife.   

The question “How hot is she?” seems to be one that only single men ask (though I guess the recently departed and little mourned “young-pastor-bragging-about-his-smoking-hot-wife” phenomenon didn’t help). It’s just not that big a deal to well-adjusted married people. If you find a woman who loves Jesus, whose company you enjoy, and who will be a faithful companion through the joys and trials of life… you should probably marry her. If she'll have you.