(Check out Method #1, “It’s Not Real”)
Method #2, “It’s Not Important”…
When you get married, everyone else around you doesn’t sprout a face full of warts and become ugly. There are still physically attractive people out there. The question is, how will you process this?
“It’s not important”, this is a reminder that physical attractiveness is not an important enough part of what makes up a relationship to weigh everything based on this one characteristic. For some of us, physical attractiveness creates such a strong pull that it feels like the most important attribute in the universe. In reality, this is a lie that we all can attest to. Everyone has known very attractive people who are so self-absorbed and shallow that we’d never want to go on a 2nd date with them in a million years. It simply isn’t the be-all-end-all it’s cracked up to be.
Physical attraction holds some importance and may be the first thing we see, but it’s far from the most important thing.
The deception is that we see someone who is physically attractive (whether this is a temptation to have an affair, in pornography, or in everyday lust), and its pull makes us feel like it’s worth mortgaging the rest of our lives on. The retraining that’s needed is along these exact lines. What we need to do is redefine attractiveness, or more accurately, recondition ourselves to what is ultimately attractive, and that is real life (not fantasy).
Consider the following illustration:
On a physical attractiveness scale, you may find a coworker (or friend, person at the beach, etc.) more attractive than your spouse: Now add to your spouse’s attractiveness everything your spouse offers you that your physically attractive co-worker does not / cannot. This is everything from loyalty to inside jokes to shared memories to your children to your legacy/testimony, etc. Here’s the example with with my wife:
So when reality is brought into the equation, it is an attractiveness BLOWOUT in my wife’s favor. There is no one else on this earth who can offer me what my wife offers me. She is by far the most attractive woman on this planet to me. To think any different is to live in fantasy.
When you see someone you find physically attractive, this should not be a surprise to you. But when you process this physical attraction in reality, you find it’s not even worth giving a second thought to.
We know that in reality, no matter how many plastic surgeries the celebrities attempt, physical attractiveness eventually fades away with time, and it’s never enough on its own to keep a relationship together.
Our culture worships physical attractiveness. We have been conditioned that it’s the most important thing and is worth mortgaging the rest of our lives on. The truth is, it’s not important and we should focus on the things that are, lest we become like the hollowed out old man in Proverbs 5:8-14 who invested his life in the empty and unimportant venture of chasing a physically attractive woman, then another, and another, and another, and another…
Prov. 5:8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
Prov. 5:9 lest you give your best strength to others
and your years to one who is cruel,
Prov. 5:10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich another man’s house.
Prov. 5:11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
Prov. 5:12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
Prov. 5:13 I would not obey my teachers
or listen to my instructors.
Prov. 5:14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
in the midst of the whole assembly.”
Author of Beyond the Battle: A man's guide to his identity in Christ in an oversexualized world
Host of the The Flip Side Podcast
Join an online men's small group led by Noah and team at BeyondTheBattle.net
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- Ep. 23: State of the Podcast + How to Live for Christ in this Messed Up World - December 31, 2019