What Role does Physical Attraction Play in a Godly Relationship?


This question has been swirling around in my mind for the past couple days. (I have had several blog posts swirling around in my head which resulted in me posting about none of them! My apologies!) My husband and I recently had a friend come to us for counsel on this topic and so we have been discussing and digesting this concept.

What role does physical attraction play in a godly relationship? 

Throughout my college years, I witnessed people break up because they didn’t “feel attracted” to the person that they were dating. I don’t want to say that you should totally eliminate attraction from relationships – because we do have an amount of Christian liberty in this area in which we can choose whom we pursue a relationship with – but I do want to prompt people’s thinking that maybe this is an idea that has been ingrained in us due to our culture. Culture tells us if we don’t feel a certain way about someone than they are not the right person for us. But is that really a good basis for selecting a potential girlfriend or future spouse? Feelings change. They can change over the course of time, even over the course of a day. This was something that I had to work through when I was first dating my husband. My feelings were up and down all the time. But I learned that I needed to disregard those flighty emotions and look at my boyfriend’s character.

Character is the most important quality in a person that you are considering pursuing or allowing to pursue you. I know this seems cliché, but I think we easily forget this. We find ourselves “attracted” to someone and then we start to notice their character traits. Sometimes we even imagine characteristics into them because we are wanting this person to be “the one.”

Martha Peace comments on the deceptiveness of feelings in the women that she has counseled, “… I discovered that they usually held some secular beliefs about love. Often those beliefs were ‘love is romance and feelings…’ or  ‘love is having my needs met…’ Their beliefs about love were only serving to encourage the lusts of their flesh. Unfortunately, longings of this kind can never be satisfied since our flesh wants more and more and more.”

John Piper would go so far to say that physical attraction should not be a consideration in a godly relationship. You can listen to him here. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch it. I don’t know that I would go so far to say that. It is very clear that in Song of Solomon the couple is attracted to one another even before they wed. I really believe that if we are admiring someone for their character and getting to know them based upon their sincere love for the Lord, that those romantic feelings do come.  However, the main point here is to get you thinking about this topic. Here are some questions that I came up with to help you think through this topic and to ask when you are starting to think that a person might be “the one”:

  • What is my attraction for this person based off of? Is it based off of something that will fade or change?
  • Am I focusing on how I feel when I am with this person?
  • Am I striving to show biblical love to this person? Or am I investing my time and energy into this person feeling a certain way?
  • Am I more like Christ because of this person? Do I push them to be more Christ-like?
  • Are we able to serve the Lord better as a result of our relationship?
  • Do I understand that love is a choice? Someday I will have an old, wrinkly spouse who doesn’t always do what I want and I will have to choose to love them.

Lord willing, this article spurs your thinking. What role do you think that attraction plays in a godly relationship?



4 thoughts on “What Role does Physical Attraction Play in a Godly Relationship?

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I have truly struggled with this topic myself. Being single myself, and having boys tell me they liked everything about me but didn’t find me attractive, therefore a relationship couldn’t continue, was heartbreaking. I felt like they were focusing on my outer looks, instead of my heart. Obviously, those men (or should I say boys) weren’t for me, and I’m thankful for that. But it’s encouraging to know that looking at someones godly character should be more important than outward appearance (even though that does play a role) like the world tells us to. I even find myself sometimes judging men based on appearance only. Your post was very encouraging and made me look at my own sin in this issue, so thank you! 🙂

  2. As I’m sure you know, this is something that I have struggled with in the past. Though in the last couple years or so the Lord has shown me how flawed my thinking was, it is something that I sometimes go back and forth on. Thank you for posting it; this topic certainly is thought-provoking!

  3. Court! you are a brave woman for posting and writing this! I totally agree with your quote “We find ourselves “attracted” to someone and then we start to notice their character traits. Sometimes we even imagine characteristics into them because we are wanting this person to be “the one.”
    As we rest in the Lord and trust in him we know he will guide our hearts and soften them to the right person at the right time but and by his grace physical attraction is part of that, ex: Song of Solomon :). I believe that there are plenty of godly men and women that are not attracted to one another, not because of a wrong emphasis on looks over character, but because the Lord does not have one for the other and providentially hardens their heart toward each other, thus they are not attracted to the other. I honestly believe that as our love for ones character grows their attraction becomes long lasting and durable. yet physical attraction is a grace god has given and i honestly believe that he desires for us in marriage as believers. God is the creator of beauty and we glorify him to appreciate it. Thankfully physical attraction and appreciation of Godly character are not mutually exclusive and we do well to evaluate a person as a whole.

    I hope this doesnt sound like a disagree! I totally appreciate your post and found it an outlet to discuss 🙂

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