My dear Mary, faith is not unthinking. And spirituality should not rob us of intelligence and commonsense. Paul says, “God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can.” (1 Corinthians 12:1-3 MSG). You can’t marry a man you’re not attracted to and can’t stand. You don’t even want to be around him! Yet the gentleman keeps telling you it’s God’s will for you to marry him.
If you go into such a marriage you’ll have yourself to blame. It’s foolishness. It’s dangerous to your health and you WILL go into depression in that kind of marriage. Sex will become a torture for you. You’ll be cringing each time your husband touches you. You’ll despise him and eventually hate him. There was never any love. God made a deliberate point when he said Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their nakedness. It means they were physically comfortable with each other. Physical comfort matters in marriage. If you can’t stand your husband all his actions will irritate you. No matter what people say, if you don’t love a man, don’t marry him. You’re going to be the one in the marriage.
Sometimes people arrive at theological conclusions based on half information. It’s why they say love doesn’t matter, that all that matters is that he’s a child of God. That conclusion is from half information. They didn’t consider all the scriptures. Half information is dangerous to your soul. What you don’t know can kill you. The Bible talks about two types of love: dutiful love and romantic love. Marriage is based on both.
Dutiful love is what 1 Corinthians 13 is all about. Love is patient, so you have to be patient in marriage. Love is kind, so you have to be kind to your husband, and he to you. Love is not jealous, but you and I know women get jealous. And men too. You have to overcome that natural tendency to be jealous with dutiful love, is what 1 Corinthians 13 is saying. When spouses become jealous of each other, it can lead to horror. 1 Corinthians 13 is all about dutifulness of love. It does not deal with natural affection.
For the subject of natural affection – what we ordinarily call love, you have to go to the Song of Songs. It’s a rather explicit text, the type many can’t imagine will be in the Bible, yet God put it there. In talking about breasts it tells you physical assets are important in the consideration of a marital partner. Song of Songs talks about love, and the attractive qualities of both man and woman – their physical attributes. I know people have tried to spiritualise this book, but it maintains its realities stridently through its verses. It is simply a drama piece about a husband and a wife who are madly in love with each other.
Look at how the man describes his wife (Songs 4:1-6): “You’re so beautiful my darling, so beautiful, and your dove eyes are veiled by your hair as it flows and shimmers…” (Perhaps the woman uses Ultra Sheen. Just kidding!) “Your smile is generous and full, expressive and strong and clean.” (The woman probably uses Colgate toothpaste). “Your lips are jewel red, your mouth elegant and inviting.” (That’s a hint about kissing right there). Then he talks about her cheeks (soft), her neck (lithe, smooth lines). There’s something about that neck he says: “All men turn in awe and admiration.” Then he talks about the woman’s breasts. They’re animated he says, “like fawns grazing among the first spring flowers.” Then he talks about “the curves” of her body, the “soft contours of your flesh,” and so on. (Songs of Solomon 4:6-7).
The woman says, “I got up to open the door to my lover, sweetly ready to receive him, desiring and expectant…” (Songs of Solomon 5:4). So we know desire plays a role in marriage. Attraction too, obviously. So don’t listen to all those “spiritual” lot who say attraction doesn’t matter. IT DOES!
And I’m rather troubled by this gentleman saying it’s God’s will for you to marry him. That’s just spiritual blackmail. He’s saying in essence if you don’t marry him you’ll displease God! You’re a child of God too. God can speak to you directly. You have the Spirit of God inside you. That he is a pastor doesn’t mean you should succumb to his pressure for marriage. You have to take YOUR decision for you.
Now, your friends say love will develop, and that’s all well and good. But isn’t it safer the love develops before marriage? What if it doesn’t develop after marriage? Then you’re trapped. You don’t want to be in marriage with a man you don’t love. It can lead to an affair, Christian or not. The problem with some Christians is that they’re too spiritual for their own good. They’re so spiritual they’re no longer human. Until their humanity hits them in the face. If you’re not human why would God warn you against temptation? And please, don’t let anyone rush you into marriage. You’re only 25! What’s the rush?!
Am I saying rely on only physical attributes for your choice of marriage partner? Of course not! He must have values. And because you’re a child of God it makes sense he loves your Father. But to deny the place of attraction in marriage is to construct your own prison cell with the mortar of foolishness. Attraction matters. Love matters. You’re spirit, soul and body, not just spirit.
Your mentor, LA.
*Mary is famous Jil’s sister. Rather religious.
© Leke Alder firstname.lastname@example.org