Beniamin Fărăgău povestește – Era un sat in care atunci când pețeai mireasa… The Tale of the Eight-Cow Wife

Am auzit o poveste…

Era un sat în care atunci când îti pețeai mireasa dadeai o vaca tatălui miresei pentru ea. Si în felul acesta era practic cererea in casatorie.

Și era o fată in satul respectiv foarte rușinoasă, tot timpul cu capul plecat când mergea la fântấnă și toți baieții râdeau de ea.

A venit un flăcău și a adus 8 vaci. Și a venit la tatal ei și a zis, „Am venit sa pețesc mireasa. Tatal ei s-a uitat cruciș la el, „Nimeni n-a facut așa ceva vreodata în satul nostru”. Toată lumea a râs de el.

El a lăsat vacile. Și-a luat mireasa și s-a dus acasa.

Nu a trecut foarte mult timp și cineva îi bate la ușa, unul dintre prietenii lui. O doamnă cu fața senina, înaltă, frumoasă deschide ușa și-l invită în casă. Și omul nostru rămâne absolut buimac. „Asta este fata rușinoasă din satul nostru?”

Nu știu câtă încredere avem in soțiile noastre. Nu uitați, frica, suspiciunea, neîncrederea ucide vasul slab de lângă noi. Ca ea să poată înflori trebuie să ai încredere in ea.

 

POVESTIREA #2 O povestire reala

Dati-mi voie sa va aduc o poveste reala. Era prin anii ’80 si Dumnezeu, in raspuns la rugaciunile noastre a inceput sa ne aduca invatatori dupa cerintele, sau daca vreti, dupa nivelul intrebarilor noastre. Si cineva, undeva, pe alt continent, in America de Nord, i-a dat o ideie ca sa aduca in Romania tot corpul profesional de la Wheaton College. Si fiecare vara ducea 2,3. Stateam ascunsi cu ei prin paduri, prin apartamente si de dimineata pana seara studiam Scriptura. Si unul dintre ei, tin minte, era o vara torida, eram in Oradea, era Paul DeVree(?), seful catedrei de filozofie de la Wheaton College.

Avea o problema serioasa de ochi. Se vedea cand te uitai la el si ochelarii pe care-i purta. SI intr-o zi ne-a povestit viata Lui. S-a nascut cu problema asta de ochi si cand s-a dus la scoala n-a spus nimanui ca el nu vede tabla, nu vede ce-i scris acolo. Va dati seama cum aratau caietele lui, cum aratau lucrarile lui. Abia ca s-a tarat peste clasa IV-a. In clasa IV-a a trebuit sa dea un examen pentru pregatirea in clasa V-a. La lucrarea de la matematica i-au gresit lucrarea, i-au incurcat-o. I-au dat o nota foarte mare. Hai sa zicem, in limba Romana, un 9. A intrat in clasa V-a, notele la matematica 2, 2. A venit profesoara la el si a zis, „Paul, nu se poate. Uite aici lucrarea ta. Tu esti un baiat de nota 9, nu de 2. Stiti ce a spus el? „Am terminat liceul primul din clasa.”

Spuneti-mi, ce l-a propulsat pe Paul de la 2 la 10? Increderea, incurajarea. Profesoara de matematica, mai tarziu, a aflat povestea. A fost corectata lucrarea lui. Poate ca ai o sotie de nota 2. Oare, iubirea ta ar putea sa faca din ea un ajutor potrivit de nota 9? Cel putin. De aceea va lăsa omul pe tatăl său şi pe mamă-sa, şi se va lipi de nevastă-sa, şi cei doi vor fi un singur trup` Nu stiu daca simtiti greutatea acestui „de aceea”. Ca sa iubeasca „ca şi Hristos Biserica” si sa o ajute astfel in devenirea ei.

Vezi PAGINA – Beniamin Faragau aici

READ this story here, in the ENGLISH language:

Photo credit missjintanzania.primaryblogger.co.uk

The Tale of the Eight-Cow Wife

Once there was a missionary whose ministry was to a small community of tribes in Africa. One of the more quirky traditions of the tribe was the process for choosing a spouse.

When a father deemed that his daughter was old enough to be married, he announced it. Over the next few days and weeks, the eligible bachelors communicated their desire to marry her by tying cows to the father’s fence.

In the end, the one who had paid the most cows got the girl (and the dad got the cows).

Obviously, the more of the traits of a good wife (culturally) that a woman demonstrated, the more cows she would bring. If she were kind, submissive, smart, beautiful, etc., then she might bring 4 or 5 cows (6 was the record). Others might get 2 or 3 cows.

The missionary was mentoring a number of young Christian men preparing them to be ministers for their own people. One, in particular, he was friends with. This young man had committing himself to finding the greatest wife ever. He insisted that he would keep looking until he found an “8-cow wife.”

Despite the protests of the parents and the missionary, the young man was intent … and unmarried.

Eventually, the missionary was called back home for a furlough break. While home, he received a telegram from the village. “_________ married, eight-cow wife”.

The missionary was intrigued and couldn’t wait to get back to the village to find out more.

When he finally did, he went straight to the young man’s house and was welcomed in by the gentlest, most deferential, beautiful young lady he had ever seen. As the men sat to talk, she served them kindly and was clearly very smart. She brightened the room in every way.

Stunned, the old missionary proclaimed, “You did it. I must admit that you have found an eight-cow wife indeed! Where did you find her?”

The young man replied, “Oh, that is _________ from the next village.”

The missionary was surprised. “I knew her, certainly she was a kind and pretty girl, but, no offense, I would not have thought of her as an eight-cow wife, and certainly I would never have recognized this wife as her!”

The young man smiled and said “After you left I searched and searched and was despairing of ever finding my eight cow wife when I believe God intervened. I believe He revealed to me this truth: there was one way to get an eight-cow wife. I chose a woman and paid eight cows for her.”

~~~~

Moral of the story: We can imagine what it did to the young lady of character, when a man chose her so certainly and with such finality, and in doing so making her the only eight-cow wife in the history of the community!

source Crosswalk.com – http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/chris-legg/the-8-cow-wife-story.html

Reclame

Cristian Barbosu – Ceea ce NU este Dragostea – Conferinta Tinerilor Hunedoara

cristian bLa Biserica Sfanta Treime, Deva in Februarie 2010. Intalnirea tinerilor baptisti din comunitatea Hunedoara.

Introducerea: E foarte important sa invatam sa ne inchinam. E o mare diferenta intre a canta si a te inchina. Si eu cred ca daca sunt cantareti buni, aia se gasesc in bisericile noastre. Domul Isus spune ca cauta inchinatori si e o mare diferenta intre a canta si a te inchina. M-am rugat ca Dumnezeu sa transforme cantarea noastra in inchinare.

Va zic eu voua, pentru ca cred ca sunteti o generatie care cred eu ca Dumnezeu va va da spiritul inchinarii, un spirit al inchinarii adevarat, inaintea lui Dumnezeu unde atunci cand canti ridici mainile spre cer si il slavesti. Mana aia trebuie sa asculte mintea, mintea trebuie sa asculte inima si CE CANTI AIA TREBUIE SA TRAIESTI. Fiindca, spune Scriptura in Psalmul 22 ca El locuieste in mijlocul laudelor poporului Sau. Noi nu cantam sa umplem vremea la biserica pana ce vine predicatorul sa predice. Noi cantam, pentru ca (atunci) cand cantarea trece la inchinare prezenta lui Dumnezeu coboara in mijlocul nostru si e o forta care te impinge, care te transforma. De multe ori nu imi vine sa ma ridic sa predic ca inchinarea a fost atat de profunda, atat de faina, atat de inaltatoare. De aceia vreau sa inchei aceasta parte despre cantare si inchinare cu un cuvant de incurajare pentru voi.

Ce NU este dragostea

Ce este dragostea? N-o sa va vorbesc despre ‘ce’ este dragostea pentru ca uneori ca sa intelegi un subiect trebuie sa intelegi mai bine contrastul sau prin contrast. Am sa va vorbesc despre ceea ce nu este dragostea dar e vandut ca produs cu eticheta dragostei. Si anume, am sa va vorbesc despre pofte. Sunt 3 cuvinte care definesc ‘Valentine’s”: dragoste, relatie si sex. Si primele doua detin de ‘sweet'(dulce) – dragoste, relatie. Dar cealalta are de a face cu o parte care e un pic mai ‘sour'(acru). Despre asta vreau sa va vorbesc. Nu fiindca sexul e rau, e de la Dumnezeu. E chiar ‘sweet’. Dar sexul poate deveni foarte daunator cand e lasat de capul lui si de capul nostru.

PAGINA Cristian Barbosu PREDICI

Dragostea continua prin copii – Love lives on through the gift of children

Inca o imagine care nu are nevoie sa fie comentata. Printre multele casatorii cu probleme si dureri, exista si casatorii in care dragostea supravietuieste chiar si moartea unuia dintre soti.

In 2011, Ben Nunery si-a pierdut sotia sa, Ali din cauza cancerului la plamani. Fetita lor avea doar 1 an. Recent Ben s-a hotarat sa se mute din casa pe care el si Ali au cumparat-o cu 5 ani in urma, in ziua inaintea nuntii lor. Pentru ca ei au fost primii posesori ai acestei case, Ben si Ali s-au hotarat sa faca acest portret in ziua nuntii lor. La doi ani dupa ce a pierdut-o pe Ali, Ben s-a hotarat sa-si vanda casa si inainte de a se muta a facut din nou o serie de poze, ca si acelea facute cu Ali, dar de data asta cu fetita lor, care sa o inlocuiasca pe mamica ei.

MORE PHOTOS here- Vezi mai multe poze aici – www.twentytwowords.com

ENGLISH:

In 2011, Ben Nunery lost his 31-year-old wife Ali to lung cancer. They had a 1-year-old daughter. Recently, Ben decided it was time to move out of the house that he and Ali had bought the day before their wedding five years ago. Because the house had been newly theirs on their wedding day and they were, of course, very excited about it, they had their wedding pictures taken there.Fast forward through several short years of grief and loss and it is time to leave that house behind. But Ben wanted to do one last thing to save and savor the memories in that home, so he worked with the same photographer — Ali’s sister — and took another series of photos in the empty house, this time with his now-3-year-old daughter as his new partner in the pictures.

E ca fata aceea din sat, curtată de doi băieţi…

Am vazut crestini care vin la biserica fara nici o tragere de inima. Prunci adusi la biserica fara nici o tragere de inima. Sau poate ca au facut un targ cu parintii: Vii la biserica in seara asta si primesti 50 de lei. Te poti duce in oras seara, dar vii la biserica. Iti cumpar blugi noi daca vii la biserica. Nu-i nici o tragere de inima, sunt cu inima impartita. Tributari unei mentalitati lumesti si ceea ce este de observat e ca starea aceasta aduce multa nefericire. Iti ia bucuria, iti ia  entuziasmul, iti ia fericirea intr-un cuvant.

bjws.blogspot.com

E ca fata aceea din sat, curtata de doi baieti. Ea-i o fata frumoasa si cei doi baieti sunt diferiti. Unul e voinic, aratos, chipes, dar e sarac. Celalalt,  e bogat. E instarit. E puternic. E din cea mai buna familie din sat. Dar nu-i atragator. Are hibele lui. Si fata ar vrea bogatia, dar e deranjata de lipsa lui de frumusete. In schimb, ii place tare mult de cel chipes, dar e deranjata de saracia lui si nu stie ce sa aleaga. Ea sta intre cei doi. Se uita cand la unul, cand la altul. De la unul ar vrea frumusetea, de la celalalt ar vrea bogatia, dar nu-l crea pe nici unul asa cum e. Asta-i inima impartita. Si in vremurile noastre sunt multi crestini care au inima impartita. Vin la biserica, dar in lume traiesc ca oamenii din lume. Inima impartita: rugaciune la biserica si cantare la biserica. Iar in viata particulara, traire in pacat. Gandire lumeasca. Iubirea lumii, mentalitati lumesti si tot ce tine de acest palier- perspectivele lumesti. Frati si surori, Domnul nostru Isus se va reintoarce. In asteptarea venirii Lui e vai de cel care-L asteapta cu inima impartita, pentru ca inima impartita este inaintea lui Dumnezeu vrajmasie cu El.

NELU BRIE

Citeste mai departe aici

Gustul iubirii – Dragostea modifică percepţia senzorială a individului

Photo credit beliefpics.christianpost.com

1 Ioan 4:8

Cine nu iubeşte, n’a cunoscut pe Dumnezeu;
pentrucă Dumnezeu este dragoste.

Sunt multe indemnuri sa iubim in Biblie, sa-L iubim pe Dumnezeu, sa ne iubim sotuk/sotia, copii, aproapele, dar iata ca stiinta dovedeste ca exista chiar unele beneficii firesti, pe langa beneficiul primit cand iubim (chiar si in situatii grele) pentru a fi implinitori ai Cuvantului:

Chiar şi apa pare mai dulce când suntem îndrăgostiţi, sugerează o nouă cercetare.

Însă nu orice emoţie naşte astfel de senzaţii. De exemplu, gelozia nu ne lasă un gust amar sau sărat, la propriu, în ciuda metaforelor care sugerează asta.

Faptul că dragostea modifică percepţia senzorială a individului, dar gelozia nu reuşeşte să aibă acelaşi efect, este destul de important pentru oamenii de ştiinţă care studiază „metaforele încorporate”, adică modul în care limbajul ne influenţează ceea ce simţim. De exemplu, studiile anterioare au indicat că oamenii care se simţeau singuri percepeau o temperatură mai scăzută în cameră, comparativ cu cei care aveau partenerii alături.

„Însă, doar pentru că există o metaforă, nu înseamnă neapărat că vom avea parte de aceste senzaţii şi efecte asupra percepţiei”, a explicat cercetătorul Kai Qin Chan.

Gustul iubirii

După ce au studiat cercetări realizate anterior asupra metaforelor emoţionale, Chan şi colegii săi au vrut să analizeze şi mai profund fenomenul.

„Întotdeauna spunem că «dragostea este dulce» şi apelăm la dulcegării. Aşa că am decis să analizăm problema”, a explicat Chan.

Deoarece Chan vorbeşte mandarina, mereu s-a întrebat dacă gelozia influenţează modul în care percepem gusturile, având în vedere că în această limbă există o zicală („chi ku”) care descrie gelozia şi care se traduce prin „a mânca amărăciune”.

După ce au realizat un sondaj la Universitatea Naţională din Singapore, prin care s-au asigurat că voluntarii cunoşteau expresiile precum „dragostea e dulce” şi „gelozia este amară”, oamenii de ştiinţă s-au decis să realizeze o serie de experimente.

În primele două studii, oamenii de ştiinţă i-au rugat pe voluntari să scrie despre o experienţă legată fie de iubirea romantică, fie de gelozie, fie despre un subiect banal. Ulterior, oamenii de ştiinţă i-au rugat pe subiecţi să guste, fie o bomboană gumată dulce şi acră, fie una din ciocolată dulce-amăruie.

După ce au testat bomboanele, studenţii (197 la număr) au notat cât de dulce, de amară sau de acră era fiecare bomboană. Cei care au scris despre dragoste au notat ambele bomboane ca fiind mai dulci, comparativ cu cei care scriseseră despre gelozie sau despre un alt subiect. De asemenea, specialiştii au observat că gelozia pare să nu fi influenţat modul în care percep oamenii gustul, deoarece, indivizii care au scris despre acest subiect nu au notat bomboanele ca fiind mai acre sau mai amare.  

Apoi, într-o altă etapă a studiului, oamenii de ştiinţă au realizat un experiment nou, la care au luat parte alţi 93 de voluntari. De data aceasta, subiecţii au gustat apă în loc de bomboane. Specialiştii le-au spus subiecţilor că testează un nou produs şi i-au rugat să declare cât de dulce, de amară sau de acră este apa. 

Astfel, s-a constatat iar că dragostea îi face pe oameni să perceapă alimentele ca fiind mai dulci.

Constatarea este importantă din două motive, spun specialiştii. În primul rând, simplul fapt că până şi apa are un gust mai dulce atunci când ne gândim la iubire, arată că emoţia nu acţionează asupra receptorilor de la nivelul limbii. În schimb, efectul pare să fie rezultatul modului în care procesează creierul informaţia referitoare la gust.

În al doilea rând, faptul că gelozia nu are efect asupra gustului indică faptul că limbajul nu acţionează singur pentru a influenţa simţurile şi că metaforele trebuie să fie mai profunde de atât. De aceea, experţii presupun că metaforele care determină schimbarea percepţiei se dezvoltă doar după multe experienţe.

Sursa Descopera.ro

 

Topics for Conversation When a Man and a Woman Are Considering Marriage by John Piper

Photo credit www.areadewasa.com

Use Translator – Limba Romana

English Albanian Arabic Bulgarian Catalan Chinese Simplified Chinese Traditional Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Estonian Filipino Finnish French Galician German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Lativian Lithuanian Maltese Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese

from DesiringGod.org

In each of these sections one item could be added that I have not listed, namely, How do you handle and live with differences? How do you decide what can remain differences without jeopardizing the relationship? So as you deal with each subheading, include that in the discussion.

Theology

  • What do you believe about . . . everything?
  • Perhaps read through the Desiring God Affirmation of Faith to see where each other is on various biblical doctrines.
  • Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process? How do you handle the Bible?

Worship and Devotion

  • How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
  • How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
  • What is the importance of music in life and worship?
  • What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
  • What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
  • Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?

Husband and Wife

  • What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
  • What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
  • How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
  • What are the expectations for togetherness?
  • What is an ideal non-special evening?
  • How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
  • Who does the checkbook—or are there two?

Children

  • If and when, should we have children? Why?
  • How many?
  • How far apart?
  • Would we consider adoption?
  • What are the standards of behavior?
  • What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re . . . whatever?
  • What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
  • What signs of affection will you show them?
  • What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Savers? In between? Why?

Entertainment

  • How much money should we spend on entertainment?
  • How often should we eat out? Where?
  • What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
  • How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
  • Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
  • What are the criteria for Movies and theater and video/DVD? What will our guidelines be for the kids?

Conflict

  • What makes you angry?
  • How do you handle your frustration or anger?
  • Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
  • What if we disagree both about what should be done, AND whether it is serious?
  • Will we go to bed angry at each other?
  • What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?

Work

  • Who is the main breadwinner?
  • Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
  • What are your views of daycare for children?
  • What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?

Friends

  • Is it good to do things with friends but without fiancé, or without spouse?
  • What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?

Health and Sickness

  • Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
  • Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
  • How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
  • Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Do looks matter ? A Christian perspective

Page by Duncan Macleod – Girl in Dove Real Beauty Ad thinks she’s fat. Photo via theinspirationroom.com

We may say that beauty or looks don’t matter, but here is a startling look at how media shapes the way we think and act from a very early age. These are the attitudes (listed on the Washington University website) that we have to battle in our own kids’ lives:

Media’s Effect on Body Image

The popular media (television, movies, magazines, etc.) have, since World War II, increasingly held up a thinner and thinner body image as the ideal for women.

  • In a survey of girls 9 and 10 years old, 40% have tried to lose weight, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • In a study on fifth graders, 10 year old girls and boys told researchers they were dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from the TV show „Friends”.
  • A 1996 study found that the amount of time an adolescent watches soaps, movies and music videos is associated with their degree of body dissatisfaction and desire to be thin.
  • One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are „unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

A Kaiser Foundation study by Nancy Signorielli found that:

  • In movies, particularly, but also in television shows and the accompanying commercials, women’s and girls’ appearance is frequently commented on: 58 percent of female characters in movies had comments made about their looks, as did 28 percent in television shows and 26 percent of the female models in the accompanying commercials. Mens’ and boys’ appearance is talked about significantly less often in all three media: a quarter (24%) of male characters in the movies, and 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in television shows and commercials.
  • One in every three (37%) articles in leading teen girl magazines also included a focus on appearance, and most of the advertisements (50%) used an appeal to beauty to sell their products.
  • The commercials aimed at female viewers that ran during the television shows most often watched by teen girls also frequently used beauty as a product appeal (56% of commercials). By comparison, this is true of just 3 percent of television commercials aimed at men.

Source: National Institute on Media and the Family   HT source

Read the article below from the Gospel Coalition for a Christian perspective:

„I don’t care what she’ll look like,” the young man declared about his yet-unknown future bride. „I’ll love her for who she is inside.” Everyone in the small gathering of young people looked at him with distinctly unconvinced expressions. But this was a church gathering, and we all knew he was saying the spiritual thing. Such piety simply couldn’t be challenged. That is, until one guy ventured what was to him a sincere question: „Yeah, but don’t you want her to be hot?”

As if something appalling had been said, we collectively turned to the youth minister, who had been quietly backing away from the conversation. With an uneasy smile, he said, „Well, you can make a pretty girl spiritual, but you can’t make a spiritual girl pretty.”

Everyone sensed the sarcasm in his maxim, but it didn’t bring much resolution to the dilemma. Do looks matter? This question comes up a lot in my current ministry, too, usually in the form of a single friend feeling guilty for not being attracted to an otherwise worthy romantic candidate. I usually tell friends they shouldn’t feel guilty for not being attracted to someone–but they shouldn’t think the matter is necessarily settled, either.

Importance of the Body

The importance of physical attraction is related to the importance of the body itself. The Bible presents us as a psychosomatic unity. That’s a fancy way of saying that we are embodied souls. This is, in fact, God’s ideal for us even in eternity. We’re not souls longing to be freed from bodies but rather to have resurrected ones (1 Cor 15:35-57). The body is a necessary and good part of God’s design of every person you meet. So loving the inside of a person while disregarding the outside is not the biblical ideal of love. Just read Song of Solomon if you don’t believe me. Looks do matter. No woman wants a Valentine’s Day card that says, „You’re so sweet on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.” No man does either, though admittedly we are the visually inferior half of our race.

But before we settle into holding out for that girl with the right curves or the guy with the square jaw, let me point out that the importance of the body does not necessarily validate our personal preferences regarding what it should look like.

Basis of Attraction

Marital love involves valuing your spouse’s body. But this isn’t exactly the same thing as finding it attractive, at least not in the way we typically think of finding something attractive. We may inadvertently assume that being attracted to something is primarily about its level of attractiveness. Attraction seems like it just happens without our conscious participation, and we therefore conclude it is beyond our control. You’re attracted to someone, or you’re not, and that’s that. But attraction seems so automatic because we are culturally influenced even at the level of desire. Our preferences unwittingly imitate the narrow criteria for beauty reflected in fitness magazines or clothing advertisements, in the fashion of the day or the remarks of family members.

Without dismissing entirely the mysterious nature of attraction, I wish to point out that we are more capable than we often recognize of directing our preferences. We should not presume that our initial aesthetic sensibilities are an unchallengeable law within us. We have some level of direction over them.

The basis for attraction is valuing an actual person, body and soul. Husbands and wives should be attracted to one another because they value the whole person, not because they happen to like olive skin or a firm body. Those things change, but physical attraction need not. Attraction is more a matter of my commitment to value the full breadth of who my spouse is.

Isn’t this more like Jesus’ love for his people than simply following initial attractions? I’m not casting doubt on couples who fell in love at first sight–but even love at first sight will eventually require the self-emptying love that only Jesus makes us capable of giving (Phil 2:1-11). In marriage we hold hold our preferences loosely, valuing the person concretely rather than seeking a certain body shape or hair color. This is a far more stable basis for physical attraction in marriage. And it makes for better Valentine’s Day cards.

Preparation for Marriage

This principle can inform the way we seek a spouse. Perhaps this means that singles should be willing to direct their affections toward potential spouses they may not initially find attractive. My reasoning is not that looks are unimportant–remember, our bodies are a vital aspect of who we are. Rather, my reasoning is that our opinion of what constitutes good looks must not be an idol carved in stone. We need to be willing to challenge our own preferences regarding physical attraction in light of the greater principle that attraction stems from valuing a person.

How do you do this? Honestly, I don’t know. There is a level of mystery to the whole thing that we can’t escape. But maybe it could start with simply acknowledging that weak physical attraction is not necessarily a permanent situation. If you know a potential mate who is godly, relates well to you, and would otherwise be a worthy spouse, you should not feel guilty for feeling unattracted. Instead, holding your preferences with an open hand before the Lord, ask him what he would have you do. You may decide to pursue this person–then, you determine to appreciate God’s design, body and soul. You may be surprised at just how strong such properly grounded attraction can become.

HT www.thegospelcoalition.org

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