If I had to guess, I think that most single guys have asked themselves the question (or felt the fear of wondering),

“Is my wife going to be beautiful?”

By that, I don’t mean, “is she going to be pretty”, because I think most guys would agree that any woman has prettiness that can be appreciated.  No matter how ugly, disfigured, or abnormal by the world’s standards, every woman (or man) can still be looked at with the recognition that they are human, and valuable, and still bear the fingerprints of God, even if they’re marred by the effects of an imperfect world – as we all are, to some degree.

And therein lies the problem.  None of us is a perfect looking person.  There doesn’t exist a woman in the world who perfectly matches your idealizations and expectations for what an attractive woman should look like, and even if you managed to find someone who you thought matched that description, you’d be in danger of running into two problems:

  1. Your desires and expectations are subject to change.  We’re fickle and often tire of things we’re familiar of.  So, that means that someday if you’re dating or married to someone, there’s a good chance you’ll end up thinking that if they looked a little different in this way or that, they’d be more attractive to you.
  2. People age and change, so even if you miraculously found a person who was everything you ever dreamed she’d be, it’s not going to last.  Not that it would anyways, due to #1.

So maybe if single guys are actually asking the question, “Is my wife going to be beautiful?”, what they really mean is,

“Is the woman I end up dating/marrying going to meet my physical expectations and desires?”

I remember Bob Lepine (co-host of FamilyLife Today), I think it was, mentioning once that as a single guy, he used to fear that if he ever dated and chose to settle down with one woman, he would end up coming across someone else who was “better”, but then it would be too late!  And I think this is at the heart of why men fear commitment.  Once you’ve committed yourself to someone, then by definition, you are excluding yourself from other things.  You’re missing out.  And I think that’s something that guys almost can’t handle, because there is an underlying drive that seems to pervade almost every area of life, and that is to find a woman who captures your senses and intoxicates you with her beauty.  And as much as I believe that idea is valid, many of us expect to find a woman who will basically be our Saviour and solve all our problems and wants in this life.  And no woman can meet those expectations, so it’s unfair to place that burden on her (and in the end it’s going to get you burned).

And so I think this is at the root of many problems for single men.  If you don’t believe that there exists a singular woman out there with whom can connect with, and experience/build true intimacy and joy with, then you will be succeptible to accepting cheap substitutes instead.

In other words, if you can’t anticipate a relationship with your future wife that’s worth fighting for and worth guarding now (yes, even before you’ve met her), then what incentive do you have to carefully control (as a single person) what your eyes linger on, your mind dwell on, your heart to imagine, or your body to feel?

Well, there are plenty of good reasons, but my point is that one really helpful reason is to know and trust that there’s a purpose to all this “waiting” and exercise of purity.  However cliché it sounds, true love waits – not because of rules or regulations, but because true love trusts that one day you’ll be able to tell her yourself, you were worth waiting for”.

(to be continued…)

“I adjure you…
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.”

– (Song of Songs 8:4a, b)
Hebrew c. 950 B.C.

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