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CoffeeCat
Apr 15th 2009, 02:25 AM
This is something I've been thinking about for a while. In today's modern, Western culture, it is more or less the norm for people to marry someone who they are attracted to, enjoy spending time with, care about, have fun with, and have values in common with. But I was wondering about Biblical examples of marriage. We have the Proverbs 31 wife. We have several Old Testament figures and their spouses. We have a few New Testament examples, such as Mary and Joseph.

So.... how did those relationships operate, exactly? In thinking about all of them, I've noticed that these marriages seem to be reliant on the faith and families of the people involved; NOTHING seems to be said about physical attraction (except for Song of Solomon!) on a regular basis, nothing seems to be said about one spouse enjoying the other's company, nothing's mentioned about fun or joy in a marriage, per se...... and yet, we know that all these marriages worked. How? I'm seriously wondering. And I'm ALSO wondering if we can apply some or most of these relationship principles to marriage today. Can couples be bound together by their faith and values alone? Does physical attraction, for example, HAVE to be present in a marriage for it to work?

Does anyone have a Bible story/example that comes to mind? Any scripture that might help? Thanks in advance! I'll be happy to clarify if need be.

Zack702
Apr 15th 2009, 06:17 AM
In my point of view the bible marriages worked because they were focused on raising children. Also you probably didn't want to mess around with someones daughter back then. Even if you weren't raising children I think once you were with someone it was expected of you to take care of the person. Failing to do so would be shamefull.

However there are more than one places in the bible where the men where physically attracted to there wives whom they fell in love with the day they met them.

Most notibly would be Jacob. Israel himself. The bible never really says why he loved Rachel so much but I think its kind of obvious he was attracted to her from the start.
And the outcome of this attraction might just play a larger role in the outcome of Israel itself than we might think. Genesis chapter 29 and forward is where this part is.

Sojourner
Apr 15th 2009, 11:05 PM
Humans are tri-part being and the best marriage is where the couple touch on all three parts - body-soul-spirit (or spiritual). Love is not just the physical part, love is more far reaching than that alone.

Men are to love their wifes as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her. True love will pass the test of time; some elderly couples who have been married 50 - 60 years have love that has grown emensly even though the sexual area has deminished.

I don't think I've help.

Zack702
Apr 15th 2009, 11:51 PM
Humans are tri-part being and the best marriage is where the couple touch on all three parts - body-soul-spirit (or spiritual). Love is not just the physical part, love is more far reaching than that alone.

Men are to love their wifes as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her. True love will pass the test of time; some elderly couples who have been married 50 - 60 years have love that has grown emensly even though the sexual area has deminished.

I don't think I've help.

I think you have helped. The physical part is a part its obvious. But marrage is beyond that. Marriage can be the cause of another kind of attraction not just physical but a true bond.

Partaker of Christ
Apr 16th 2009, 12:06 AM
I did not want to derail, so I have started a new thread about widows, and young widows who Paul says that they should get married. This seem to be in order that they will be provided for.

CoffeeCat
Apr 16th 2009, 01:12 AM
Thanks for your thoughts so far, guys. Okay, here's my dilemma -- in Biblical times, it seems that marriages were blessed, considered holy and worked just fine when the couple was really focused on serving God together, on honouring one another..... but it doesn't seem that physical attraction was a requirement to make it work.

And that makes me wonder about today. Just about everyone I know, Christians and non, would say that they would need to be attracted physically to the person they marry. My argument is that the physical attraction COULD be part of it, but it doesn't HAVE to be -- as you folks said, marriage goes SO much deeper than the physical.

I'm looking for scripture on this to see if my view is supported there at all, or if it's just one of those harmless opinion/preference things.....or if I'm off-base to think as I do. Under my current convictions, I could fully and easily marry someone I got along with very well (was great friends with), respected, shared faith with, shared values with etc without being attracted to them, per se. Maybe that makes me odd..... but off the top of my head, I can't think of any scriptural examples one way or the other.... either examples OF attraction, or the non-need for it in marriage. I suppose the only area of concern would be that as a wife, I should have desire of some kind for my husband -- but that very well might come in time, or even if I wasn't attracted per se, it wouldn't stop me from being with him if I loved him. I'm honestly divided on this one.

I hope my explanation gives someone a better idea of what I'm looking for. :)

BrckBrln
Apr 16th 2009, 01:26 AM
I agree marriage is much more than just physical attraction, but I don't believe that can be completely bypassed. If you're not the least bit attracted to someone, how's the you-know-what life gonna be? I think Jacob and Rachel was brought up earlier.

Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. Genesis 29:17-18

My heart's Desire
Apr 16th 2009, 02:19 AM
That's an interesting question. In the O.T. though I think we find intimacy mostly for preserving family lines through having children. Besides those mentioned, I think of Ruth and Boaz, Lot's daughters after fleeing Sodom as well as Hannah, Samuel's mother, as well as Leah and Rachel had at one time or the other felt disgrace for not bearing children.
On the other hand we have the cases of desire...not neccesarily involving marriage. The King of Egypt wanting Sarah for she was beautiful, King David and Bathsheba, as well as some that didn't show love but desire only as in King Davids son (I think it was) who desired Tamar but hated her after wards. Despite Tenney's book, we also see the King of Persia and Esther. Seems he wanted women he could show off and ones that would obey him. (of course we know there was a plan here to save, spare the Jewish People, through this relationship.)
I find that I think you will have a challenge finding scriptures that don't involve men and women in some kind of relationship that is not physical.

Sojourner
Apr 16th 2009, 07:07 AM
Quote: "We have several Old Testament figures and their spouses..."
Quote: "In the O.T."

True, the Old Testament was written for our examples, in a way, but remember, we are in the New Covenant. They had socially accepted norm's and cumtoms and thinking that we don't.

God made us sexual beings, therefore, the attraction part should be in place as well. I can't imagine marrying someone I wasn't attracted to physically.

Brother Mark
Apr 16th 2009, 11:12 AM
This is something I've been thinking about for a while. In today's modern, Western culture, it is more or less the norm for people to marry someone who they are attracted to, enjoy spending time with, care about, have fun with, and have values in common with. But I was wondering about Biblical examples of marriage. We have the Proverbs 31 wife. We have several Old Testament figures and their spouses. We have a few New Testament examples, such as Mary and Joseph.

So.... how did those relationships operate, exactly? In thinking about all of them, I've noticed that these marriages seem to be reliant on the faith and families of the people involved; NOTHING seems to be said about physical attraction (except for Song of Solomon!) on a regular basis, nothing seems to be said about one spouse enjoying the other's company, nothing's mentioned about fun or joy in a marriage, per se...... and yet, we know that all these marriages worked. How? I'm seriously wondering. And I'm ALSO wondering if we can apply some or most of these relationship principles to marriage today. Can couples be bound together by their faith and values alone? Does physical attraction, for example, HAVE to be present in a marriage for it to work?

Does anyone have a Bible story/example that comes to mind? Any scripture that might help? Thanks in advance! I'll be happy to clarify if need be.

Hi CC. A couple of comments. First, look at what pure physical attraction did for Solomon! He wasn't satisfied with only the woman he loved in Song of Solomon and ended up with many lovers. Physical attraction is important, but within reason.

Second, you asked for an example. Take a look at Jacob, Rachel and Leah. Jacob loved Rachel. He was tricked into marrying Leah. The marriage was very rocky. Anyway, he married Rachel too and Leah knew that Jacob loved Rachel and not her. It caused issues for a long time. Both the women died before Jacob. When Jacob died, he asked to be buried next to Leah. In the end, Leah touched him in a way that Rachel did not and he desired to be "put to rest" next to her instead of Rachel.

Also, keep in mind that as humans, our physical tastes change over time. If you know someone that is really attractive, and they are mean, they become unattractive very quickly! So people that we admire and respect become more attractive, physically, to us over time. IMO, this is especially true for women as they see men. When a man wins a woman's respect, trust, admiration, etc. he begins to grow attractive in her eyes. While less true for a man, the same also will apply to him.

I think the physical attraction thing is put in us by God to show us how much he values holiness. IOW, when we present ourselves without spot or blemish, it has a similar impact on Him that a man experiences when he sees the most beautiful woman inside and out he has ever seen and desires to make her his wife. I think this is why often we read in scripture about the beauty of the patriarch's wives but read little about how handsome the men themselves were. It's because it is a picture of us and God and also, I think, it demonstrates to a degree the differences in men and women.

Brother Mark
Apr 16th 2009, 11:18 AM
I'm looking for scripture on this to see if my view is supported there at all, or if it's just one of those harmless opinion/preference things.....or if I'm off-base to think as I do. Under my current convictions, I could fully and easily marry someone I got along with very well (was great friends with), respected, shared faith with, shared values with etc without being attracted to them, per se. Maybe that makes me odd..... but off the top of my head, I can't think of any scriptural examples one way or the other.... either examples OF attraction, or the non-need for it in marriage. I suppose the only area of concern would be that as a wife, I should have desire of some kind for my husband -- but that very well might come in time, or even if I wasn't attracted per se, it wouldn't stop me from being with him if I loved him. I'm honestly divided on this one.

I hope my explanation gives someone a better idea of what I'm looking for. :)

1 Cor. 7 says it's not good for man to touch a woman. That word touch, comes from a root word for fire. What Paul is saying is that a man should not get a woman all fired up sexually for him. ;)

Why does he right it like that? Because ladies are different than men. He didn't say it's not good for a woman to fire up a man because basically, men don't need a lot of kindling. :lol: For him, he is told not to look on a woman and lust after her. But a pure hearted woman will often need a man to "touch" her in her soul. I had a friend in Colombia that was in love with a man. She told me he is "feo" which is the Spanish word for ugly. But she loved him and got butterflies and everything. Unfortunately, I think our society today has tried to make women more like men in many ways. Women want to feel beautiful. Men want to make a woman feel beautiful and attractive to him. Men need some kind of physical attraction on some level. Women, don't have to have that as much because their spark can be lit by what a man says and does.

Walstib
Apr 16th 2009, 12:54 PM
I keep thinking of what attraction is 50 years into a marriage. And how that ties into what you are asking.


Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner? (Pro 5:18-20 NASB)

My wife asked me before we got married if I would stay with her if she was disfigured in an accident. Some perspective to consider as well.

Does it HAVE to be present in a marriage to work. No is my answer.

It would make the start of a marriage easier I think. And could appear later in the marriage where it was not seen before. Physical attraction is sort of a subjective thing.

Peace,
Joe

Brother Mark
Apr 16th 2009, 01:09 PM
My wife asked me before we got married if I would stay with her if she was disfigured in an accident. Some perspective to consider as well.

Does it HAVE to be present in a marriage to work. No is my answer.

It would make the start of a marriage easier I think. And could appear later in the marriage where it was not seen before. Physical attraction is sort of a subjective thing.

Peace,
Joe


I think once the relationship is established, physical attraction becomes far less important. I like the difference you make between the start of a marriage and later in the marriage.

RabbiKnife
Apr 16th 2009, 01:16 PM
Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.

Marriage is about commitment and covenant. Everything else is extra. If people are worried about sexual intimacy and someone not being pretty or handsome, remember that everyone is (1) naked under their clothes and (2) beautiful in the dark.

greenrangerx
Apr 16th 2009, 03:56 PM
3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Cor. 7:3-5

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