Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
DEAR Raphael and Namukolo,
Having read your answer to Tim last week, my question still has to do with the effect of age in marriage. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we have three children. Sorry to say it myself but I was a very beautiful girl before I got married and my husband admits that this is what attracted him to me.
However, after having three children, I seem to have lost a good deal of my physical attractiveness and my husband is now gravitating towards single, younger and more beautiful girls.
I try to keep in shape by going to the gym, dieting and wearing appealing clothes but nothing seems to be working. I am only three months older than my husband. Before we got married, I was warned that women age much faster than men and that I would outgrow my husband.
I have no problems with respecting and submitting to my husband, but I still would like to know, from the point of view of physical attractiveness, did I make a mistake to marry a man who is almost my age mate?
Physical attractiveness has its place in love relationships. Beauty as a positive trait is acknowledged in a number of places in the Bible. For example, the following women are said to have been very beautiful; Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, Tamar, Queen Vashti, the three daughters of Job (Jemimah, Keziah, Keren-happuch), etc.
Because physical attractiveness is God-given, it must be valued and used as God intended it to be used. This puts a responsibility on each one of us to take care of our bodies. We must mind what we eat, how much we eat, and also engage in profitable exercise. We must do so not only to look attractive to our partners, but also to maintain our bodies in good health. Accumulating excess fat in our bodies will not only compromise our physical attractiveness but it will also greatly compromise our health.
What then is the rightful place for physical attractiveness in the marriage relationship?
The scriptures teach us that physical or personality attractiveness is simply meant to be the icing on a cake. It is not the main ingredient and it must never be the foundation upon which lasting relationships are built. Why should it never be treated as the main ingredient in love relationships?
The scriptures furnish us with a number of reasons, which include, firstly, its transient nature. It fades with time no matter how hard we try to hung on to it. Secondly, beauty or charm does not reveal to us the person’s character. It can be very deceitful. A very beautiful woman can at the same time be a very cruel woman. Single men looking for a wife risk building on quicksand if they make physical attractiveness their major criterion for their choices.
Unfortunately, our modern society has rebelled against the Bible’s teaching and now treats sexual attraction as the major ingredient in relationships. This craze for sexual attractiveness was ignited during the sexual revolution of the 1960s to the 80s. This was a worldwide social rebellion against the previously held conservative sexual norms. The major proponents of the sexual revolution message are the different celebrities making use of the various media outlets.
The effect on the womenfolk has been an increased desire to be physically desirable as can be seen in many of them resorting to: bleaching their skins, breast transplants, hip enhancing medication, artificial hair (we now have black blondes), and sexy clothes, etc.
The behaviour of chasing after younger single women, which your husband is engaging in, is called lust. It is not genuine love. Lust is like a wild fire and you do not fight it by fuelling it. You cannot compete with the single girls in the arena of physical attractiveness. In the following scripture, the Bible shows how, the embattled wife can meaningfully contribute to her husband’s transformation.
1 Peter 3:1-4: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behaviour of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behaviour. Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewellery, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
The problem with your husband is not the age difference but lust, and you must fight it using biblical weapons.
Matthew 5:28: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
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