Do you have a hot body? If so, your odds of finding true love are very good! If not, what are you doing to rectify the problem? Perhaps a diet, exercise, a surgery or two? After all, you’re not lovable unless your body is hot and looks as flawless as possible.
This is the billboard message that our culture bombards us with today—and obsessively I might add! Movies, television, and popular magazines are all guilty of promoting this message. Notice, our culture never gives you the option of loving and accepting the body that you already have. They don’t ask you whether your body is healthy or unhealthy. They don’t bother inquiring as to whether your heart and spirit are beautiful or what kind of a person you are. Rather, they lower the bar to the shallowest possible rung.
How many Hollywood celebrities have worked to make their bodies flawless, and yet, have been divorced multiple times? The real truth is, having a nice body is not what cultivates true love or fosters lasting happiness. Other far more important things are needed and should be held in higher esteem. We shouldn’t get caught up in the big lie that if we don’t look a certain way, then we are not lovable.
This was brought home to me recently upon leaving a church in New Haven, Connecticut. This parish is a huge and beautiful church. As I descended the flight of steps toward the sidewalk, three blonde haired college girls were passing by. As they all stared examining the church, I heard one of them say, “Wow, what a beautiful church this is!”
My first thought was, “Little do they know.” Yes, the outside of the church was impressive. However, it was nothing compared to the more exquisite beauty inside that I had just experienced (not to mention the ineffable beauty of Christ who dwelled within that church).
It’s the same with us. While someone may (or may not) have a hot body exteriorly, the inside is where the far greater beauty is found. After all, bodies come and go with age, car accidents, health problems, etc. But, the beauty of true love, sincere kindness, joy, faithfulness, heroic virtue, and so much more, all proceed from within—and these are what lasting marriages are built upon.
Am I saying that looks are not important? Attraction unnecessary? Absolutely not! God made us to be attracted to one another, and this is good. In fact, we should always seek to better ourselves on the inside and outside. Ultimately though, the inner beauty is far more important. In fact, exterior beauty is only a “sign” helping us to be cognizant of the greater, unseen beauty dwelling within.
For example: a confident man with a muscular, defined body may come across as strong and disciplined. But, is he? Some strong men are actually weak and slothful within, not being able to control their lust, their temper, or their emotional problems. So, what good is a nice body? Even if a man does not have a great body exteriorly, he can still show and live the strength of manhood in his life!
Likewise, a woman with an attractive, shapely body may come across as feminine and lovable—but it she really? If not, what good is a nice body? If so, all the better, for she reveals the beauty of God, the ultimate beauty of all. A woman doesn’t need a nice body to live feminine genius, to show true love, or to reveal the true beauty of womanhood.
I know people who have struggled with eating disorders because they desired bodily perfection. Unfortunately, they focused so much on looking a certain way on the outside that they forgot to work on inside, which is of much greater importance. Everything was so self-focused, they did not cultivate those more important aspects within.
This can be understood by the reflections of an online “Beauty guru” who helps women with makeup and hair, but also helps them develop the beauty within. She asked her Youtube followers to think of one or two role models in their life, someone they really admire. She then tells them to think of the reasons why that person is their role model. Usually the answers come; “They are hard-working, compassionate, loving, sacrificial, strong in times of trial, etc. Then she points out that of all the answers given, not once is looks mentioned as one of the criteria for why someone is their role model. Why? Because our looks are not what our worth is based on! It is all the other things that define us and make us who we are—aspects that are truly important and worth focusing on.