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September 8, 2019 | Christopher Yuan
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“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.”—Proverbs 6:25 (NIV)
There’s an old expression that claims, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Now, while I know this isn’t exactly true, I will say that much like body language, I do believe there is an eye language. You can tell a lot about a person’s thoughts, feelings, and demeanor based on their eyes.
I think one of the main things we can derive from all of this is that eyes play a prominent role in our lives. How so? Consider the above verse from Proverbs. As we explore human attraction, what makes someone attractive, and what we should be attracted to, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk to you about physical attraction.
It’s no secret that most people—statistically speaking, men more so than women—often base a great deal of their dating criteria, particularly up front, on looks. When I was single and ready to mingle in my late teens and early twenties, I—as a Christian young man brought up in the church—can’t deny that I placed a great deal of emphasis on looks. Several times, I found myself dating girls who I was very much physically attracted to . . . but when I got to know them, I realized we weren’t a great match at all.
I experienced a lot of hurt and heartache because I allowed myself to be captivated by her—more like a variety of hers—eyes. Did you know that the word eyes here actually refers to eyelids? Sounds strange, right? Theologians like Albert Barnes agree that this was a reference to ancient Eastern practice of “painting the eyes on the outside with kohl so as to give brightness and languishing expression.” Doesn’t sound so strange anymore, does it?
So am I saying that being attracted to physical beauty is bad? Nope. Or that wearing makeup, dressing up, coloring your hair, trying to “get ripped,” or grooming of any kind is wrong? Not saying that, either. What I am saying is that we cannot get caught up with physical beauty alone without getting to know the inner person. We cannot let what our eyes deem attractive wholly dictate our dating decision-making. Especially when we know that the proverbial eyelids have been enhanced. Don’t be ensnared, don’t make rash decisions that could lead you down a sinful path simply because you like what you see.
Seek out that which God deems attractive in us, not just what looks good. Practice self-control; get to know the person before you jump in. Take a cue from the Song of Solomon, which warns us to not hurry love (2:7; 3:5; 8:4).
DIG: How much of an emphasis do you/did you place on looks?
DISCOVER: What do you find most attractive in a person? Does it align with what the Bible tells us makes a person beautiful?
DO: If you’re single, examine your criteria for dating. How much does a person’s looks, and the amount of work they put into their looks, factor in? If you’re married, what made you fall in love with your spouse? Spend time reflecting, and take the time to remind them of the things you love about them.