You love his hair, his eyes, his nose. When he walks by you in the halls, a swarm of butterflies takes flight in your belly. Or maybe you’re drawn to a guy who is out of reach. You only see him on the big screen or the covers of magazines, but looking at him makes you swoon.
It’s a natural part of being a girl to notice the guys around us. And since every girl is different, some of us are drawn to different physical features in guys than others. But for God’s girls committed to purity, those feelings might be confusing. Maybe that’s why one of you sweet readers dared to ask . . .
“Is it okay to find guys attractive?”
The simple answer to that question is yes, but let’s peel back the layers a bit, shall we?
“My Brain Thinks You’re Hot”
Researchers have discovered that when we find a guy attractive our hearts may be racing, but it’s our brains that are doing the real work. Those warm fuzzies are coming in from your prefrontal cortex. Before your heart ever gets involved, your brain says, “I like you!”
Who created our brains? Who wired them to react in this way?
What started as physical attraction progressed to lifelong commitment. This is God’s map for romantic love.
God, of course! The Bible tells us that everything was created by God, including the tiny neurotransmitters inside our brains (John 1:3).
We also know from God’s Word that God created men and women to love each other. Marriage is God’s idea and so were the sparks that sometimes fly between us. Simply put, admiring a guy’s physical features is a-okay. But there’s more to this conversation. Let’s keep talking.
Physical Attractiveness Should Lead to Something More
In Song of Songs, we read a romantic story between a man and a woman. First engaged, then newly married, then enjoying long-term commitment, these two are crazy about each other.
Listen to how the girl in the story describes her fella:
My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold;
his locks are wavy,
black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves
beside streams of water,
bathed in milk,
sitting beside a full pool (Song of Songs 5:10–12).
Those might not be the exact words we’d use to describe a guy today, but she was noticing the same things we do: his strength, his hair, his eyes. But their romance didn’t stay on a surface level.
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave. . .
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it (Song of Songs 8:6–7).
There’s a shift here from “I think I like you” to “Our love is as strong as death, raging waters cannot stop it.”
What started as physical attraction progressed to lifelong commitment. This is God’s map for romantic love. Those warm fuzzy feelings of attraction that you have for a guy are just the starting point. Think of it like the appetizer before the feast. Looking at a guy and liking what you see isn’t nearly as amazing as still looking at a guy and liking what you see after fifty years of marriage.
Love Is Deeper
You don’t need to feel shame or embarrassment when you like how a guy looks (blame your brain), but you also need to remember that God’s plan for romance goes much deeper.
In 1 Corinthians 13, we read this famous description of love:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (vv. 4–7).
Attraction is physical, but love is so much more. It involves our emotions, our thoughts, and most importantly, our actions.
What a Lovely Vessel
I have a pastor friend who doesn’t allow his teen daughters to say a guy is hot. Instead they must say, “Wow! What a lovely vessel in which the Holy Spirit can dwell.”
You don’t need to feel shame or embarrassment when you like how a guy looks, but you also need to remember that God’s plan for romance goes much deeper.
It’s a silly rule, meant to remind them that every guy they see is more than just a handsome face. They bear the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Even more amazing, Christian guys are God’s temple. Jesus dwells within their hearts (1 Cor. 6:19–20). Those radical truths ought to pull us past the physical and help us see the guys around us with new eyes. Make note of the physical, but pay close attention to all the other amazing gifts God has given the guys in your world.
The reverse is also true. When God looks for your beauty, He is looking at your heart. Instead of focusing on being the prettiest girl around, ask the Lord to make who you are on the inside attractive and to teach you to see others like He does.
“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).