Question:

My male friend and I have been platonic friends for over 5 years. He’s 13 years older than me. Two years ago he expressed an interest in dating me. I resisted because he is not my type physically or spiritually. He doesn’t see the need to attend church, read the Bible, or abstain from pre-marital sex. He’ll go to church or read the Bible when he feels like it but he has adamantly expressed that he doesn’t see the need for “Christians” to do this to help with their faith. He’s what you would call an "intellectual." He makes God seem like a sci-fi spirit that has no emotion, etc. He’s told me many times that he thinks tithing is a sham and the Bible can’t be trusted because people have tampered with it. Our views differ in a lot of ways spiritually.  He’s also the type that doesn’t care about his physical appearance or clean surroundings, which is a major turn-off. 

A year ago, I tried dating him because everyone told me that I should consider it because he was so good to me. He treated me the way I always wanted to be treated as far as being a gentleman, sensitivity, etc. I have a bad habit of attracting emotionally unavailable men, which I’m working on now. However, in the midst of dating my friend, I hated it sometimes because I still couldn’t get past the physical part, boredom, and lack of passion for him. He told me that I should focus on his characteristics and the passion would come. I tried, but I still yearned for more from other people. It was so bad that I would date other people (the wrong type) while trying to talk myself into focusing on him because I was so bored and unfulfilled. I decided to go back to platonic friendship, focus on improving my relationship with God, but my friend swears up and down that he’s my God-sent husband.

My question is this, is it wrong to not date someone because you don’t find them attractive and you don’t like their spiritual views? I always believed that you should find someone who’s like minded and you find them attractive. My elders have told me that looks don’t count and I need to reconsider.   


Answer:

It is true that looks should not be a major consideration in selecting a husband or wife, but I have a great deal of difficulty imagining any elder advising you to consider a man who is lost spiritually.

Let's take one small aspect of this man: the fact that he doesn't care about his physical appearance. In one sense that could describe most men as men tend to be pragmatic and prefer to focus on other issues. But I'm assuming that he is more careless than your typical man. Since husbands are told, "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself" (Ephesians 5:28), his treatment of himself is a hint as to how you will be treated if you become his wife.

His claim that he is your "God-sent husband" when he demonstrates so little knowledge of God is almost laughable if the situation wasn't so serious.

Joining yourself to a man as husband and wife means that you are accepting that man as the leader of the family you will be forming. But you acknowledge in advance that you can't follow his spiritual lead because he his only playing at being a Christian. Though talking about more than just a marriage relationship, Paul had words of warning for Christians tying themselves into obligations with non-Christians. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."" (II Corinthians 6:14-17).

It would be wrong to bind yourself to this man. And since you don't intend to even consider marrying him, it would be wrong to date him and give him false hopes.

Because your elders are urging you to consider marrying a hypocrite (because his Christianity is just an act), I would strongly urge you to find another congregation where the leadership is properly concerned about getting you to heaven. If they are making such a major mistake in this area, it is likely they are making similar mistakes in other areas as well.