Our Standard of Beauty is Our Spouse

Our Standard of Beauty is Our Spouse

Song of Songs 1:15 – Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. 

This is an excerpt from the new book “Real Romance: Sex in the Song of Songs”. To purchase the book, click here, and to access the sermon series that accompanies these devos and this book, click here

The first marriage in history is how the Bible begins in the opening chapters of Genesis. God made the world “good” but said one thing was “not good”—that man was alone. So God made woman and brought her to the man like a father walking his daughter down the aisle and like the pastor officiating the first marriage. Adam sang a poetic love song to his bride as the first words we have recorded from any human being in history. Adam and Eve then consummated their marriage, and they were naked without shame and “one flesh” (see Genesis 2:24). Since there were only two people alive, both Adam and Eve saw their spouse as their standard of beauty, and their sex life was a beautiful and godly part of their marriage covenant. This principle cannot be overstated in the midst of a pornified planet: we do not have a standard of beauty to which we compare our spouses, because God gifted them to us as our standard of beauty!

Admittedly, this means our standard of beauty changes as our spouse changes. If your marriage begins with a husband who has a full head of hair and six pack abs, but some decades later his bangs have gone home to be with the Lord and he now has cooler abs, then you need to adjust your mindset. It is helpful to try and look your best as you age for your spouse, but in the end, gravity remains undefeated, and we must give our spouse some grace just as we hope for some ourselves.

Marriage and sex started really wonderful but have become really awful. Since sin entered the world, pain, problems, and perils have invaded sex and marriage. The good news is that God can and does heal, restore, and bless people who live under the authority of His Word. We like to say that many couples need a new marriage, but they don’t need a new spouse. God can give you a new marriage with the same spouse! When both the husband and wife are filled with the Spirit and living in obedience to God’s Word, they have a guaranteed success rate in marriage. This brings us to the Song of Songs, the most frank and passionate book in the Bible about sex and marriage.

If you’re married, tell your spouse what you love about them in this current season of your lives, not what they used to look or be like. If you’re not yet married, what are some non-physical traits that you hope your future spouse has? 

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Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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