If you have spent any time living with me, you know I am woefully obsessed with how my hair looks.
You know that I spend an unfortunate amount of hours and dollars perfecting what has turned into an ever-evolving hairstyle over the years.
I think it’s obvious why I did this: I wanted to look attractive, and I wanted the opposite sex to notice my attractiveness. I chose my haircut and styled my hair in order to look my best and hopefully draw the attention of a future mate who really appreciated my bangs.
Now, being the deeply wise and confident woman that I am, I know there is more to wooing a mate than just really, really good looks. So I knew I would have to have a personality just as attractive as my $40 haircut.
And that’s where my faith came in.
As a young Christian woman, I have been taught all my life that I should only pursue “Godly” men, meaning someone who is dedicated to living life for Christ.
A “Godly” person is someone to go after. A “Godly” person is attractive, worthwhile, and will score you major points with your Christian buddies and Christian parents and Christian pastor and Jesus himself. Potential Christian spouses will want you if you exude godliness (and work for a non-profit).
Armed with this knowledge, I decided that the best way to win a man was to really love Jesus. I wanted potential catches to see how much I prayed, how often I attended church. I hoped my kindness, humility, passion and joy that came as a result of a relationship with Jesus would make me attractive. I wanted my “Godliness” to seduce that special someone.
Being a “Godly” person is not bad. As Christians we should absolutely strive to live a life that reflects Christ’s being and goodness. And I will openly admit that an awesome man singing worship songs or taking the time to pray with me is a very attractive thing (Dear Jesus, thank you for inventing lips I can use to kiss other lips).
But my faith had become my haircut. While I genuinely wanted a life-changing relationship with Christ, I also wanted the benefits it would bring me romantically. Just like my appearance, I was using my faith to attract a relationship. And this was just wrong.
It’s a problem I believe we easily fall into. On the one hand, we are called to reflect Christ in such a way that others are drawn to us. We want to experience the priceless love and joy that Christ’s relationship gives and is naturally apparent to others. On the other, we want our significant others or crushes or spouses to appreciate that we are Christians. We want them to love our faith, just as we want to love their faith. And these are both good things.
But faith is not to be used as a tool for flirting or a charming personality trait. It should not be a means to the “prize” of true love. Is it good to seek a “Godly” partner? Most definitely. Should we lead faithful lives so we can have a date for Valentine’s Day? Probably not.
In what ways can we see our faith as more than a means to be attractive?
© Julia Feeser and HelloSoul, 2014.