“I need a thug that’ll have my back, do-rag, Nike Airs to match
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that, that’s how I like it, baby
Where my thugs at? White T-shirt, I love that
Timberland boots, you does that, it’s a fact, that’s how I like it, baby.“
I love people watching. I am sitting in MacDonalds watching Johannesburgers go by. Weaves, bald heads, afros, dreadlocks, crew cuts and an inordinate number of men with mohawks. I just spotted a red one go by. Baggy pants, shorts, skirts, summer dresses and lots of lumo. Of course, it is Trench Coat Thursday so we have to venture into some awkward territory, stuff you might call inappropriate topics of conversation. Have you ever heard someone say,
“Hm, he can get it.”?
What is ‘it’?
Beyonce can provide some much needed help here:
“Single Ladies” : If you want it then you should have put a ring on it.
“Check On It” : If you got it, flaunt it, boy I know you want it.
“Party”: I told my girls you can get it.
You get the picture?
I think it’s a pretty crude way of putting things and, admittedly, I would never say it myself. Or think it. When I do encounter someone I consider attractive I think:
“Hm, what a beautiful sample of God’s creation. Jesus, does he belong to you? Because he could definitely get it. Terms and conditions apply, of course.”
See below for terms and conditions.
Having spoken to my friends in relationships (married and dating/ courting), each of them say that ‘attraction’ is important. But what is attraction exactly? And how important is it? And what does God say about it? I want to explore this a little and share a few thoughts about it. I also hope that you will share yours in response and even challenge some of what I have said. Here are my thoughts:
Not my type.
What is your type and where does it come from? At some point in my life I decided that short men were not my type. It did not matter how good looking or smart or godly the guy was – if he was short he was not an option. If my memory serves me correctly, I decided that I did not like short men after a short conversation I had with my mother. On a day that we were out shopping, we bumped into a man who had a huge crush on my mom when she was a young woman, he still looked at her with stars in his eyes. I remember asking my mom if she ever seriously considered him as a potential mate and she said, “Never! I would never marry a man as short as him.” And true to her word, the man she married was tall, dark and handsome, with a sky-scraping afro.
I think the kind of people we are attracted to is a combination of nature and nurture. But mostly nurture. The distinction is important because it means that who we are attracted to is not set in stone and is subject to change. For example, a guy friend of mine told me about how he was always attracted to very light-skinned girls (what he called yellow-bones) who conformed to a certain ‘look’: a long weave, narrow waist and a big butt . He said that most men have an ideal picture of what an attractive woman looks like and most men have to be broken out of this way of thinking. For him, that meant starting to see ‘real women’ as beautiful and letting go of the false standard of the hip hop video girl.
Please don’t make me marry an ugly person.
I know, I know, you do not want to marry an ugly person. Neither do I. But have you not been surprised at the kind of people that you find attractive? It is weird how I will meet a guy and think: “Hm, no he’s a nice guy but… nah.” and then I get to know them and one day I find myself thinking “Hm, I never realised how beautiful his eyes were.” It works the other way too- sometimes really beautiful people turn into not-so hot, mean people when you get to know them. The point is, attraction is not a static thing.
Keeping up appearances.
There is a Bible verse that says ‘Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.” This is not a saying, it is an actual Bible verse. It provides a comparison between the way that people see things and the way that God sees things. So, on the the one hand, people are more concerned about the way that things look on the outside, rather than what is on the inside. We spend thousands on hair cuts and extensions, new outfits and make-up – all just to make the outside look more attractive. I will admit it, the better looking you are, the more likely you are to get my attention, my number, my add on Facebook.
But God looks at the heart. I think it would be wrong to say that God does not czre about the outside. He, in His wisdom, created beautiful things and gave us the ability to appreciate beauty and to be drawn to it. The difference is that God prioritises it differently. When God looks at Naomi Campbell, his first concern is not “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.” but what state her heart is in. And Jesus modelled (see what I did there?) this perfectly. He was always upsetting the rich, beautiful and well dressed. The hotties. Because He chose to make friends with the notties.
That ought to challenge us in two ways: are you more concerned with the way you look on the outside than the way your heart is? And: if you are honest, when you think of someone you could be with for the rest of your life, have you prioritised the way they look over whether they have character and a healthy heart?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading.
*Terms and Conditions, who can get it.*
1. He must belong to Jesus. Like, fully. Church going or ‘curious about spiritual things’ is not enough.
2. He must not be a lone wolf. It is important that he has friends. People who can vouch for his character and hold him accountable.
3.He must put a ring on it and sign on the dotted line before he gets it.
4. My girls need to think he can get it (from me. Not them. Don’t get it twisted. Sharing is not caring!)