Physical looks are such an integral part of marital love that they must not be negotiated at all. The person may be a spiritual angel, but if the looks mean nothing to you - run away.
Why did Jacob prefer Rachel to Leah? Her appearance arrested Jacob's heart permanently. Rachel was inwardly a problem; she commanded him, sat on idols, etc. At the end of his life he said, "As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath" (that is, Bethlehem)" (Genesis 48:7). Although Leah was also his wife, he was found to say, "...You know that my wife bore me two sons." (Genesis 44:27). He really recognizes only Rachel.
Listen, young man. God looks in the inside. You cannot see the inside. Before you marry ask - will I take pleasure looking into these eyes for fifty years? It is not the opinion of others that matters here. It is just that you must find the woman nice. Rebecca, Abraham's wife was beautiful.
If you are a woman, keep a picture of the time your husband chose you. Maintain your beauty. And keep to that. If not, you may become offensive.
A woman came to my office weeping about her husband's weight. She would begin to feel the weight of the man's oversize long before they went to bed. A woman will not just like anything because you are a man. Of course, there is the wear and tear of age -- you can't help it. But, keep ail the rest. Keep a picture of the young man, and do not depart from it.
Marriage is not for enduring, it is for enjoying. Do not turn it into an endurance exercise. That is not the cross you are called to bear. Labour to be physically pleasing and attractive even at seventy-five. This is for the men as well as for the women.
Don't you like that which is attractive? Do you turn away your eyes from that which is attractive? A woman said to her husband "You cannot divorce me because the Bible will not let you do it. If you beat me they will excommunicate you. So I have my freedom to do in your home as I want." Such was a wicked application of the scriptures. She was saying she did not need to endeavour to please her husband.
You must take care of your physical appearance. God appreciates that which is good. He did things for beauty and for glory. He has not changed. Dress to be your normal self or add to your worth. Do not dress to become uglier. Dress to be more attractive.
You do not only give the inside. Give the outside too. People may close up to you because of your appearance. How you carry yourself matters. What you choose to wear counts.
Learn how to match colors well. We are called to win people to Christ in the twenty-first century. Not to take note of the times is folly. You should always be dressed respectfully. You respect your audience by the way you dress. You do not dress anyhow to see a man you respect. Impress God with your inner being and man with your outward self. Go out and look at the flowers - and it tells you what God thinks the external should be.
Sacrificial living does not mean the sacrifice of that which is glorious and attractive. Every missionary must have two jackets minimum. These must be well-kept.
Do not aim at marrying the best dressed woman in the church. Do not marry the ugliest dressed woman in the church. Marry the cleanest.
A preacher with an odor may lose some members. He must be clean in order to keep ail such for whom cleanliness is determinant. Socks are worn once. Utter hard work must be put to maintain cleanliness. The shoes must be polished always.
In the mission field, the man should wash his clothes. The woman already has a lot of work. He should wash his and help wash his wife's. The house must be orderly, though simple.
The root of disorder is laziness. When a hardworking man begins to be disorderly, he is now living in the sin of laziness. If he may not be able to stretch a bed-sheet in the physical, he will not be able to stretch out in the spiritual as well. If plates will not be washed immediately, sin may as well not be repented of immediately. It is laziness that postpones. Disorder finally leads to dirt and dirt puts away God.
It takes hard work to press on to God. The lazy cannot press on to the heights for God.