This week we have been covering five topics from the next book as background for next week's discussion of how Fellowship relates to Sex and Marriage.
This week's background topics...
Monday: OUGHT vs. IS
Tuesday: Changing undesirable behavior
Thursday: Pornography and Masculinity
Today's topic: Beauty vs. Attraction
Beauty is defined as "a pleasing APPEARANCE". This has been well known for ages: "Beauty IS skin deep." Beauty IS about the image. Since NO ONE is perfect, the definition of "most beautiful" IS "having the least imperfections". Again, if we are focused on justifying what something is not, we are focused on IS.
Over ten years ago, I was involved in a beauty pageant. What I learned is the woman who wins the pageant is the one who is best at covering her imperfections. The most interesting part of the pageant for me was "the walk". The key to "the walk" is for the woman to have a lot going on and when she stops to pose she has to "pop the knee". Then she turns and walks back to her spot. The goal of "the walk" is to create a lot of activity so the judges never have time to settle on the imperfections.
Have you ever heard pastors/teachers tell men they HAVE to see their wife as beautiful? How would you see your spouse as more beautiful? Seeing her as beautiful is an EFFECT. How do you instantly have an EFFECT? What is the CAUSE of beauty? Lack of imperfections. How can the husband create that CAUSE? Intentionally overlook her imperfections? Isn't this preaching effects? Isn't this dishonest? How does this benefit the wife? Are we dealing with solutions (OUGHT) or justifying the current condition (IS)?
Yesterday we covered "pornography". When I help someone addicted to pornography, one of the first things I talk about is the difference between beauty and attraction. I ask them if they have found that perfect picture yet: The most beautiful woman in the world. Actually, a picture that seems perfect at first quickly begins to lose its appeal on repeated viewings...and the quest for the next perfect picture candidate begins. The same thing EFFECT is occurring with looking twice at women. The second look is because the man thinks he may have seen the PERFECT woman. Further examination shows she's not PERFECT...no woman is. However, the damage is done when the subsequent looks involve imagination...
Beauty is based on the Physical. The Physical runs down...it will NEVER be perfect. That is the problem with "beauty"...it fades. It will NEVER become better over the Long Term. Attraction is a different story...
Attraction is defined as "an invisible power within a body by which it draws anything to itself". Attraction deals with the invisible power WITHIN the body...the Spiritual. This is something that can grow. This is OUGHT because it is something we can DO.
Since attraction is based on the Spiritual, it can be perfect...it can become better REGARDLESS of how the outside looks. How is THAT possible?
My background is formulating consumer products: Joy dishwashing liquid, Liquid Tide laundry detergent, Shout!, Spray 'n Wash, Purex, etc. Each of these products have numerous attributes...well over 50. They clean different stains in different conditions. They have different stability profiles. They look, smell, pour, and feel different. They have different packages.
One of the toughest things to change about the product is the package. If you change it too much, people don't have the same attachment (attraction) to the product.
When I would interview consumers who have used a product for years, it was like listening to a romance. The person had been through a lot with the product. The person was attracted to the ENTIRE product (WITHIN) and their attraction to the product had grown over time. However, what REPRESENTED the product was its appearance (BODY). When a person saw the appearance, EVEN if it was out of date and old fashion looking, the attraction was there.
The CAUSE was the ENTIRE experience (WITHIN).
The EFFECT was ATTRACTION to the package...even if the package (BODY) wasn't beautiful!
BEAUTY (IS) fades with repeated encounters.
ATTRACTION (OUGHT) increases with repeated positive encounters BECAUSE as a person gets more experience and understanding of the entire product (WITHIN) it CHANGES and IMPROVES...
...the appearance (BODY) represents the ENTIRE being (WITHIN): a being that you can't get bored with because it is constantly changing.
The background portion of this discussion concludes with an eye opening look at how our society views Sex and Marriage.