Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

A soldier was finally coming home after he had fought in Vietnam War. He called his parents to inform them; however, he requested that they allow him to bring home a friend. The parents were happy to receive the friend.

“There is something you should know about my friend” He said to them. “He was badly hurt in fighting; he stepped on land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come and live with us.” The parents quickly objected to it, offering to help his friend find somewhere else to live. His father said to him, “son, an individual in such condition would be a huge burden on us, we have our lives to live and would not let someone like that interfere with it. Please, come home and forget about him”. His father said.

After listening to them, he hung the phone and they never heard from him again. A few days later, they got a call from the police stating that their son had committed suicide. When the parents went to the morgue to identify his body, what they found out was shocking. Their son had lost one arm and a leg.

Genuine love goes beyond appearance; it is a choice that is based on a deep knowledge of a person including his or her shortcomings and the willingness to do the best for the individual. Genuine love is based on the understanding that, the worth of an individual is more than physical appearance. Do not be deceived into getting married to a person whose character contradicts your values and moral convictions because of his or her charming look. Beauty is wonderful, it is like the icing on a well-baked cake; but beauty cannot substitute for character.

Unfortunately, so many unmarried couple especially men see physical beauty as one of the primary criteria for marriage. The truth is that, if you mistakenly get married to a beautiful woman who has an irritating behaviour, her beauty will not make sense to you anymore when the chips are down. We live in a world where appearance means so much because of media hype; thus a lot of individuals derive their self-image from associating with folks whose appearance measures up with the societal standards of acceptable appearance.

A lot of folks fall into the temptation of classifying or categorizing others based on their appearance. Hence, those whose appearance fits the pseudo-standard are most likely to attract friends and possibly life partners, while the others, whose appearance does not tick the boxes, are ignored.

Unfortunately, this misconception has led many into choosing wrong life partners resulting in marital dysfunction. The truth is that genuine love, which is fundamental to success in marriage, should not be based on mere looks but the inner virtue which transcends the physical. It is when you love beyond the physical that you would stick with your spouse even when the fleeting beauty is no longer obtainable. As people grow older, their magnificent body frame begins to wane. Hence, if one’s love is rooted on that, it would certainly grow weak but, love based on inner virtue sees physical beauty as an addition and not the primary focus.

Furthermore, many of us love people because of what they have, the contributions they can make to our lives and not for whom they are. Nevertheless, when we claim to love unconditionally, it means we are willing to place value on others for who they are and not basically because of their appearance, what they have or what they can do for us. This is God’s approach to love which we all must imbibe to enjoy our relationship. Loving unconditionally means, loving without any strings attached.