The early Gnostics valued spirit over concrete substance, mind over matter.
The material universe — including one’s own body — was evil, they thought, or neutral at best.
But NT epistles such as Colossians and 1 John take aim at Gnostic tendencies in church and culture by focusing on the value of Christ’s physical body.*
The incarnation of Christ validates material creation. God made it, loved it, entered it.
So I suggest . . . that body and appearance may be more important in marriage than is often thought, and that true spirituality includes my physical self.
So perhaps I should lift a few weights now and then, cap the calories, comb my hair, and buy a nice outfit more than once/decade.
Indeed, given the limitations and failings of advancing age, I still wish to present myself to Sharon as best I can, not letting myself go to the dogs under the assumption that, after all, she’s pretty much stuck with me.
It is often maintained that Gnosticism was not in full bloom until the second century. Thus the NT addresses a kind of “pre-” or “proto-Gnosticism.”
A sampling of references includes Colossians 1:22, 2:9; 1 John 1:1.