Marry a Man With These Characteristics
One thing that drives me nuts is the idea that real manhood equals a life of hunting, driving big trucks, and owning multiple guns.
Mostly, because I look around and see many men who just aren’t wired that way. Some men care more about computers and would rather sleep in a comfy bed than in a tent. Just like women aren’t all interested in pretty dresses and Anne of Green Gables, men shouldn’t be considered “manly” by their hobbies and interests.
And just as scripture should inform our minds about biblical womanhood, motherhood and the like, we must allow scripture to teach us what true manhood is as well.
So, on behalf of my single girls, I decided to look to the Creator of men to find what is true manhood as he designed and the true characteristics you should be looking for in a potential husband.
1. He loves sacrificially.
A godly man loves sacrificially. He prefers others needs above his own, especially those of his wife. He mimics Christ’s love for the church imperfectly, but pursues it nonetheless. He nourishes and cherishes his wife both spiritually and physically.
He works to cultivate a servant’s heart in ministry and is willing to help those in need.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25, 28-30 ESV)
2. He provides for his family.
Godly men seek provision for the needs of their family. He has a job or is seeking employment(in the case of job loss) to provide food, shelter etc. He is willing to be humble in submitting to jobs he doesn’t enjoy if it feeds his wife and children.
He is also wise with finances. He looks to the future and seeks God’s wisdom on saving and giving. He’s a giver of the blessings God has given him.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV)
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)
3. He shows his love for God in his pursuit of knowing him more through studying the Word.
He doesn’t have to be in seminary, but godly men love God and they love his Word. They want to know him and love him more.
They know they need the nourishment of the Word in order to live a life honoring to the Lord.
This is not to say that they spend 1 hour a day every day studying. But are they opening the bible to seek him on a daily/weekly basis? Do they look to God’s Word to find wisdom on life issues? Are they interested in learning and growing in Christ?
If not, they may not be pursuing God and that’s a dangerous component to bring into a marriage.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:12-16 ESV)
Look for a man who delights in God’s Word and has made himself a student of it.
4. He protects his own purity and that of the woman he loves.
A man who truly loves God and loves you will not allow his own purity or yours to be destroyed. He will fight against temptation and strive to make wise choices to keep boundaries in place. He has self-control.
This is not saying it isn’t a struggle, but he honors God and you more, which allows him to keep the biblical perspective when the pressure is on. He turns away. He covers his eyes. He flees.
A man who protects the purity of your relationship before marriage, will do so in marriage as well. If the guy you’re dating can’t control his sexual desires now, what makes you think he’ll have more control once married?
Godly men strive to live out their sexuality as God designed.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. (Ephesians 5:25-28a ESV)
How does a man keep his way (and his wife’s way) pure? (Psalm 119:9a).
- By guarding it according to God’s Word. (Psalm 119:9b).
- By seeking God with his whole heart. (Psalm 119:10a).
- Striving to not wander from God’s commandments. (Psalm 119:10b).
- Storing God’s Word in his heart. (Psalm 119:11).
A godly man pursues these things to keep his way pure and also comes along side the woman he loves to guard her heart, encourage her to seek the Lord, lead her to stay on the path that leads to righteousness, and help her store God’s Word in her heart. He partners with Christ to help her become the godly woman she is made to be.
Ladies, you need to marry a man who cares about purity.
5. He understands forgiveness and redemption.
I’m not sure if there is anything that breaks my heart more than a person who hasn’t fully grasped redemption. A man who shames you for your past mistakes is not a godly man who truly understands the grace of God. And that’s heart breaking, because this means he is blind to the gravity of his own sin before a holy God. Without the knowledge of our total depravity as humans, we cannot fully comprehend the glorious grace which has been placed upon us. And following that logic, we scarcely find it easy to offer the same grace to those who have traveled a darker path.
Look for a man who humbly recognizes the amazing grace he has received from a good God. This man will look at you (even upon knowing the sin in your past) and see Christ in you.
A godly man recognizes that his standing before God is in no way greater than anyone else. He knows that it is by God’s grace alone that he stands at all. He understands forgiveness redemption.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)
6. He loves God more than he loves you.
As women, we are prone to want our man to have a mind filled with thoughts about us. It traces all the way back to the fall when our Mother Eve took the fruit. But truly, we should want the man we love to be so in awe of God that nothing fills his mind more, including us.
That hurts our pride and desire to be all a man wants, but we need a man who doesn’t put us on a throne meant only for the Lord of his life. Marry a guy who loves you fiercely but loves God even more.
You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 ESV)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 ESV)
What have you been looking for in a husband? When I was single, God shifted my view of what a godly man is according to scripture. The more my mind was renewed by his Word, the less attracted I was to outside characteristics and the more I desired a man whose heart was focused on God.
No man is perfect. All humans are flawed. But is he pursuing growth in these areas of his life? Is there a desire for change and Christ-likeness?
Don’t settle for less than what God shows in his Word. There are men out there who model these very things. (I’m married to one.) Trust God and serve him with your singleness as you wait for him to bring you a godly man. And pray that you would be attracted to these things more than any outward appearance you see.
You never know what may happen.
Story for you: When I met my now husband for the first time, there was 100% no interest. I wasn’t immediately attracted to him. He seemed quiet and nerdy. When one of my best friends asked, “What about Jimmy?” I gasped and said, “He is NOT my type.” But, 9 months into a simple friendship, I found myself praying the Lord would cause him to pursue me because I had already decided I wanted to marry him. My heart had changed. Godliness in a man is more attractive than anything else to a woman in pursuit of the Lord. Jim became (and still is) the hottest guy in my eyes. As I see him grow in Christ, my heart grows more and more fond of him. God knew exactly who I needed in a husband. I’m so thankful I trusted him with that.
Wives, You’re Not Immune To Attraction
It all started with that first happily ever after movie, preaching the same old story of perfection found in a prince. He would be dashingly handsome and his charisma would forever sweep me off my feet. We would live, always fully enthralled with each other’s affection and never tempted to glance away.
Or so I thought.
They Lied To Us
Movies and Christian romance novels have lied to us, ladies. So many of us believe that once we find the right “prince,” our affections will never waver and our eyes will never wander. But that’s a lie…and a dangerous one.
Here’s the thing. Saying your vows isn’t like taking a love potion. At some point in your marriage, you will be tempted. We don’t like to talk about these things because of embarrassment, but there’s truth to be heeded here.
It’s no secret that I think my man is pretty hot. (He’s totally gonna blush when he edits this.). And I’m happily married. Like the: I-miss-you-when-you’re-gone-for-five-minutes kinda happy. But I, like many women, have been tempted to want attention from other men.
I was completely blindsided by this.
I crumbled into a little ball of despair and rolled myself into a ditch of darkness. I felt ashamed, alone and confused. I had no warning. No heads up that, “Oh hey, by the way, marriage doesn’t cure your lust for attention.” It seems pretty simple, but in my fairy tale mindset it never occurred to me that it was possible to want anyone’s attention but my husbands.
It is possible, and I dare to say it happens to the majority of Christian women, though most never speak of it.
A Murderous Lie
So why does this need to be addressed? Well, marriages have ended because of it.
If you believe you will never be attracted to anyone else once you’ve found “the one,” you won’t guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23). If your heart is not guarded, there may be a day when you wonder if you’ve married the wrong person. You can be sure you’ve married “the one” if you’re married to them. God is the author of every biblical marriage. If you’re in one, then that’s where he wants you to stay. Only he gets to decide when a marriage ends. (Not speaking about marriages that include infidelity or abuse here.)
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9 ESV)
This fairy tale lie is threatening to the life of a marriage. We have to confront it head on or it will overtake us. We will either give in to sin or we will allow ourselves to be entrenched in shame. Both are not what God intends.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
Christ died to set us free from sin and shame.
Burying yourself in shame because you were tempted is unnecessary and unbiblical. Jesus was tempted. Therefore, temptation alone is not sin. Don’t heap guilt on yourself for sin you haven’t committed. We must put off the tempting thought and replace it with what’s honorable. (Philippians 4:8).
And, don’t get caught up in believing you’re the only one struggling with these unwanted thoughts. Remember, no sin is uncommon to man. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
READ: When Your Thoughts Are Wicked
I have learned that we all believe we are stronger than we actually are. Because of this, it’s essential to put up a healthy amount of safeguards to protect your marriage.
Each person will have to pray about and decide what is best for her. For me, I try to never be alone with a man who isn’t my husband. I also don’t go out of my way to have a conversation with other men. I’m not rude, but I don’t want to make provision for sin. Your boundaries may look different from mine, but I encourage you to think about ways you can protect your marriage.
We are on the defense against sin. We must have our armor raised and our minds ready to fight. (Ephesians 6:10-19).
Don’t be caught off guard when temptation comes. We are promised temptation, but we are also promised a way out.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
So you bought the lie that you ought to be exempt from temptation? Remember, you still have a flesh that is naturally bent toward sin. But praise God, he is changing us from one degree of glory to the next! (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Love Your Husband
Now that we’ve addressed the issue at hand, we can live in the freedom Christ bought for us on the cross. You have the ability, through God’s grace, to say no to coveting another man’s attention, and replace that desire with one that honors God and your marriage.
Think on truth. Truth about God and his goodness, and truth about your husband whom God has graciously placed in your life. And ask for God to increase your desire for your man, the one whom your soul loves. (Song of Solomon 3:4).
List off all the ways your husband provides, loves and serves you. Think about the features you find attractive, physically and within his personality. How does he inspire you spiritually?
Even if you feel your husband only lacks in all these areas, (which would probably be a lie), there are many beautiful truths about your Lord that you can renew your mind with.
So let’s be honest about this struggle so that we can address it and get to fighting! And if that day comes where your desires are out of whack, have your mind prepared to combat them with God’s truth.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV)
Rest Isn’t Found In “Me Time”
How do you view rest? What comes to mind when you think about it?
I can picture it now…a cozy blanket, Pride and Prejudice (the old one), a creamy cup of coffee and yarn and hook in hand. Maybe for you it’s a nap or a book and some hot tea.
Whatever it is, most humans enjoy a little time alone to physically slow down.
These things are blessings but are they necessary in order to love and serve others? Some would say so. But I wholeheartedly disagree.
Selfishness and Sensuality
Self-care is a popular trend in many circles, lately. You’ll find it in the conversations of anyone from hyper liberals to traditional conservatives. It truly goes hand and hand with the culture we’ve built, centered around self-esteem and personal happiness.
READ: Stop Telling Me To Love Myself More
While it’s definitely important to eat, drink, bathe and clothe ourselves, we often take self-care to a level of selfishness. Scripture shows us that we typically don’t need articles to remind us to take care of ourselves.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it… (Ephesians 5:29 ESV)
Self-care has become the Christian woman’s go to idol. We’ve been fed the lie that in order to be a good mom, wife or friend, we have to spend a certain amount of time getting pampered and thinking about our desires first.
Last week, as I scrolled through my Pinterest feed (which is filled with Christ claiming women), I saw multiple articles and info-graphics providing ideas on how to achieve a life filled with “self-care”. I have to say, I was truly disheartened.
The world is seeping in at our weak spots. The run down mom is being told to ignore the basic needs of her family until she’s had her “me time”. The single gal in her 20’s is encouraged to fantasize about her crush and call herself “sexy” while she looks in the mirror and does shameful things I don’t want to name in this article.
The world calls selfishness and sensuality good, and Christian women are drinking it down more quickly than the wine they drink while watching the Bachelor.
Before you start marching to my house with torches, I want to clarify.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy things we deem restful (as long as they are not sinful). We all need to take a breather. If God Almighty, the Creator of all things, rested, surely we, as humans, need rest. But when self-care routines take precedent over our God-given priorities, or our idea of rest becomes a treasure more dear to our heart than Christ, we are in trouble.
Last week, I found myself pouting on the floor of my closet with a heart fuming with anger as I hung clothes. It was 9PM, and I wanted to be cozy on the couch with a book by then! But the clothes in the mountain on the floor weren’t going to jump up onto the hangers themselves. I was so mad I could have punched a wall.
Why? Because the idol in my heart was springing forth all kinds of nasty. In that moment, my time of rest was elevated above God and that is what is so dangerous about a high focus on self-care. As humans, our natural bent is toward self.
Our attitude when we don’t get that time to ourselves we’ve been dreaming of can reveal if the idol of self-care is lingering in our heart.
Christ and Self-Care
Remember that time where Christ said he needed some “me time”? Yeah, me either.
Some will say, “But he would go away to retreat.” Yes, Jesus retreated to be with the Father in prayer, not to hide from the world and take a bubble bath.
Jesus constantly poured himself out to the needy. He “had no where to lay his head” and yet he brought healing and rest to the dying world before him (Luke 9:58). He showed us that rest was not found in a quiet corner with a book, but at the feet of the Father, and ultimately in himself.
He is our refuge. He is our rest.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. (Psalm 119:114 ESV)
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 ESV)
You’re right, we do need actual physical rest. It’s called sleep. But we don’t need “me-time”. It’s great to have time to ourselves but it’s not a necessity of life. What we truly need is more time alone with God.
Have you ever taken a day to purposefully do nothing only to still feel the desire for more rest? Maybe what your soul actually craved was a spiritual rest not found in just physically slowing down.
Jesus spent his life and death pouring himself out on our behalf. He never placed himself before others. God the Father and those who would be saved were at the forefront of his mind. And when he needed rest, he prayed. Likewise, following in his footsteps, the apostles risked their lives to continue his work. They were beaten, imprisoned, and stoned, all for the sake of getting the gospel to all nations. Yet, here we sit, talking nonsense about how “we need to put ourselves first in order to serve others.”
Our calling is no different from those in the early Church.
We are commanded to put others needs before our needs. We have it so backwards, friends!
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (John 15:12, 17 ESV)
How did Jesus love us?
He “emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant…and humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8). He “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). He serves us (John 13:14). He intercedes, or prays for us (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34). He forgives us (Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:7).
All of this and more points to the obvious fact that Jesus loved us with pure love. He placed our needs above his own, giving his very life in our place.
Following the Example of Our Savior
What an example Christ has shown us. What if he would have told those in need of healing to come back after he was finished resting? What if he would have decided that rather than going to the cross, he needed to take care of himself first?
Oh friends, don’t let self-care get in the way of gospel work. It may seem rewarding in the moment but there is nothing more rewarding than fiercely loving others as Christ did.
And there is nothing more restful than resting in Christ to do so.
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