Last year on Valentine’s Day I wrote an article to the single ladies about not taking your list of future-husband requirements too seriously. There are some standards, however, I believe every Mr. Right should live up to. I’m sharing them today for that girl who’s evaluating a special relationship in her life, trying to determine if this one is the one. Does he measure up to these standards? If not, you may do better to move along.
- He needs to be your spiritual leader.
When I was a student at Texas Bible College, one of my instructors put all the dating students on the spot. He asked each of us how we’d rate our spiritual wellness on a scale from one to ten and then how we’d rate the spiritual state of whomever we were dating. (He took great pleasure in watching us squirm.) In those cases where the male’s spiritual condition was not equal to (preferably stronger than) the female’s, he advised they end the relationship.
Sound a little harsh? Maybe to some. But listen, ladies, there is nothing more attractive than a godly, spiritually-sound man. Can you marry someone who’s spiritually weaker than you and your marriage survive? Absolutely. But do you really want a weak spiritual leader? If you value your soul and your relationship with Jesus, you’ll be happier if your man is someone you respect as the spiritual leader of your home (I Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:22-23; I Corinthians 11:3).
- He needs to know how to work.
II Thessalonians 3:10 says that anyone unwilling to work shouldn’t eat. The apostle Paul went on to denounce idleness and encourage Christians to work to earn their living. With that in mind, here are some clues that Mr. Dreamy may actually be Mr. Wrong.
- You’ve become his personal taxi service because he doesn’t have a job and therefore can’t afford a car.
- He’s an avid proponent of women’s equality because when you’re on dates, it gives him an excuse not to foot the dinner bill.
- His long-term career ambition is to be a stay-at-home dad (not to be confused with a work-from-home dad, which is perfectly acceptable).
- He works just as hard trying to find get-rich-quick schemes as he would if he had a real job.
You may think all you need for a good marriage is love, but if your husband waves bye from the couch every morning as you leave for another day at the office, your love’s going to get stretched pretty thin.
- He should relate to (better yet, share, in some way) your goals or calling.
I am a writer and an editor. The kind of work I do would drive my husband to insanity. So I’m not suggesting that you and your future husband should have all the same interests. But if you do have passions, if you do have a specific God-given calling, you will be infinitely happier if your husband is on the same page as you—if he encourages and understands your passion, or even shares it.
So many of you who read this blog are ministry-minded. And by “ministry,” I mean everything from serving at soup kitchens and cleaning church bathroom floors to leading worship and doing missions work. These things fulfill you, as they should. They are part of your purpose; they are what God has called you to do.
If your heart aches for missions work but all your husband cares about is moving up the corporate ladder, or if you love being involved with your church but your husband would rather spend all his free time on the lake . . . You will live with at least some regrets about your marriage.
Don’t shortchange yourself in this area; find someone who can share and appreciate your passions and callings, even if his are not completely identical. Some of the best times my husband and I have had over the past few years have stemmed from our shared love for ministry. So make sure your dreams and life goals are compatible. Ideally you and your husband won’t just be two people living under the same roof who respect and tolerate one another; ideally, you’ll be teammates (Genesis 2:18).
- He’s not obsessed with the superficial.
There is nothing wrong with appreciating beauty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting an attractive partner or with desiring to be attractive yourself. When it comes to a lifelong mate, however, look for indications that he is not obsessed with the superficial.
Someone once told me of an attractive couple who were married only a few years before tragedy struck: the woman’s face was horribly burned in an accident. By the standards of our world today, she was no longer beautiful. Sadly, the husband couldn’t handle the loss of his wife’s physical beauty, and he eventually left.
One thing that amazes me about my husband is how he insists that I’m beautiful—even when my nose is swollen red from allergies, or my hair looks like a woolly mammoth pelt, or I’ve (cough) gained another pound. (After nine years of an aggressive sweet tooth, those tend to add up.)
Find someone who understands love is an unwavering choice–and then do some introspection yourself. Aside from an aesthetically pleasing face, what are your special someone’s redeeming qualities? If he doesn’t have any, let him go! A handsome face is nice, but it doesn’t have much bearing on a satisfying marriage.
- He’s nice to waiters, waitresses, and his mom.
If being waited on gives a guy a royalty complex, he’s immature. Not only is being rude to the help obnoxious, it’s downright unattractive. And if a man is curt or disrespectful toward his mom, you can guarantee someday he’ll aim that disrespect at you.
We all have faults and hang-ups; none of us is innately perfect. No matter who you marry, there will be days your husband disappoints you. And you know what? There will be days you disappoint your husband too. But don’t set yourself up for a lifestyle of disappointment when a few moments of making the mature (and yes, I acknowledge, often painful) choice would have set you free.
We share a lot of real weddings on She’s Intentional; our team loves celebrating the beauty of marriage. But more than anything we rejoice in marriages that are beautiful beyond the wedding day. Whether or not you’re thinking of getting married soon or just hope to marry someday, your choice of a marriage partner is something we hope you make prayerfully.