I can remember when I was teenager. There seemed to be a lot of talk even then about what us Christian girls should be looking for in a husband. In reality, I needed to get past the boyfriend stage before ever thinking about marriage and I can’t say that I spent a lot of time dreaming about my wedding day… But I’m a girl, so it did cross my mind. I’m 27 and have had 1, yes ONE, boyfriend in all my life. Unless you count the little guy who called me “cupcake” in Kindergarten….which I choose not to. It wasn’t true love, just a playground fling. He thought I was cute. Nonetheless, as I grew up in church, the adult leaders in my youth group would suggest things like making a list of “non-negotiables” and keeping it in my bible or praying that God would show me the things I needed in a husband. We’d meet in our girls only groups and literally giggle about the boys….for some reason the topic of guys always made us girls giddy with excitement and anticipation of just who God had for us. To be honest, I may be all grown up, but thinking about it still has the same effect…and rightly so.
I had my fair share of teenage crushes and was even in a long-term relationship throughout high school. Little did I know that those years would teach me more about relationships than I could ever dream. Through my own share of heart breaks and funny relationship stories, I learned that having a plan and sticking to it was of the utmost importance. Through much prayer and lots of God’s grace, I accepted the fact that ultimately God’s plan for my relationships was way better than my plan ever could be. And so it began. It wasn’t until I made the decision to hand over the pen and let God start writing my love story that He really showed me what a husband list should look like. Keep in mind that everyone’s list will be different because we’re all unique and God didn’t make the same man for every woman. (Thank goodness!)
So, to the young girls who are struggling to make it work in a relationship or the mom who can’t seem to find the way when it comes to helping your daughter navigate the rough waters of boys and relationships, let this be an encouragement to you. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but maybe it will get you started thinking about God’s way of looking at relationships with a significant other. I don’t know that we’ll ever really have it all figured out, but coming alongside one another in this journey is a healthy step. I pray that like God did a work in my heart concerning these things, He’d show you what should be on your list too.
1. He Must Be A Christ Follower….not a FAN, but a FOLLOWER.
Ask yourself, “Is he a Christ-follower?” And if your answer is…”I think so,” or, “I’m not sure,” he probably isn’t. That may sting. I know that we haven’t even made it past #1. BUT- If you can’t clearly see the fruits of a faithful walk with Christ on the outside, chances are there’s not a relationship with Christ on the inside. So, stay away. Despite what society tells you, you can’t save him and you won’t help his walk with Christ by entangling yourself into that lifestyle. He may be nice and cute and endearing to you, but if he doesn’t know Christ personally, no matter what you do to make it appear alright, it truly never will be alright. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says (MSG), “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?” Sure, you may get him to go to church or attend youth group functions, but you have to know that the man you could marry is more than just a fan of Jesus- he’s a sold-out follower of Him.
2. He Places God in the Center of His Life.
This means that in all of his decisions, big or small, he places God in the midst and doesn’t act in haste. He seeks God in all things- school affairs, friendships, goals, work decisions, etc. Does he ask God what he thinks first? Does he ever pray….and I mean really pray?
3. His Integrity Singles Him Out
He’ll stand out in a crowd because his integrity won’t put him in tempting situations. He won’t hang with the crowd that goes to the parties or walks on the edge of right and wrong. He’ll create such a distance between where he stands on controversial issues (such as drinking and sex) and where the world stands that you won’t need to wonder where he’s at when he’s hanging with the guys. What peace of mind this brings! “Keep to a path far from evil, do not go near the door of that house, lest you give your best strength to others.” Proverbs 5:8-9
4. He Seeks Advice from Wise People
Any guy that is humble enough to seek wisdom from older, Godly mentors is one worth keeping around. This shows that he isn’t too prideful to learn. He realizes the value in following the Godly example. “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs 12:15. If he seeks wisdom from men that are older and wiser than him, you can know that he’ll be a teachable husband who desires to treat you well.
5. He is Not Quick to Get Angry.
I think finding a man with an even-temperament even when he is provoked is a blessing. There’s a peace in knowing that he values peace and is slow to anger. A man who allows his emotions and feelings to determine his actions is one you should look out for. If he is easily angered, there’s a chance he has a history of broken relationships and this is not a healthy set up for you or a family. Let Proverbs 15:18 be your guide here. ” A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”
6. He Pursues You.
The man you should marry will make you feel loved in a way you’ve never felt before. You won’t have to chase him, he’ll seek you out. Girls in general have lost the patience to be pursued- guys rarely pursue in part because it too takes patience. The right one will pursue you and he will go out of his way to let you know you’re valued and loved. Just read about Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29:20. “So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.”
7. He Is Humble and Can Admit When He’s Wrong.
This is so huge. Girls, if the guy you’re with is too prideful to admit any wrongdoing on his part, it’s time to move on. Really. Relationships require the work of TWO people and you are not supposed to carry the weight of that on your own. There is truly nothing worse than a seemingly small issue being blown way out of proportion because your boyfriend can’t or won’t admit that he’s wrong. Taking responsibilities for his mistakes and apologizing is truly the sign of a real man. No person is perfect and grace is the thing that makes relationships grow and flourish. “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
8. He Leads You to Jesus.
I can think of so many other qualities that we women should look for in a guy, but honestly, if he doesn’t lead you closer to Christ then what benefit is that relationship to you? Our lives here are temporary. They’ll pass like a vapor, but we’ll live eternally with Jesus or without. I’m choosing to wait for the guy that puts Jesus above me and strives in his words and actions to point me to Christ above all. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
So, what are your thoughts? Are there any other non-negotiables that you would add to the list? Join the conversation below!