[Before I begin to outline godly character a woman should expect in a man, let me say, “Only by the grace of God go I.” I make plenty of mistakes, and have to apologize. That being said, I depend on my wife and boys to be filled with grace. There is no perfect man. No man on a white horse, in shining armor, or one who knows intuitively how to meet all your needs. But, there are some underlying character traits that God expects of men and these should be a woman’s standard for the man who is worthy of her time and heart.]
I want to offer the following biblical principles as benchmarks for women in determining whether a man is God’s best. When dating, hanging out or just talking with a guy, ask yourself these questions:
Is he a man of faith?
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. – Hebrews 11:7-8
In the above quote from Hebrews, I only included a small portion of the passage, but the whole chapter is of great men and women who changed the world, whose commonality was that they had great faith. Why should you seek a man of faith? One, men of great faith have the favor of God. Two, a righteous man of faith communicates with God, hearing direction and is able to make requests. Three, there is a built in humility that comes from his relationship with the Lord. Four, as Christian women, if you cannot share the depths of your heart and love for Jesus with your spouse, then your relationship is destined to remain shallow. So if he is not a man who believes God and trusts Jesus, then I am afraid you’ll be in for a long and tough road. Pray fervently for God’s direction, his salvation, and ultimate discernment before proceeding into any relationship beyond friendship. Shared faith bridges many potential pitfalls in relationships when you share Jesus. Bottom line…a woman should never entrust her heart to a man whose heart is not entrusted to Jesus. His faith should be evident and something so important to him that he freely shares about it! Don’t bother hanging out with a guy if you have to question whether or not Jesus is most important part of his life. If that answer isn’t obvious then run!
Does he respect authority?
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2:17
I hear about women dealing with guys who have no moral compass or rather, their actions are not in line with God’s will. These men behaving badly are quick to do what is right or good for them; they operate at the center of there own universe without having to answer to anyone. These guys aren’t leading girls in an honorable manner because they don’t see that girl as a daughter of God to whom they will one day give an account. The bottom line issue here is authority.
One of the first questions I would ask a woman about a guy she like is this: does he respect authority? Whom does he answer to? If he does not answer to an authority, he likely thinks he is his own authority and that becomes a major problem when he is making decisions based on his own desires. God should be his ultimate authority and this awareness is both a source of humility and of confidence in a man. This heavenly relationship teaches him to take correction and to stand up for what he believes at the same time. You should look for a man who follows God’s word and is humble before the Lord.
If a man has a proper sense of authority then you will see in his relationships consistent respectfulness and an ability to listen, even when he disagrees with the other person. When a man knows his position with God, he will honor his parents, your parents, his coworkers, your friends, you and all people around him. A Big Red flag is a guy who doesn’t listen to his parents or respect those placed in position of authority over him. As a brother in Christ, I would warn you, my sisters, that your heart is not safe with such a man.
Does he have accountability?
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:5-7
What kind of people does he surround himself with? Are his friends respectable and do they share his faith commitment? Or, are they rowdy, uninspired, vulgar and disrespectful? This is an important sign of the condition of his heart – he may be on his best behavior with you, but how does he act with his friends? His friends will be a pretty good indicator of the type of man that he is. Now, I agree that Christian men should have friends on the fringe, to show them a Christ-like example, but if a man persistently hangs out with people who do not honor God and His principles, then it’s likely he doesn’t take them seriously either.
Let me just say, as a lover of Jesus, I NEED deep friendships with men that encourage and understand my walk with the Lord. With a strong support group, a man has advisors to help him make good decisions, correct him when he is off track, encourage him in his spiritual growth, and then expects him to uphold his commitment to relationships. If the group includes some older men then that is even better! There is so much for him to learn from an older man who walks in faith. I would also discourage a woman from being a part of that trusted council, its better for men to encourage one another, they have an ability to speak frankly to one another, and involving another woman in that role can get complicated, if not down right dangerous. So, watch for men who have an honorable and trusted set of advisors, this is a good start to finding a man who will honor you.
Do you see fruit of the Holy Spirit?
So then, you will know them by their fruits. – Matthew 7:20
When a person is born again, they are transformed as a new creation in Christ, and they begin to show the evidence of that as the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit are the qualities of God that believers exhibit as they are transformed into the image of Jesus. It’s a reflection of that relationship they have with God, and how their heart now cares for the things that God cares for. Their perspective has changed! Let’s look at Galatians 5 for a list of characteristics you can expect to see, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These are pretty valuable qualities to have in a spouse!
So lets look at the evidence of his heart. He should seek to restore peace to situations. There should be a genuine love for people. Does he stand up for what is good? Is he able to exercise gentleness and self-control? These are qualities that God desires men and women to have, and make for healthy growth of a relationship.
For some of you there may be an obvious “red flag” when you read these characteristics, and others may find it really difficult to look at this person, who you really care for and make an honest evaluation. I encourage you to take a step back, pray and be really honest with yourself, even look for someone you trust who is fair and can be honest with you while you work through it. You should not have to do it alone. The most important thing is to not waste your heart and time with a guy who is not God’s best for you. It is better to be alone and wait than to settle for less. You have the power as a woman to expect more and to raise the bar. This is a gift that the Lord gave to women. Know your value and don’t settle!
Praying for you.