I implore you! I have heard from too many women in my 40,000+ comments at www.peacefulwife.com who rushed into marriage unadvisedly and it was the biggest mistake of their lives. Please do not be pressured, pushed, or charmed into getting married in a month or two. Don’t let your parents, his parents, or a man rush you into a sacred marriage covenant. There may be a few times when a man would be a godly husband in such a situation, but so many times – the rushing is so that you don’t have time to discover the truth about a man’s character and his past.
I know way too many women who saw red flags before they got married and who ignored them or whose parents told them not to worry about it and that it would “all just work out.” I know too many women who knew their man didn’t live for Christ, who knew their man had serious sexual sin in his past and didn’t deal with it throughly with godly counsel, who assumed their man would change when they got married. I know too many women who believed their love would change their men once they got married.
We don’t change people, my dear sisters!
We can influence people, but we don’t change them. God can change people. But let’s choose a man who clearly has a godly character BEFORE we get married. Once you are married, his character is the thing that will matter most. Not exactly how much money he makes, not what car he drives, not how handsome he is, not where he takes you out to eat. It is TOUGH to live with someone with an ungodly character. All the good looks, charm, money, and intelligence in the world cannot make up for a man having serious sin addictions, being abusive, or mistreating you terribly.
It is better to stay single and to focus on pleasing Christ and being content in Christ than to rush into marriage with an ungodly man or a man you don’t know. No man can meet your deepest spiritual and emotional needs anyway. There is no “perfect soul mate” humanly speaking who will know exactly what to do and how to meet your every need. Jesus is the only one who can meet our deepest spiritual and emotional needs. Even the most godly husband can never take the place of Jesus in our lives.
Evaluate a potential husband’s character by Scripture (not expecting perfection, but expecting fruit of God’s Spirit to be clearly evident in his life – evaluate yourself on these things, too):
- Does he love others, all others, in a godly way?Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- Does he have godly leadership qualities to be a godly leader in marriage? (These are requirements for pastors and deacons, but I believe all of these things are qualities a godly woman should look for in a husband, and there is instruction about how godly wives are to behave, as well)Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 1 Timothy 3:2-10
- Does he exhibit the fruit of the Spirit primarily or of the flesh?The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry (putting things above Christ in the heart) and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:19-25
Seek godly counsel and talk about expectations, God’s design for marriage, your understanding of your roles as husband and wife, your parents’ examples, and any red flags need to be carefully, prayerfully considered and discussed at length. Be sure you are able to respect and accept who your husband-to-be is without wanting to change him. Be sure you are seeking to honor God and that you are not putting marriage, romance, your man, having a husband, or having children above Christ in your heart.