When you are choosing a guy to date/court/marry, be SURE you are choosing a man who has godly leadership qualities. God designed husbands to be the leaders in marriage. Men and women are of equal value to God (Galatians 3:28). God designed marriage to be a living picture of the relationship between Christ and His church – the husband represents Christ and the wife represents the church. So you will want to be sure you only commit yourself to a man whom you can truly respect exactly as he is – whom you do not want to try to change – and whom you can trust to lead you.
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24 (Read this whole passage Ephesians 5:22-33 to learn what God’s beautiful design is for marriage!)
WHAT IS A GODLY LEADER?
Study what the Bible says about godly leadership, and look for guys like THAT to fall in love with! Christlikeness is VERY attractive in a man! That is what all women want from their husbands once they are married – a man to love them with a I Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love. This means we need to choose men who love Jesus and are seeking to honor Him first in their lives.
We must love Jesus more than anything and seek to honor Him above everything else in our own lives, too. Nothing can be more important to us than to know Christ and to seek His face and His will. And we must be willing to learn to handle our relationships in a God-honoring way ourselves – so that Jesus can make us into the godly women He desires us to be, ready to be a true complement and helpmeet to a godly man.
But do keep in mind – godly leadership is a progression of learning and experience. A young single man who has never been married cannot and will not have all of the godly leadership and wisdom of a man who has been faithful to Christ and his wife for 20 years and has been practicing godly leadership for two decades.
Look for qualities of godly leadership, realizing that real sanctification and holiness takes time, trials and suffering to be produced in full maturity. Even godly men are still human, and so are we! There will be a need for grace, mercy and forgiveness even in the most wonderful of relationships.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT LEADERSHIP
The overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkeness, 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 with proper 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.
Deacons, likewise, are to be men 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.
I Timothy 3:1-10
These are the qualities to look for in a potential boyfriend or husband!
SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES (these are only my suggestions. The most important thing is to abide in Christ and to be sensitive to His Spirit and His direction!)
Your parents, mentor or godly friends may also be able to help you properly see the character of potential suitors. Dads are especially valuable here – to interview the young men you are interested in and who are interested in you – to ask them deep and probing questions about their faith, their understanding of the Bible, their motivations, their aspirations and goals. Your parents can help guard and protect you from a guy who might seem great but has some deep character or spiritual flaws that might wound you terribly in a future marriage (especially if you are still at home or still under their care).
- Choose guys who desire to abstain from lust – whether it is pornography, or looking at girls who are walking by and entertaining lustful thoughts.
- Choose guys who are committed to your sexual purity and to their own.
- Choose guys who do not have any active drug or alcohol addiction (and who have been sober for some significant period of time). Keep in mind that any addiction is an idol and a person cannot serve an addiction and God! He also cannot lead in a godly way if he is ensnared and enslaved to an idol of addiction. His addiction will ALWAYS come first! Your needs and your best interests will not be on the radar screen of someone who deals with an addiction.
Thank God there is forgiveness for sexual sin and for addictions! You may fall in love with a godly man who has these things in his past. But be sure he has a significant history of overcoming those failures successfully through the power of Christ and that he has godly older men for accountability partners if he has a history of an addiction.
I’m so thankful God can take our failures and turn them into victories for His kingdom. There are godly men out there. Of course we cannot have perfection. All people are wretched sinners in desperate need of Christ. But we can find guys who are actively seeking to love God and love people and honor God with everything they are. Those are the guys who will make the best husbands!
- Choose a guy who has an even temper! An angry man is very difficult to live with. Whatever anger level you see before marriage will often intensify after marriage!
- You want a guy who can be gentle, who is generally in control of his voice and his physical reactions.
- You want a guy who will protect you, not hurt you. Please do not think you can change a violent man! Do not think that it’s your fault if he is violent – but also – NEVER hit a man or egg him on and try to get him to hit you. Seek godly help for both of you before committing to marry such a man.
- Choose a man with godly wisdom – not worldly wisdom
Look for the fruit of the Spirit in him – and be sure you are looking for the fruit of the Spirit in yourself just as much!
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
Remember that for any leader to be a great leader – he needs a cooperative, willing, cheerful, receptive follower who is willing to honor his leadership. So, even as you look for a godly man with these leadership qualities, ask God to work in you the qualities of respecting and honoring God-given authority – that you might become a godly encourager and supporter for those in authority over you. Learn to speak your heart with respect. Focus on developing true humility in yourself. Stay in God’s Word and in prayer and ask God to cleanse you and make you more and more the woman He desires you to be. Ask God to give you a clear vision of your own sins, that you might repent and stay near to God’s heart.
I pray for each precious girl who reads these words. Give them Your direction, wisdom and clarity to find the life You most desire them to have! Let them find Your narrow path that leads to life and find a godly man to be their husband who will represent Christ well to them and their future children if that is Your will. Prepare these women for being godly women! Let them grow in character, maturity and Christlikeness that they might bring great glory to You!