Many people use the fact that God already knows the desires of our hearts as an excuse not to pray. Although, he does know them, he still commands us to, “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6. In the book of Mark, a blind man had his friends take him to Jesus to be healed for his eyesight. Yet when he got in front of Jesus, even though it was obvious what the blind man wanted, Jesus still asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Therefore, even if you have a vision or idea of what your future husband will be like, it is important that you define the specific traits in your life partner. I was in a bible study where we were required to make a “husband list” for homework. It couldn’t just be a short list of the basics. We had to be specific. An example would be, “A man who has a calm temperament and handles stress well.” This may sound silly, but the reason it is important to put the important qualities you desire into writing is to hold you accountable. It also gives you heightened discernment in dating situations.
Let’s be honest ladies, it can be easy to let something slide or dismiss a red flag when a cute guy tells us yummy, fluttery words we want to hear. But is it an ugly situation when we let our hearts get too wrapped up into someone who ultimately doesn’t take care of it. The list keeps your standards in check and can help you quickly discern whether or not that guy gets a second date. It protects your heart against unnecessary wear and tear. In fact, your heart is so important to God that He says, “Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
I encourage each of you to make a husband list too. After I made mine, I met my husband 2 months later and not only was he every single character trait on that list, he was more. But I shouldn’t have been too surprised because, “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
Now, each one of your lists is going to have unique things according to who you are, your quirks, likes and dislikes. But there are some fundamental traits that God wants to be non-negotiables. Choosing who you will partner the rest of your life with is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Too many young women are settling for less than God’s best because they don’t know exactly how He expects His daughters to be treated. Based on scripture, here is a list of non-negotiables for you so you don’t have to second guess anymore.
1. He is a practicing believer.
“Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever…For what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16. Issues and conflict are bound to rise in marriage, so it is crucial that there is a common foundation on which to hold the marriage accountable. The last thing you want to be fighting about is your faith, whether or not to pray and your viewpoints on religion. Believe me, I’ve been there before. It is exhausting.
2. God is the center of his life.
He seeks God’s wisdom in all the decisions he makes.
“With wisdom are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.” Proverbs 8:18-19
3. He has integrity and does not put himself in tempting situations.
He guards you against harm and protects the relationship. “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. Seeks mentorship and counsel.
It is important that your man is wise in realizing he can’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. When he is surrounded by men who are older than him who can offer advice, prayer and mentorship, he can be a better husband to you. “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
5. He is slow to anger.
There is peace in knowing your man holds an even temperament even when he is provoked. A man who allows his feelings, emotions and anger to determine his actions typically has tarnished relationships and is not a healthy place for you or a family. “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18
6. He holds strong conviction on the sacredness of fidelity.
A man is wise when he understand that infidelity and looking for pleasure outside of the marriage only brings strife. God actually calls him to rejoice over you all of his days. “May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth…May you be ever captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?” Proverbs 5:18-20.
7. He is honorable of your heart and emotional well-being.
I hated when a guy I was dating exposed my embarrassing moments or the private matters of our relationship with his friends. Picking on you may seem cute and funny at first, but it will get old after a while. You should feel honored and safe knowing you can always trust your husband to cover and speak well of you. “Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers,” Proverbs 5:17.
“Love each other deeply because love covers all wrongs.” 1 Peter 4:8.
8. He is disciplined in living a life of integrity.
Watch how he handles temptation or sticky situations that test his character. Does he choose to do what’s right even when no one is watching? It is imperative to observe these things because it will indicate if you can trust his decision making. When you’re married, almost all of his decisions impact you. “He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” Proverbs 5:23
9. Has solid work ethic.
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- and poverty will come upon you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:10-11.
10. He pursues and loves you passionately.
The man you marry should make you feel loved like you’ve never felt before. Safe, accepted, desired, nurtured, protected and comforted. Jesus loves us deeply, he loves us so fiercely, that he willingly gave up his life to save us.
Pursues: “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.” Genesis 29:20.
Loves: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25.
11. Romances you.
I know women who feel guilty or wrong for desiring romance in their relationship, as if they don’t deserve it. But God desires for your heart to be romanced, just as He longs to romance us. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6.
12. He is humble and can admit when he is wrong.
There is nothing worse than a petty conflict blowing out of porportion because your partner refuses to admit they were wrong. Taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing for his mistakes is the sign of a real man. “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
No person will be perfect and grace is a beautiful thing that makes relationships flourish. That being said, this list for single ladies is to give a basic framework of character traits to look for or recognize whether or not there is desire for growth. Of course, use common sense when someone amazing walks in to your life but wasn’t exactly what you dreamed up. God surprises us, but always gives us what we need.
“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband…” 2 Corinthians 11:2.
Ultimately, your divine Father wants you to be treated in a way that it is compared with how Christ cares for us. It is up to us though to believe we are worthy, set the standard, and have the faith that God works in perfect timing to introduce you to your husband.
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My husband also wrote The Wife List so be sure to check his out too.