The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables

In Love by Kristen Dalton Wolfe222 Comments

The Husband List

The Husband List

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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  1. I needed this…I am with a man now who is simply too selfish and focused on his own needs. I want security and everything on this list. I know I should put all my worries in God, but at times it is hard and my emotions take over. Thank you for this.

    1. Run dont walk away. He will never change unless he wants to. I was unevenly yoked with a very selfish man for 27 years. I prayed he would find Jesus because i knew with Jesus in his heart he could not be selfish. He never came to Christ and left me last year.In the bible it says if a non-believer wishes to leave a believer the believer can let them go. By Jan my divorce was complete and God sent a wonderful Christian man into my life. I have never been happier. He exhibits all of the above traits and we are already talking about marriage.

      1. Thank you…. gives me hope. I too am with a man who does not know Jesus and we are most definately unevenly yoked…. 2014 will be my deciding year.

        1. My dear sister:
          Please don’t take this the wrong way. It won’t matter if it’s 2014 or any other year. In the long run you will not be loved and cherished the way you should with a non believer. darkness and light cannot exist together. You will find that you wasted precious time on the wrong man when God may have been waiting to send you the right man.
          Be Blessed, you deserve more…

    2. Long…deep conversations and therapy from a non religious therapist before throwing in the towel. 2/3 of divorces are started by women. It is almost always a lack of proper communication. He was selfish when you met him, so…..

  2. These are all very important but I feel a large portion is missing. We as women also need to be all these things for our husband. God needs to be the center of OUR lives not just his, we need to be a believer, we as women need to have integrity, seek counsel, find a way to show him his romance and romance him his favorite way, we as women need to be humble and accept when we are wrong, have a strong work ethic, all of these things can apply to us too. But above all we are not perfect and he, just like us will stumble a few times. What’s missing from this list is Grace. He will stumble a few times, and so will we. The MOST important part of this list is that when he does stumble or when we stumble we get up again and strive for these things for God’s Good, not for our husbands good or him for our good but for God’s Good.

    1. Amen sister. I do have a wife who does exemplifies these traits, as do I. When both parties do it makes it easier to live selflessly.

      The only caveat I see in most of these articles is as you have said. Remind the audience that you should be exemplify these themselves. Don’t expect someone else to live up to a standard that you yourself are not willing to do. It’s a high standard and everyone will fail but the emphasis is an active life driving to improve while not using grace as a crutch.

      To quote my wife marriage is not addition, it’s multiplication. if you’re expecting marriage to complete two incomplete people you’re in for a rude awakening.

    2. This is exactly what I was thinking as I read this. So glad that you pointed it out. Love is not selfish and we as women should not only expect this of our husbands but should also strive to exemplify these qualities everyday in our life.

    3. I hear you, BUT, this is list for the MEN… ther is also a female list, and the link is right below…. jus saying!

    4. Beth, I agree with you, grace is requisite–However, I think the point of this article was to give young women permission to not fall for the first cad who comes their way, and to caution them against letting their hearts get in the way. I did–twice! If I had had a list like this, the 12 non-negotiables, I think I would have had a better chance of detecting those flaws which played a large role in the relationships ending. And those flaws were a big deal not so much because they were there–because everyone has flaws! But they were a big deal because there wasn’t an open acknowledgement that those flaws existed, and it wasn’t my job to tell them how they needed to grow spiritually and morally.

      Hopefully young men read this and will make their own list of non-negotiables.

      Thanks for the article.

    5. Absolutely agree. Since I’m still single at 42, I have focused on these for myself so that I am the best woman of God I can be, should Mr. Right come along.

  3. This really hit me hard – I feel so guilty for having settled for the wrong one many times and not setting the right standards for myself! It’s been a growing process for me, but God is helping me to know and understand that I deserve so much more than what I’ve been given so far. He’s also helping me to see that I have the right to expect more and I am deserving of that “more.” I’m glad I stumbled upon this – I have so much more to pray about and let God handle in me.

  4. I think your list is great! However, as a married woman who also had a “husband list” pre-marriage, I would caution young ladies to not get too carried away or specific in their lists. Your spouse will be HUMAN, not some perfect man who has no flaws at all. Am I saying that we should settle? Absolutely not! However, this isn’t “Build A Spouse”, where you get to put all your favorite characteristics into a machine and God magically brings you someone who meets your every criteria.

    I think making a list with too many unimportant, picky things (such as “keeping the house cold at night”, “blonde hair”, or “tall”) can be detrimental, because that’s not where our focus should be. We are all entitled to our preferences, but too many girls overlook wonderful men with excellent character simply because they don’t fit their preferences when it comes to height or weight or music style.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that we should remember what is important when it comes to choosing a spouse, and keep our lists reasonable and focused. Your list of non-negotiables is excellent, and I hope that the girls reading this will base their lists off of yours and remember not to get too carried away with pages of “preferences” (as we girls tend to do…) that will just result in disappointment.

    1. Yes! I couldn’t agree more with ELizabeth B. It’s definitely valuable and important to meditate and look for these things in a future husband, but there’s not a Christian in the world who can always live up to these 12 standards all the time. Grace, grace, grace, grace is what a fulfilling marriage will end up looking like.

    2. I agree with elizabeth. I simply wanted what Gods will for my life was. I had a list too but Gods gift proved to be better than any list. I’ve been able to see how God can change anyon by watching His presence over my husband. Sometimes the list can cause people to miss what God has for them…just my opinion.

    3. I agree with both Elizabeth B. and Brett… No matter how godly a man might be, he is still going to be a sinner. Even a man who is characterized by patience and humility will sometimes lose his temper or get stuck in stubborn pride. Think of the ways that you fall short… and remember that your man will have those areas in his life too. Being satisfied in the Lord and loving Him above all else will help you to love your husband when he forgets to romance you, has a lazy moment, or gets angry over the football game. Let the grace God give you through Jesus empower you to show the same grace to your future (or current) man.

      1. Kristen thank you for this list,it will change a lot of lives.I have printed for my daughters as well.As women some of us have lowered our standards out of impatience,desperation or loneliness and not knowing our full value.This should help us go back to the drawing board and see where we have gone wrong,its fixable and will be better this time around as long as it is in line with Gods perfect will for our lives.

    4. What you are saying is true Elizabeth B. I hope none of us would overlook someone because of a few small things. I think that the unspoken description for adding on to this list is that the other small preference are negotiable. It never hurts to be honest with the Lord and tell him the possibly silly things that you prefer because He likes to hear those too.

    5. Absolutely. I’d be more focused on character than physical attritutes. However, some lifestyle elements are deal-breakers. I agree, be specific but flexible about the right things.

  5. I am a man that would not meet these requirements. I would encourage your readers not to regret the relationship that they may already be in. What you have shared here is very good. If for some reason you have already joined with someone that doesn’t meet this list, it’s not too late to start praying for them. God can provide you your heart’s desire, He is the Potter and we are mere dust – He is capable of molding us even with our many flaws. “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it… Jer 18:4”

    1. Jason and Alex — great reminder to not put God in a box. He molds us and shapes us throughout our lifetime. My husband did not meet many of the things on the list when I we married. (He would tell you that!) But to be fair, I didn’t either, especially the last one on the list! If we waited for either of us to meet this whole list, we would never have married. I am sooo glad we did, though! God has brought beauty from ashes… and life! Lots of it! 🙂

      And when I look at David, I see that even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he put himself in temptations way and struggled with the fidelity issue. It caused issues in his life… big ones. Just shows how much even those men who chase after God on a continual basis can be tempted and not live up to their potential. Anyone can fall/fail… even if they fit this list to the T.

      Sorry… I don’t mean to ramble. I do think this is a great thing to pray about and for. God is bigger than the greatest parts of our imagination. And He will send the right husband or wife our way, if we get OUT of the way and let Him. We just have to be open to those unexpected people in our lives. And we have to remember to have mercy and grace for one another… just as Christ has for us.

      1. I think the most important thing in this would be that you find someone who has a spiritual foundation with God and not hope that we can change that in a person that is not willing to take part with God! I know of people that have been lucky enough to marry a non-Christian and them finally become one but more often than not u cant change a person that doesn’t want to change. If they refuse to accept Him in their life then work with them & pray for them and give them time but don’t throw away your stable foundation with God hoping that the other person will change after u get married, have kids etc…

    2. Oh wow!!! So true!!! My husband fits the list but if the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t! But God is working His plan and I am being graciously molded!

    3. Author

      100% agree! This list is meant for single ladies, but you are right in that the power of prayer invites God to shape us into who we were created to be. Thanks, Jason!

    4. I would agree, that if you are in a marriage relationship, pray for your mate, never give up and become the women that he needs. If however, you are dating, think and pray very seriously before you take it any further. If you are not dating, good. Learn about, decide, and pray about what you want in a man and then pray for the man you will marry before you ever met him. Marriage is, or should be a forever commitment, do not take it lightly. It can be the biggest blessing of a lifetime outside of salvation.

    5. Excellent observation, Jason. God has made many changes in my husband and me since we got saved.

    6. My response is many years later. However, you have given excellent counsel. May Jehovah bless and continue to bless you.

  6. This is a wonderful article, and it is so encouraging! I definitely want to sit down and make a “husband list”. It’s easy to buy into satan’s lies and think there is no good guy left out there, but I know God has someone already set apart that I need to be praying for daily. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I must say I have been this way for a long time and still am. I just wish my future wife would stop treating me like her past relationships.

    1. Then you may want to re-think of her as your “future” wife. What is good for one gender is good for the other…….<

  8. Pingback: The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables | Confessions of a Legal Dreamer

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  10. Hi Kristen, Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m in my mid-twenties and very recently divorced from a man who was abusive and had an affair. This gave me an extra boost of faith that there is a man out there that God has for me, and I just need to let Him choose that person for me next time. This, along with your red flags post, serves as a great reminder for what I need to pay attention to as I begin to date again. This was a blessing to me today and I’m sure you’ve blessed many others with this as well. May God continue to bless your marriage.

  11. This is a great article and I wholeheartedly agree.

    I do have a question. I know that none of us are perfect and these are non-negotiables meaning that if they are not there we say goodbye to that person and do not allow them in our lives. However, I know that none of us are perfect and all of us are at different points in our journey and in our relationship with Christ. How do we square that with the list on things that we know He wants for us. What about the man who has two or three things on the list but not all 15? What about a man who we know has the potential to have all 15 if you work with him, pray with him or simply that your presence in his life can allow him to grow and eventually have all 15? How do we square that away? I ask because I am reevaluating my life and my relationships with men and I would like to know so that I can make better decisions.

    I know that we are not perfect, for instance, I have met men who are not practicing non-believers but after seeing the goodness of Christ through the love that they have received from Christians, they themselves have become believers. So if everyone treated that non-believer as the list suggests (and does not give him that second date) he may never have a chance to see that love. So how do we deal with that?

    Sorry, I hope I am making sense. Any advice to that effect?


    1. Author

      Hi Shaina!

      Thank you for your questions. You absolutely make sense. Of course no one is perfect. This list of 12 qualities is a foundational framework to go by when assessing your potential mate’s character. I would not have felt comfortable writing this list if my husband did not show me that not only he, but many men out there are all these things or at least want/try to be. When people say these men don’t exist, perhaps they might consider hanging out with a new crowd.

      At the end of the day, it really depends on what you desire in a relationship/marriage. I have had some people say they are happy slowly growing in these things as the years go by in their marriage even after experiencing infidelity and other issues. Different things work for different people and there’s nothing wrong with that! Personally, I wanted to learn from married couples so I could be discerning beforehand about with whom I partnered my life. Petty conflict will arise in marriage and we absolutely make mistakes. That’s why it was important to me to see that my man would acknowledge mistakes quickly, desired to repent of them and hold himself accountable to God’s standards rather than his alone. We as wives should do the same.

      Lastly, yes I think a woman can absolutely encourage and empower their man to grow and bring out the best in them. As a matter of that, that is what we are called to do. So if the guy you are dating doesn’t meet all of these foundational qualities and is willing to learn and grow, then great! However, you do not want to get in to the field of missionary dating where you are the one who is leading him along the way and trying to bring him to Christ. This can cloud if his intentions are just to win you over and whether or not they will be for the long-haul. Having other strong men to speak in to his life would serve as a great source of accountability.

      I hope this helps!

    2. NO! Flee from this way of thinking! Evange-dating is a sinful, slippery slope. If that is the case, show him Christ’s love as a sister in Christ, not in a romantic way. As the man, he should be leading you spiritually and if the Lord provides, leading your family spiritually if you have children. New converts should not be thinking about marriage/dating/courtship until they become more spiritually mature. Show him that love by connecting him to a local church where he can be discipled and held accountable by a spiritually mature man. That is loving him much more than dating him, because you are caring for his salvation, instead of your desires. That kind of servant-heartedness will greatly please the Lord, who you are ultimately serving.

    3. I’d say, steer clear of missionary dating. Guys don’t want to be wanted for the potential you see in them after you’ve made all kinds of changes. If you’re a believer and he’s not, then keep the non-dating boundaries up and enjoy the friendship. God can absolutely do a work of grace in his heart. If the Lord changes his heart (and Wow! can He ever!!!) then go for it. But, don’t go into a relationship with the intention of making all kinds of changes in this non-believer. It’s good and right to want to share Christ with our non-believing friends. But don’t get your hopes up on a romance until they love Jesus too.

  12. As a man who has taken his greatest steps in faith maturation from the beginning of our dating relationship to now five years in to our marriage, I think this list is great. And I would encourage my daughter in this way wholeheartedly, were I to have one. (I have a son)

    However, when my wife and I were engaged, things got tense and our true colors would show (hers always coming prettier than mine of course). But once order was restored, she found a way to speak to me at what she believed was my potential and not where I was at the time…and I think that’s super Godly…he’ll meet us where we are, but he’s always trying to get through to us at our potential level, not our current state.

    And for someone to see you so well, to understand that you’ve got A, B, C, D & Z but you’re still learning the other 21 steps, makes me grateful everyday that she didn’t throw in the towel on me.

    Obviously the signs of God-centeredness should be non-negotiable and we all have moments of weakness in that. But I needed to grow into the spiritual leader of our household I wasn’t there when we met…and my wife had a foresight and gave me the time to meet the Lord for training everyday.

    There are some duds out there, I’m sorry for that…but I’ve studied with a lot of men who admittedly first saw God’s devotion through the lives of their future spouses.

    So set the non-negotiables, yes. But ladies, try not to disqualify someone who’s in between checkpoints, but is taking the right journey.

  13. I have to say… I heard so many Christian charismatics talking about “making a list” and getting everything on it. That’s awesome if that’s true for them. I found that my husband was about 8 for 12 on that list while we were dating and probably about 6 or 7 for 12 a couple years into marriage. LOL. I still wouldn’t change a thing! We as Christians are made to go from “glory to glory”. There may be areas on that non-negotiable list that he needs to grow in. Though they aren’t perfected now, through prayer, process, and time they may be. They could be EVERYTHING on that list and more and then fall away from the Lord and become and atheist.

    I’m just saying, stay in prayer, in constant conversation with the Lord about your potential future husband. A lot of Christian women I’ve seen turn up their noses at good-hearted, solid Christian men because they didn’t make the cut of a list. If he is a Christian (FOR SURE), then a certain amount of it is accepting the weak areas & trusting that God will perfect that which is lacking. That he is not only the Author but the Finisher of our faith.

    1. I mean during dating they are on their best behavior and so in the first stages of love that being completely selfless comes very easy (because of hormones, etc). I didn’t want it to come off like he had digressed. 🙂

  14. We as women also need to remember that if this is the kind of man we want, we must be the kind of woman that man wants, too.

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  16. Yes it is important to have this kind of list about the kind of man your future husband needs to be. But how about you as a woman, do you have the “wife non negotiable list” that you should be for your husband.
    As much as you want your future husband to be a Godly person you should also, as a future wife, need to make a list and prepare yourself to grow in to that king of a Godly wife.
    Often people make. List of what their future should look like but they forget to apply that list upon themselves, men or women for that matter.
    I think we should make make a non negotiable list for ourselves first to see what kind of a husband Ora wife that God wants us to be. Otherwise we may become judgmental or hypocrite for that matter and end up destroying the relationship.

  17. I agree with Lauren above; after all, even good people can pretend to be more than they are in order to impress somebody new. But as the interloping atheist on this thread, I would go a step further:

    Ignore Rule Number 1.

    Please don’t turn up your nose at a “good-hearted, solid” man, PERIOD. In my opinion it is entirely possible to embody the following qualities without having a belief in a Christian God:

    *Willingness to Learn
    *Work Ethic

    These would account for numbers 2-12 in the list above, and they are all things that any woman or man would want to see in their spouse. They are truly non-negotiable, and necessary for a lasting relationship, with or without the supporting biblical references.

    My point is that happiness is possible, regardless of religious belief. The qualities I listed above are things a man either possesses (or in my case, strives every day to embody), or he does not. If, however, a belief in God is the number one thing that matters to you, then I ask you to consider that it was probably the only thing that ever really mattered to you in the first place.

    With love and respect,
    An Atheist Married 18 Years to a Christian

    1. Although the body of your post contained some very good points, I think your closing says it best: “love and respect.” Regardless of the foundation that a man (or woman) has, it should be a solid (or at least reparable) foundation built on these two principles.

      Thank you for your post, Greg, and thank you for your list, Kristen!

    2. As a Christian guy, I can say that the reason why marrying someone who shares my faith is important to me is because I want someone who I can pray with, someone who shares the spiritual journey with me (especially during the rough times) and someone who encourages me in my faith.

  18. wow i needed to read this! i sometime lack the faith that God will bring my husband especially since i have 2 kids….

  19. This is an awesome article…I posted it out on my “Man Cave” mens group page…Do you have a The Wife List: 12- Non Negotiable’s? Thanks!


    Galatians 5:16-26


  20. Great thoughts! My only issue is that sometimes, your perfect guy isn’t going to measure up to these things 100% of the time. Only Jesus could fulfill these twelve things all of the time. Be sure to have grace on us as we are continually sanctified and as we learn through these things. No one is perfect, and if you look for these things 100% of the time, you are going to end up being cynical towards all men. Look to encourage your partners in these things, but be graceful as they slip up.

  21. I just stumbled across this post from someone on my Facebook. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today and I’m nearly in tears because I’m so beside myself. God is good for leading me here…

    I’ve been going back and forth between a guy I go to school with. He’s not a Christian, he has some bad habits, BUT he makes it all sound good. You know? I’m at the age that I want so badly to be wanted, but I can just hear God saying… “This is not what I have for you.”

    I’m printing off this list, hanging it by my bed, and I’m going to read it every morning. I’m going to pray about my husband. I’m going to make my list more specific. I’m going to cut the ties in the so called “relationship” I’m in. Jesus has something so.much.better.

    Thank you for sharing your heart. These words just saved me a lot of heartbreak.

  22. I love that this article encourages young women to respect themselves and others by not settling. I often wonder if the world would look differently if more women would just wait for the Lord’s timing. Ill attach a video down at that bottom that speaks to that!! Its awesome!!
    I am a bit concerned about the effect this article will have on our men! As I read this list I asked myself, “Who fits this list?” David? nope, Moses. Nope! Abraham? Nope.
    The problem with lists like this is that they do not get to the heart of the issue. Ladies if you know the powerful, dignified, and holy woman you were created to be then lists like the one above won’t be necessary. Truth: YOU ARE GOD’S DAUGHTER. He is ravenous for your heart. Our role as Woman is to dive into the heart of the Father and plead for those around us, especially the men. Think of women ike Esther, like Ruth, like the women at the foot of the cross, like Mary. The men in your life are more than the sum of the checks on a list. Truth: MEN ARE SONS OF YOUR FATHER!
    Lets try and amend our lives so that lists aren’t necessary. Ladies I know you have it in you to be who you were created to be. Think about it like this, when Mary said yes to being the mother of Jesus God came through her and saved the world. Ask yourselves, what saving work is God waiting to do in me?

  23. I am a living example of this. My mom had me make a list of the qualities I wanted in a husband. I even started praying for him to be prepared when I was a teen. When I was 18 I met a guy and my mom said I should start a journal of things that I liked or didn’t like and then if I ended up marrying him I could give it to him as a gift. We’ll 5 months later he asked my parents for permission to court me. That means he intended to marry me. Then 4 months after that he proposed and we were married 2 months later. On our wedding night I gave him my journal and noticed that I started journaling exactly 1 year before our wedding dang. It could only be God to work out all those details. We have been happily married now for 15 years and have 4 children. Marriage isn’t easy but it is worth it. My husband and I have already started praying for our children’s mates.

  24. As a man, I have a few non-negotiables, but I’ll keep the list short:

    1) Didn’t go through a few “wild years” in college, giving her heart and body to “interesting” guys.

    2) Doesn’t think that just because she got some short-term attention from high-status guys (who just want sex) that somehow that means she is somehow a supermodel. You’re only as good as the man you can get to marry you.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many women select men with horrible attributes. I mean, it’s not like someone comes along and assigns you a boyfriend or husband.

    Myself, being in my early forties, I see nothing around me but women with huge baggage. I think that it is very important for women to OWN the fact that they were the ones who chose bad boy types because they wanted to play the game.

    Bad boys give them butterflies and create thrilling relationship drama. Good men are “boring”, at least until the women have run out of energy trying to rein in the bad boy and suddenly think that good guy looks pretty good.

    Well, be careful. I spend a lot of time parrying away the advances of women who have made lots of mistakes, because I don’t want the drama, the kids, and the debt.

    Sometimes, it’s too late to fix something. NRFS. ™

    1. Love your post

      Sometimes, it is the mistakes that help us to learn to be authentic, to be who we really are. My children are worth all of my mistakes. Give the kids a chance, but only one. I do agree about the drama and debt. I am recently divorce from a man who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder.I keep attracting people who are like him. My now ex roommate reminded me of my ex husband and his mother combined. It was ugly and my fault. I did not pay attention to the red flags and was trying to be nice as I thought a good Christian woman should and she needed a place to live, drama, debt and ex all in one. I am learning.

      There are some pretty cool women out there, just hard to find.
      Wish you the best.

    2. I completely disagree with your sentment here, Jack. You sound a little bitter, and maybe rightly so, given your experience. But I always find it interested how men want women who “didn’t go through wild years” but find it completely okay for him or other men to have gone through them… What an ugly double standard.

      Secondly, your assertion that “women are only as good as the man she can get to marry her” is completely off as well. Women are as good as they are, and as good as the Father sees them, regardless of it she’s single, married, divorced, or widowed. Women’s worth shouldn’t be predicated on whether or not a man has decided to bestow upon her the coveted ring.

      And this is coming from someone who did not go through “wild years”, has no children, no debt, two degrees and doesn’t go for “bad” guys. Nobody wants someone who’s completely boring, either though. So instead of equating boring with good and Interesting with bad, maybe you should try to be interesting as well as Good and see how that may work for you.

      Otherwise, I really enjoyed both articles and hope those of us preparing ourselves and waiting for God’s timing for our mates will be rewarded in due season.

      1. Hear, hear!

        “Women are as good as they are…” And no man has authority to assign worth to them, regardless of their history.

    3. That is a very bitter comment.Love is not cruel but kind and does not keep record of wrongs.Women with kids,divorced,deserve to be loved as well as long as person has realized their mistakes and repented.God has given u so much grace which he keeps doing,he forgives us everyday and does not keep record of our.mistakes who are we to condemn?Everyone makes mistakes its part of our training.To all the women with garbage there are great men out there with Godly hearts who will love you with your children,there is still a chance and Gods grace is never ending,do not settle for less.When your preordained partner finds his way to you he will say”bone of my bones,flesh of my flesh,he will leave his mother and father to be one with you and your children.Your garbage to another will be a blessing to him.You deserve the best.Jesus says he came so we can have life in abundance.Do not limit what God will do in your life.Nothing is too hard for God,claim what is yours in Christ and for your innocent kids and see God do wonders and do not sacrifice your kids for a selfish man who will call them garbage,they are a blessing from God.

  25. Thanks for this Kristen. I’m passing this along to my sister, nieces, and other women in my life. This is also a great thing for Chrisitan men to take to heart, myself included. I think it’s easy for both men and women to think we will change into this perfect Godly person once we meet the right one, but the truth is that sometimes The Lord waits until we have prepared ourselves to properly love that person. Men can also be assured that if we treat God’s daughters poorly, He will oppose us. This is a good list not only for the women who read it but for the men as well.

  26. Sweet sister, I do appreciate your heart and intentions. I’d definitely agree that those are important qualities to look for in a spouse… Not only that, but you pinned what I view is important in a future spouse, more than any silly preferences. But It’s also way too common for girls within the Christian culture to focus so much on the qualities they want in a man rather than looking at their own character and asking themselves if they even have godly character themselves, or even act in a way that would attract that kind of man (Which would hopefully be natural, based off of a love for Christ and not motivation to just get what they want). It’s too common to focus so much on finding our future spouse and not enough on pursuing Christ, obeying His Word and serving His church; while trusting that He’ll attract the right person at the right time. Someone can think about their future husband as much as they want, but that doesn’t change that the Lord could take us home at any point; and we’re not entitled to anything. All that we know in this moment is where we are today, and where we’ll spend eternity. What peace in that freeing realization! Although I don’t doubt that you would agree with that truth, I really wish that you would have focused more on that in this article, rather than indirectly encouraging girls to focus on what we don’t have currently.

    I know that the Lord has and will use this to encourage girls who need it. BUT, there’s another side, the side that I so often lean on. As a girl who wants the right guy to come, but I’ve found that when I focus on that, it only harbors discontentment and unbiblical bitterness. So rather than making a husband list, I daily write down on my God list. Who is He? What is His character, revealed to me in scripture? What do I know to be true about Him? Because the answers to those questions give me more joy than any godly man, or temporary desire will. I realize that those desires aren’t bad! But for me and so many others, they can so easily be turned into idols. Thank you for your ministry and sharing your heart, and thank you for being a light. Please encourage girls like me to look on Christ above all else.

    Sincerely best wises, Lizzie

    1. LIzzie, standing ovation. You wrote beautifully every single thing I am thinking and feeling, too, as an unmarried, Jesus-loving woman. Thank you!

  27. I read a book 25 years ago titled “How to be married one year from today”. In the first chapter near the bottom of a page it said to list the characteristics of the man you wanted to marry. I’m very good at making lists so I jumped right on it. In a matter of minutes I had my list. It looked almost exactly like this list. Then I turned the page.

    The top of the next page said, “Become the woman who can stand next to that man.” I closed to book. The standards I had set were very noble and virtuous and desirable. At that point in my life the things I was looking for were not reflected in the mirror. It would be 12 more years before I said “I do” to the man who not only met but exceeded everything I wanted.

    I had a lot of growing up to do during those 12 years. But on the day we got married he said he had been praying for God to bring the right woman into his life and he knew I was God’s answer to his prayers.

    Make your list. Become the woman who can stand next to him at the alter.

  28. This list is absolutely wonderful how it is worded with simplicity, wisdom, and scripture. Be unequally yoked and refusing counsel causes heartbreaking relationships with many difficult consequences. I wish I had listened more to God’s word and not my own heart trying to be open to someone’s good points rather than seeing the red flags. God loves us too much to let us go unguided. He knows best. I thought I was following God’s plan but the importance of two people respecting God’s sacredness of the marriage relationship, undefiled, and nurturing is what it takes. Sad because of failed marriages. God is still there to comfort.

  29. Just one thing to keep in mind…so long as we’re setting the bar on one partner in the relationship, I feel it’s just as fair to set it on the other.

    If you yourself find a likely partner who possesses all of these qualities, but find yourself lacking in one or more of them, would you agree that your partner would have to be “lowering his own standards” to be with you?

    My implication is that if you’re already all of these things, a part of you will innately gravitate toward others who share the same. Plus, it’s easier to change yourself than to change other people.

  30. Jack, I think the Bible disagrees with your first non-negotiable. We know that God is a forgiving God to those who repent in their hearts and turn from their wicked past. We are ALL born sinners and our sinful past is enough to condemn us. But for the believer who is living for Christ, it doesn’t matter what they did in college, he/she is a new creation and God lives and reigns over their life. So if God loves this beautiful new creation of a woman despite her past, we should too. Based on your first non-negotiable, girls that had a wild year or two but have gotten saved would never get married and have no hope to find a good man who meets these 12 written in this article. Your sins, before you came to Christ, don’t prevent you from being loved by God and others, so neither do hers. The real question is, is she STILL living those “wild years”…

  31. Pingback: The Wife List: 10 Qualities | GoodGuySwag

  32. I was in an abusive relationship for 12 years because of my conviction to stay and pray while God worked. I had not been given a good example of what a husband should be like and thought that passionate relationships involved both high highs and low lows. I believe God kept me there to grow. I wanted to leave many times but felt his leading to stay and depend on Him to survive. Finally, after having a child 10 years into the marriage, I felt God calling me to have a season of healing, and for that to happen I had to break away, even if only for a short time. But what happend when I took my break was an eye openening as to how much I had compromised my worth and value by allowing him to continue to treat me this way and how I didn’t even know what I wanted or needed because I had been told indirectly what I wanted or needed didn’t matter. I say all that to say this. Once I realized my spiritual and emotional life as a daughter of God was being threatened and accepted that in this case, a divorce was best for me and my son, I had to take time to really think about what I needed for the first time ever. I even joined a christian on line dating site to safely peruse profiles to see what types of qualities men were indicating they had. I had to pray about how God desired for me to be treated. My list looked a lot like this one. I went on a date with a guy who seemed to be a good match. There weren’t any real sparks, but because of my list, I knew he was exactly the kind of guy I needed! I invested in nurturing the sparks. There are no problems in that area now and we are getting married in a couple of months. I couldn’t be happier that I now have a God honoring relationshp. Please take the time to define this list, our emotions will fool and blind us in the moment.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for sharing your heart here, Jennifer! You are wonderfully and fearfully made and God has plans to prosper you and your future! Just stay faithful, He never leaves or fails us.

  33. All of these are equal to…nice guy finishes last….lets be real. This world as we know it is not set up to procreate more christians. Its set up to procreate more jersey shore. Good luck ladies finding someone like me who wants to love you but you too occupied with what shoes im swagging or whatever.

  34. Love the list and will share with my daughters.

    Recently divorced after almost 23 years from a man who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. If you are familiar with Borderline you understand if not you would never believe the craziness.

    God is in charge and yet we are not expected to stay in an abusive relationship. Sometimes it is hard to recognize the abuse and what we should do.

    The only thing I would change is I would not have relied on him financially. I retired from being a flight attendant when our first child was born and the emotional and mental abuse begin. He thought he owned me. It was gradual, kind of like being a crab in a pot, you don’t know its hot until you are being cooked alive. Thankful for my children and it is hard to see them struggle as a result of the craziness.

  35. Forgiveness is one thing, marriage is another.

    A woman who gives her time, attention, love and affection to men she knows are not marriage worthy is cheating her real husband out of her time and affection.

    I watched many Christian girls decide to take their turn in the bad-boy chasing tournament, only to have their heart repeatedly broken.

    Later, in my late 30s and early 40s, suddenly they have decided I am what they want?

    Also, many women permanently bond to the bad-boy college lovers that thrilled them so much. I am not interested in playing second-fiddle to her college memories.\

    By the time many women decide they have had enough of the bad men, they have become tired, sad, and they have certainly given the best of their youth, beauty and innocence to ungodly men.

    Why should I be cheated out of having the wife of my (and her) youth? Let them find men who have similarly created baggage for themselves. I am required to love others, but I am not biblically required to marry a woman just because she has repented.

    Would you marry a man who had a serious porn addiction who said he had repented? I would hope you would realize that the real-life damage done by chronic sin often takes many years to work its way out, if it ever does.

    I am not going to have some woman squander her youth and beauty “having fun” with other men, then expect me to pick up the tab at the end of a party I was never invited to.

    Sometimes, you don’t get a second (of twentieth) chance. I had to endure 20 years of watching CHRISTIAN women select unsaved men to honor with their attention and affection.

    No, they taught me well how to live alone. Stubbornly, they kept going back to their bad-boy lovers and boyfriends, because those guys were “hawt”.

    My cold-blooded dismissal of them perfectly matches their cold-blooded dismissal of good men like me all these years.

    Too bad, so sad. I have spent two decades becoming a well-paid professional with two side businesses. And I will not let someone move in and participate in my harvest when all their best was sown into other mens’ lives.

    Go find those guys you slept with in college. They are the ones that owe you a marriage. Not me.

    1. Jack: I completely see your viewpoint on this and am sorry that has been your experience.

    2. Hi Jack,
      you need to take it easy.
      Though i understand where you are coming from, but sometimes we need to hand over things to God to handle, and not judge them.

      What you have described above is what some call recycled virgins.

      But God doesn’t care what you have done or whom you’ve been with.
      He says old things are passed away and all things have become new.
      this is what happens when someone turns away from their past.

      Look at it this way.
      The people you have described are more likely to live with you because they have seen the other side and know it is not greener.

    3. Whether you decide to have a relationship with someone else is your choice. However your words drip with bitterness and anger.
      I didn’t meet my wife until I was 34, while she isn’t perfect, I can’t imagine someone more suited for me. I realized I was probably at the perfect point in my life to get married as I’ve had to work though a bit of issues that helped me be the man that she wanted and vise versa.
      While you should never be a man they are settling for, you’ve verbally elevated the way you’ve lived your life. If you are holding out for a virgin, that is your prerogative. I would caution you to be self evaluating yourself more righteous than someone else regardless of who you/they are. Most of the girls I know who dated the bad boy have more pain then fond memories. If they are looking back at those times fondly I also would avoid a relationship with them.
      As a married person I would say this: all people have baggage. We all get hurt and we all have to deal with it, and sometimes situations with your spouse will bring wounds from other people right to the surface. There are no perfect people, my wife and I were both looking for someone who was willing to deal with their stuff. I am glad for that, because a good marriage is work, much more than I imagined, but so worth it.

    4. Jack you speak great wisdom I wish all would indeed listen to. However, I think you do not understand women yet-Why? because someone did not teach you. So let me share a few points with you even though this is late.

      1. This idea of the “nice guy” or “good guy” being attractive to women does not always work. This especially holds true with many young women.

      Why? Because to these women they are not challenging or exciting to them.

      Bad boys are interesting to women because they are exciting and they seem to live an exciting and daring life. This is why they seem interesting to them. No one wants boring at all.

      2. Women are after confident men. Hence the reason for the Bad Boy type. A good guy to some women will go along with a woman’s bad behavior it seems. They will be weak and over-apologetic when she acts in a bad way.

      A real man does not tolerate this and will tell her she is wrong when she is wrong. In other words he shows he is bold and confident and this is what draws women to him.

      3. Women are after leader-commanders. In other words a woman wants a man who takes charge. He takes the initiative. He sets the date. He creates a great moment in it and she sees that and this causes her to be more into this man.

      4. A real man does NOT over-chase a woman. He gives her time and space to be present with her feelings to think about him and this creates even more attraction for him.

      5. A real man does not hide his feelings but tells a woman EXACTLY how he feels.

      6. A real man commands a presence around him that gets a woman to RESPECT Him. This is very, very, very important. A woman must respect a man. If you present yourself as a man who can be respected then it means that in her eyes you will not be playing games with her but will be serious with her and about her.

      I look at how some men dress and the way they dress does not command respect from others. They dress weak and shabby and WANT a woman to automatically fall for them. NO-women were not built like that and you have to present yourself in such a way that commands a woman’s respect of you as a man and this gets her to be attracted in you more.

      For example some men do not exercise. Exercise presents you as a healthy person also and this attracts women as well.

      7. Women as they get older realize that they are not looking for the bad boy type because as a woman gets older she gets to become more mature in her preferences.

      Time causes a woman to change or it may be hurtful experiences in the past. However I stand with you in telling these women as it is where they went wrong and that you cannot accept them. It is your right and you should not be judged for it.

      But at the same time don’t do it out of bitterness but because you are showing yourself as a confident man and confidence not bitterness is always desirable.

      No one ever taught you these things and I am sorry you did not learn it. Hurt however was never meant to be yours and you are right to refuse what originally refused you.

  36. Essentially it is only right and just that they drink out of the same sup of loneliness and pain that they so heartlessly served up to the men who were following the Lord’s plan.

    1. Jack,
      Your attitude of condemnation and pride is telling of your self-righteous religiosity rather than your “following the Lord’s plan”. You are exactly the kind of man a woman wouldn’t want to marry because whether a woman has never chased a bad-boy or not, she will be an imperfect human and you will not be satisfied with her (which seems to be what your main concern is). I DID marry a man who has a past that is equivalent to what you say you wouldn’t accept in a woman. But it is his past. And his humility and kindness and understanding and graciousness are all qualities that he has (which you apparently are on the lacking side of) that make him such a WONDERFUL husband. His past is in the past, and his meeting the Lord and having his life completely changed is a wonderful testimony to anyone. Consider changing your “qualifications” for a perfect wife to be based on who she is today rather than who she may have been a long time ago. You might just end up with a jewel you’d have missed out on!

      1. PS
        Also in my 40’s and married to said man 16 years… he’s a wonderful father and leader. Again, who someone once was shouldn’t be held against them. Who they are today is the person you would be building a life with. I recommend counseling to work through the pain you’ve experienced. Hurting people hurt people. Don’t be one who allows your own pain to turn you into such a cold hearted snob. Best wishes to you!

      2. It all comes down to when she comes to her senses. Too many of those “jewels” are looking to jump of the bad-boy carousel because their clock is ticking and they realize that Plan A is not working.

        It is regrettable that these days, many women spend their youth and beauty on unworthy men. To the point that even Christian women want men to “choke it down” and “get over” the fact that their blushing bride is far removed from chastity.

        No woman is going to spend 15 years partying with jerks and then stick me with the wreckage.

        Will I be her friend? Yes. Brother in Christ? Yes. Help her as a fellow Christian should? Absolutely.

        There is such a thing as righteous jealousy. I am not interested in having to think about all the men she graced with her affection when she was younger and prettier. I’m not in the rescue business.

        Sorry that I’m not sorry for having standards.

        1. Hi Jack,

          With all due respect to your standard, I wish you all the best in meeting your ideal perfect partner.

          I’m not hoping to change your opinion with what I’m about to say. I do hope that it shed some lights to others who might have the same thoughts thou.

          I totally agree that we should have an idea of whom we would like to spend the rest of our lives with. I’m sure believers are familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman. Are you aware that there’s also a similar measure given to men? Talk about measuring each other with high standard.

          I don’t believe any woman has met that standard of the Proverbs 31 before or even after they got married. Because all of us are imperfect and can only be perfectly thru Christ Jesus.

          Christianity is a walk of a lifetime with Christ Jesus, our Lord, and allowing Him to transform us from glory to glory. At the end of the day, He is our ultimate groom. We are actually His bride.

          There is a vast difference between marrying a Man of God vs a godly man.

          Being in church, serving in ministry, even if he’s a leader or preaching God’s Word doesn’t make him a man of God. If this man is doing all of the above and not practicing God’s grace, he is merely a godly man and not a man of God. How do we know?

          Simply compare the Pharisees’ character and Jesus’ character. The Pharisees are full of self-righteousness while Jesus is full of grace. A true Man of God knows and practices grace.

          If you are wondering what is the meaning of grace?
          Grace is undeserved, unearned, unmerited favour.
          God is Love, and Love is grace in action.

          Jesus sat down and eat together with the sinners. Yet He strongly rebuke the pharisees. Did He not love the pharisees too? He loves them all. Yet with those strong stinking self-righteousness in the pharisees, they think they do not need Christ as their saviour. Sinners, however, will gladly receive Christ as their saviour. Therefore, Jesus said, “Those who are forgiven much, loves much.”

          Marriage is not for those who desires to satisfy themselves first, but those who desires to serve and be a better partner for the person they love. Just as Jesus came to serve us, and bring the better of us out as we walk closer to him and know him more.

          Make it a Christ-centered marriage. Like a triangle with Christ at the top of the triangle. With both looking to Him, and drawing close to Him, the relationship between the spouses grew closer each time they draw closer to Him. However, when they start to look to each other, their distance grew far apart, because none of us can meet all the needs of our spouse.

          I hope those who desires to enter or have already entered into a marriage, work toward having a Christ-centered life, and becoming a better person for our partner/ spouse.

          All these are coming from someone who has been thru a broken marriage before knowing Christ, to someone whom after knowing Christ, by God’s grace, has met and married a man of God.

          God Bless & Shalom!

        2. Jack, you are a terrible chauvinist. “Stick me with the wreckage”? Excuse yourself. I’m not a car that is losing value once it drives off the lot. Any person who has any sort of wisdom, life perspective, or happiness is going to be able to value that life is a journey about experience and learning. The people that manufacture expiration dates are the ones who themselves have nothing left to offer.

          Jesus thought so too—he choose the people with the life experience, even the rough kind, to be around him.

          I’d just like to say for all women everywhere—I DON’T need you to rescue me. I don’t want your limited and condescending friendship. And your Christian charity doesn’t have much currency, so you should really think about investing your shoddy soul somewhere else.

          Sorry for I’m not sorry, not even a little, not even at all.

          1. Actually, I’m an excellent chauvinist. Anyway, nothing to offer? You sure about that?

            I’m certain the feeling is mutual. You seem more sensitive about this than you should be…

          2. I want to defend Jack and not you.

            Firstly you speak of “Christian Charity” when you have absolutely ZERO. This man needs healing NOT harshness.

            Secondly, I would like to say for men everywhere that you are not worthy of being rescued. One should rescue someone who wants to raise you higher and not ruin you.

            Thirdly, John has much to offer. It is called EXPERIENCE. Rather than being condescending to him you should be appreciative of his point of view that comes from HIS life experience not yours.

            Fourthly, your sorrow or lack thereof is NOT needed especially if it Shames another.

            Before getting a husband list you should get a character qualities list which will tell you which character qualities you still have yet to get to work on.

    2. Jack,

      I will get on my knees for you. You need healing. God can give you that.

      1. That is kind of you.

        The thing I most hope to see is a change of heart in how Christian women craft their expectations.

        When I see a list like this, I know there is a subtext to it; an unprinted but tacitly understood asterisk. “I want all these moral attributes in a man **but a man who is already swooningly attractive**.

        People are fond of saying that one cannot help the type of person they are attracted to. But I think this is a dodge, to avoid having to do the internal work on themselves to train our desires and expectations.

        I am not “attracted” to behaving like a Christian at all times. I am not always attracted to healthy food or working out. I’m not attracted to following rules when they are inconvenient to me. But I have to discipline myself to do what I must, in order to live a life pleasing to God.

        More than anything, to have a successful marriage, you must, must, must have a shared value system. Above all other things, this thing is foundational. For a Christian, this value system must be based on the Biblical concept of love.

        Soul mates are not found, they are made. They are made from the raw materials of shared values and at least a small amount of attraction. Expecting a fully-realized perfect spouse is not realistic. Marriage is a starting line, not a finish line. You can’t expect to marry a person who will manifest this list to you right away.

        More realistically, you have to marry the person that you love enough to overlook their failings in these areas until the time when they become the things on this list.

        There are not very many men who will meet this list, and of the ones that do, many will not be sufficiently attractive by the world’s standards.

        No one should marry someone they are not attracted to, but it does not hurt to work toward training our “attraction appetite”.

  37. If you’re with someone who doesn’t add up to this list and you want to start to detach yourself from the relationship what is the best way to do so? I want out, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings by making him feel like he’s not good enough for me. Although I suppose that ultimately is the truth. HELP

    1. Kelsey, you will be stuck until you take action and have some courage. People pleasing is so exhausting. So basically you are saying you wait until he is tired of you…good luck with that.

      Look at this way…in releasing him and releasing yourself both of you can find people who you both love and love you back. Going on with a charade for what? This doesn’t help in hurts even worst.

      Believe me I am speaking real life experience…over 10 years ago I had to end it with my daughter’s father. His feelings were hurt at first, then moved on got married had more kids…now lives with girlfriend and child…

    2. Author

      Hi Kelsey. This is your life and your heart that you need to ultimately protect. Breakups hurt no matter what. From my experience, it is best to be up front and honest about your intentions to end the relationship. Dragging it out will only hurt more. Gather solid and positive support around you to help you maintain your strength and conviction during this process. There is nothing you can’t do without God’s strength through you! Be fearless.

    3. Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare his heart to receive the message.

      I dated a man that was several years older than me but was raised similarly. I thought we “spoke the same language.” We had a great time together and he was very proactive so we always had something to do but it distracted me from seeing what was missing. I had a fluke injury that led to some enforced downtime and the Holy Spirit showed me 3 areas that we were incompatible. At first, I was shocked, but then the Holy Spirit brought things to my remembrance and I realized if we didn’t sync up on those areas I would have to break up with him. I really agonized over it because I didn’t want him to feel rejected. Approximately 2 weeks later, we were wrapping up a telephone conversation and I asked if everything was ok – things seemed off, etc. I was blown away when he named the exact 3 areas that the Holy Spirit had shown me (and this from a man that had declared that Jesus wasn’t the only way to Heaven). He had seriously considered whether or not he was willing to make changes in those areas and acknowledged that he didn’t want to…(relationship with God was one of the 3). That was all I needed to know. But the biggest lesson of all was that even though he wasn’t sure about God, God was sure about him and prepared his heart to understand that we weren’t a good fit. God loves your boyfriend as much as He loves you and it’s equally important to him that the man’s heart is protected as is ours. So if you pray for the heart of the man in your life, God will honor that in ways we can’t even fathom.

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  40. I’m a guy and I didn’t know that this was only for girls but anyway I read it.

    If we look at the person’s achievements, looks, talent and other earned points, I believe seeking that kind of man is selfish. When you pray for the husband you would be forever, do not look at the standards you made because it is yourself that you want to see in that man. It must be Jesus Christ that will be seen in him, because when you see Jesus, your’e standard is of God.

    Yes, our own desires are important too, but our hearts are deceitful, God knows our desires and He will give you the best man of His plan, not yours.

    True love waits

    1. I absolutely love this comment. Holy Ghost I’m open to your direction and instruction preparing me for who You already ordained for me…..Amen.

  41. Also, I would say, a good friend and mentor told me one:

    “Everyone has red flags, everyone. It’s not about finding perfection, but about seeing where someone is broken and deciding for ourselves if they are still worth it”

  42. Hi,
    Before met my last boyfriend I decided to do things right. I also made a list of my ideal husband and asked most of the things you wrote as not negociable. I prayed and fasted for a while, then a friend told me he wasn’t in to me so I dropped it. I told God that it was ok. That I understood he wasn’t for me and if he was he would come to me without me doing anything. One day out nowhere he called me and asked me out, we dated for 6 months and then he broke up with me. He was everything I asked in that list, I was very happy, but one day he just broke up with me. I still have that list of my ideal husband, and I truly believed God sent him to me because of my prayers and devotion, I mean, he was exactly what I asked for. Now, do you think I should pray for him or someone else? I have been telling God that I love him with all my heart and that I only want to be with him. But I am not sure that is the right prayer. What do you think?

    1. Hi,

      I think its time you got outta the way and let God do His work… of taking care of you.

      Cast your burdens to the Lord and leave it there.

  43. I could not agree more with this list. My husband fulfills every single one of these non-negotiables. I could not be more blessed. We have been married over 12 years and I still pinch myself sometimes!

    There are men out there that desire to do each of these. But I would say that it definitely starts with their relationship with God and how seriously they are seeking Him in their lives. The first two on the list are paramount to him practicing the rest.

  44. I absolutely love this post and the fact that you tied each of your desires to Biblical tenants. The list is totally reasonable. Now I want to do one!

  45. Great! I love the ideas. If he does not meet these twelve non negotiables and you are already married, whats the plan?

    1. Author

      Thanks! Anything is possible with the power of prayer and a will to be the person God has called us to be. I am not innately a domestic woman, but Proverbs 31 holds me to a higher standard. If God calls us to be something, he will enable us to do it when we seek his strength. Just because we aren’t all these thugs now doesn’t mean we can’t be. But there must be a will for there to be a way.

    2. PRAY Dan,Eph 3v20 says he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we ask and need.Jer32 Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

  46. Pingback: My future man? | A little piece of my life

  47. So pleased that my man posses all twelve of these non-negotiable. It only took me to stop, turn the mirror on myself and reevaluate the things I said I needed from a man along with what I could give a man of that caliber. When I made myself a better women, and prayed to god and asked him for exactly the man I wanted (and believed he would give it to me). That’s when I met my future husband. And 5 years later he is still making every day worth living.

  48. I just wanted to say that when I got married (17 years ago next week), I was not the woman mentioned on the Husband List, maybe some aspects, but not others. Neither was my husband the man mentioned on this list. We were very flawed people who had come from painful pasts. But by the grace of God he and I threw ourselves at the cross and let God change us and make us who we should be. Many mistakes were made along the way, and there were many nights when things seemed beyond hopeless. But God was faithful and we were committed. Now we have the marriage we’d always wanted (and have had it for some time). I am so thankful that neither of us gave up, because if we had we would have missed out on seeing God do a miracle right in front of our eyes. I would have also missed out on (forever) being with my best friend and the only one in this world who really understands me.

    I say this because, if you are already married and if you are not everything on the husband list, don’t be surprised that your wife isn’t perfectly displayed on the wife list. And don’t give up. Not everything starts perfect, but God has this thing for the underdog. He uses foolishness to shame the wise, and requires you to lose your life to gain it. He likes calling people who have no hope but Him. So if your marriage needs a miracle, you are in the perfect spot to get one.

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  50. I feel that most ladies who were out dating doesnt really go for the husband kind of guy. They mostly fall for bad-boy kind of guy. Me and my friend who both good example of good guy being toyed and used by ladies.

    1. Sorry to hear that Goodguy but some ladies look at it the other way round and feel the way you do,make your list and pray it shall come to pass,there is an awesome lady praying for a guy like you.

  51. Women, too, should work to live up to these standards, pursuing a strong relationship with Christ in those years before “the one” shows up. Then you’ll be READY for a man such as this.

    And, yes, get involved with someone who has lived a few of those “wild years” and now has a deep relationship with Jesus. Just don’t get involved with someone who is in the middle of, or still recovering from, those years. Instead, can you be a true friend and full of tough love to one like that? Show grace as Jesus did me?


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  54. Having been in a troubled relationship, I too was looking for the template to finding the right woman. I came across Steven Wood’s “The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Wife”, but I realized before I could expect a woman to be everything I was looking for, I needed to be everything she was looking for, so I first read Steven Wood’s “The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Husband” to get myself in order.

  55. i love this post

    i’m in a relationship for the past 10 years ,and we not married it really hard looking at this and picturing my boyfriend 🙁 he’s not that at all .am at a point in my life where right now i wanna get married and have a family ,,but i’m having second thoughts is he from God am i in this relationship because i feel i can move on after all this years i just wanna be happy thats all ….with the right person to love and car for me like i love and care for others ..even if all fails i trust you Lord ….

  56. I have found a wonderful man who meets everyone of these qualities, except the first and most important. He is agnostic! Which is to say he doesn’t know if God exists or not. I don’t know how to be with a man who doesn’t believe in God. He is the most amazing man in every other way. Can I, should I look past the fact the he doesn’t know? He says he will go to church with me, but he doesn’t know if he can believe. He was brought up in a strict catholic family and even went to catholic school. His little brother was killed in a car accident right after graduating from high school, but he says that he has always questioned the reality of God. I’m not sure what to do.

    1. Do you love Jesus/God as number one in your life? An unbeliever does not. They will want to be number one in your life. They won’t understand when they are not. This is the difficulty of marrying an unbeliever. (Many more but this is a huge overriding factor). They will not understand. Lack of understanding will lead to jealousy and conflict. This type will not go away – unless understanding comes. And when it comes – how quick til he “catches up” to your maturity in Christ? Just some questions to dwell on. And finally, do you trust God with your whole life? Does he want to give you the best? If you are disobeying his Word in terms of dating/marrying an unbeliever – who are you placing first? Is this showing your trust Him above all?

    2. Desiree, God’s Word clearly speaks to this issue. 2 Cor. 6:14— “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” If you are a Christian, and he is not, then regardless of how well he cares for you in other ways, he cannot be the right man for you today. This is hard to accept, I know, but God’s ways are ALWAYS, always best.

      If you are looking for resources to help him work this through, I’m happy to send you some books and podcasts to give to him.

    1. Stella, not to be unnecessarily trite, but that is a very good thing. It’s infinitely better to have a man who loves Christ first than to be loved by a man who loves himself first. Keep waiting on our kind God, and firmly trust in His never-failing wisdom. John Newton once wrote, “Everything is needful that He sends, nothing can be needful that He withholds.” (a reinterpretation of Psalm 84:11) If God is, at present, withholding marriage from you, it is ONLY because He is intending to use this time of your life to accomplish His greater purpose for you— to make you more like Jesus, and to teach your heart to more fully trust in His lovingkindness to you.

  57. As a single girl in my very early thirties, and a Christian all my life. I get the list in its essence as a “guideline” – not a directive, but I actually ask that we stop making everything about marriage. You see, my character as I strive to be like Jesus and love him, be accountable, serve and grow – should be something I grow in because I want to be like Jesus and love Jesus no matter what comes in my life. I should be helping the men around me to grow likewise – not because I wish to marry them. The focus points of this discussion is that God WILL bring you your spouse – I personally don’t like this approach – what if that is not his plan for you? Or not the plan for you right now- maybe it’s for when you’re 45 and too old to have children? Would it change the way you live, would your character be growing at all in the mean time, even if no man should arrive ever? My caution, who is this all for? A future spouse? Your happiness? Would you invert this list on yourself even if not specific reward of a spouse arrives? Ladies, and men. Look to Jesus, become like him. Follow him, serve him. be accountable with friends – and good things will be added. Not always marriage (but potentially so) – But great friendships, leadership, setting an example for others, blessing people with your life, mentoring others, and ultimately – a deeper relationship with Jesus. We can so easily miss life as we focus on lists, and what we don’t have. By all means – make the list – but don’t let this be your focus. I have all I need – anything else is extra. There is no “in the meantime” – I am living it now. Please please please – keep your eyes on Jesus. I promise, then even if marriage comes, because he has your heart – it will part of the journey of your life, not the end goal.

    1. Hi Cazz,
      I totally completely Agree!! We can so easily make life all about “marriage” when it’s supposed to be all about HIM. I think even in the church people seem to think that we single women don’t have a viable/vital place in the body of Christ to serve Just because we’re not “married.” I think we tend to conform the church to the culture of the world. We try to “Christianize” and disguise our feeling of entitlement to a husband under the banner of “God needs to give me a husband because we aren’t supposed to be alone, because God gave Eve to Adam, etc.” It’s silly. I think we also seem to forget that Jesus Christ was Single.
      So I commend you Sister on your thoughts! (I am a gal in her early thirties, too.:)

  58. This, like a lot of issues, is a tricky subject. On the one hand, having a list can keep you focused on the attributes that you would love, and -assuming you fulfill his list as well- produce a wonderful Christian marriage.
    On the other hand, you have to be careful about lists. Very often, the very thing you say you would never tolerate is the thing that comes up in your marriage. Or, your prospective spouse has a trait that you don’t like, but has other traits that you love. Then what do you do?
    I look at my own marriage. Is he the person I always dreamed of marrying- no. But after ten years, and many struggles, I love him more than ever. There are things that he struggles with and he is far from perfect, but so am I.
    It’s just a pet peeve of mine about the church. We tend to teach our girls, especially, that they just need to wait for God to bring them the perfect Christian man and then they will have the perfect Christian marriage. When the perfect man suddenly develops flaws- or reveals then ones he’s kept hidden- then it’s time to throw in the towel and move on. Grace gets thrown out too, but oh well. God can work in someone’s life and eventually produce a person that is the new creation that they were always intended to be- but sometimes it takes time and work.
    I’m just saying that it’s not that cut and dried. Life is complicated, and only God can help sort it out. Don’t look for perfection-because there are no perfect people. If you have a list- keep it short and basic.
    A motto I heard once: Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut after marriage.

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  60. I absolutely enjoyed this. I believe that this is a very helpful tool and I like that you based each non negotiable of scripture, there was a foundation…
    I was intrigued to see what the women’s list was about that your husband wrote and I have to say I was highly disappointed. #1 there wasn’t scripture foundation with most of them.. and some I think weren’t exactly deal breakers.. your relationship with your family or theirs isn’t really a key issue. your relationship with God is.. you can’t control how others communicate or feel.. I’m sorry but I didn’t agree with nor enjoy his list. But I was very blessed by yours!
    Thank you

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  63. I am firmly convinced that the gift of my loving boyfriend is sent from God, despite him being a believer in God but not a practitioner of religion or of my particular denomination. I believe the joining of differences is a beautiful thing, for it heals the world. I will not have my relationship looked down upon as wrong for the ways in which it helps us both to grow. I know he views me as an ideal mother as much as I admire all the ways in which he will be kind, loving, and a good example to his children. I know he cares about me enough that he would do his best to raise our children to follow my spiritual example. A couple does not have to be identical, but to support each other in their weaknesses.

  64. These are good. I only had three:

    1. He is a man who lives in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (that I can see Christ’s authority as the supreme reigning influence in his life)
    2. I can submit to him, doctrinally
    3. He is not currently addicted to pornography or alcohol

    Many of the other things you have listed fall under these. If he is truly living his life in submission to Christ, he *will* romance me for the rest of his life, because that’s part of what God’s Word says husbands should do for their wives (love them as Christ loves the Church, which means pursuing her and serving her, to the point of giving up his own life). The same goes for his work ethic, his response to temptations, etc. I had a list of 12 additional *preferences* for a husband (things about personality, children, physical appearance, etc), but they weren’t as important as The Three.

    I married in August, and my husband is more perfectly-suited to me than I could’ve ever dreamed. Literally— I was afraid to write in detail all that I really wanted, for fear of setting my heart on my list instead of on God’s leading. But God in His infinite kindness gave me a man beyond what I ever hoped for. He doesn’t only meet my non-negotiables list— he exceeds my preference list. I wasn’t looking for someone like him, and he took me by surprise in many ways, but I WAS looking for a man who humbly looked to God’s Word as the primary and final word on how he lived his life, who maintained a teachable heart in the process. Everything else was (and is) gravy.

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  66. Listen up all you girls. This list is the truth.
    I married a man I met in college. I was a brand new Christian and he was raised in a Christian home, and a Christian, but not very strong.
    Almost 40 years later, I have ended up in a lot of grief.

    He does not portray or practice # 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,or 12.

    We are ‘nice’ toward each other because of our kids. Otherwise, I don’t love him or respect him. Mainly he has been involved in deep, vile pornography since before college. It has only accelerated.

    No one would suspect looking at him, but underneath his smile and graying hair he is a dirty old man.


  67. I have never once stated that I would only marry a virgin. However, I will not tolerate any such statements like the following:

    “I had some fun in college, who are you to judge”

    “Those mistakes were necessary learning experiences to make me the person I am today”

    “I know I used to sleep with bad boys and reject the good men, but I don’t do that anymore”

    There is one and only one correct way to address past sin – to completely repudiate it and to come to the point where you would rather it never happened.

    It has nothing to do with forgiveness or being sinless – we are all sinners. But the emotional baggage that comes from promiscuous behavior is a damaging thing to bring to a relationship.

    I don’t want to have to think about all the men my wife once had sex with.

    I’m sure this will launch another volley of women calling me bitter and insecure, which is the standard response to a man pointing out the damaging effects of sin.

    Go for it, you’ll only be proving my point. If you think it hurts my feelings, think again.

    And let’s be clear on something: A woman’s youth and innocence is very valuable, and there is often no going back once she has deliberately stepped in front of the bus, so to speak, by repeatedly and stubbornly chasing the wrong kind of men.

    Actions have consequences.

    And only a heartfelt repudiation of her past actions is going to move me from my position. Nothing like repentance to soften the effects of sin against others.

    But most of the women I run across are seeking to justify their actions rather than repent of them. And to silence and scold any voice that dares to address this.

    1. “A woman’s youth and innocence is very valuable, and there is often no going back once she has deliberately stepped in front of the bus”

      How sad that you think so low of women that a woman who has lost her virginity should be equated with death. How disrespectful to women. And how is saying “Those mistakes were necessary learning experiences to make me the person I am today” justifying those actions?

      Do you not realize we are the sum total of our experiences? We learn from the good, but mostly from the bad. Sinning often humbles us and the Lord can use all sin to teach lessons and grow individuals in their faith.

      Also, I’m greatly offended by your evident hostility.

      “And to silence and scold any voice that dares to address this.”

      Your pride is sinful. Be humble. Be willing to listen to other people. This comment was not one of Godly wisdom but instead filled with hate and judgement. It seems that you are the one who is need of some repentance at the moment.

      Finally, you are not a woman, therefore you have not right to tell women what they should and should not do with their bodies. period.

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  69. What’s missing from this article is the fact that finding the “right” person is not as important as “becoming” the “right” person. Society always misses that point. God’s word is our standard, not societies…

    As God’s word states: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” This includes God bringing a godly man across your path. Yes, you need to be wise and discerning, but if your focus is on Christ, and his kingdom, wisdom and discernment will follow.

  70. Before the Ephesians 5 roles there is an exhortation. Submitting one to another. Your individual job is not to create hoops for your spouse to jump through. You are to die to yourself, like JESUS did, and serve your parents then later your spouse, children and later your parents again as they start to age. Be a good worker as if GOD was your boss and sees everything you do. So you want to be pursued? Pursue GOD radically and serve your spouse like you want to be serve. No strings attached.

  71. I LOVE this!! I have a husband list and just as you said: I got more in my husband! 😀 It’s important to refer to this list, too and not “make someone fit” in to the things you listed! I had a friend tell me quite emphatically that I should “not put God in a box”! But God is a God of specifics when it comes to prayer and our expectations. He IS in every single little detail after all!! have fun with it ladies!!! <3 Make that list!!

  72. I’m glad you were able to create such a concise and yet somehow equally thorough list, but did you ever stop to consider that perhaps what God was waiting for was the right question? What if you were called to singleness? How would you have known? Your list assumes you lack completion without the superhuman male.

    What do you say to someone who believes they are gay? Do you find that list in a partner?

    God loves us. Do we believe it enough to comprehend that God might call some to be single, and therefore make the list irrelevant? Is your belief a conviction? Or is it a result of wishful thinking?

    I agree that your list succeeds in describing an awesome man, but in our relationship with God, is our pursuit of the opposite sex the goal, or is it the pursuit of Jesus? If it is Jesus, should we not always pour everything into this one goal? For The Lord will work things out for the good of those who follow him. Even the single folks.

    Don’t make a man a god. They are petty deities. Instead, if your desire has been Jesus, trust in him and watch him fulfill the desires of your heart in ways which you did not even realize were fully possible until you sacrificed your life on the cross. In the end, this will be worth far more than a man who fits a list.

  73. Circomstances change but character never does! As a woman who got married in her 40’s a list was perfect tool to get me through the lonely years waiting for God’s perfect timing. I wrote the list on my bedroom wall to remind me of the higher standard. In your article you give it away to easily saying if u write it down like u did then God will give you ur mate in a few months .. presto … list=spouse. Your list should be a jumping point to pray through and create you’re personal list. In our waiting God reveals our true nature.

  74. This is really amazing…. i loved it…i do tell God my list in prayers but i loved ur idea ….will try it…

  75. Thanks for sharing this. It’s important that marriage is founded on God’s purpose for both husband and wife.

  76. Let’s not just look for the right partner, we need to be the right partner. Let all things we desire in our partners be in us as well.

  77. I needed this… Thank you so much! I have been with a very immature, prideful, and stubborn boyfriend for almost 2 years. I wasn’t fully satisfied with him all the time but I didn’t quite know why until I read this. When I evaluated him with this list, he satisfied only 33% of it. Also we’ve fought in the SAME PATTERN every time… it was his immaturity and pride that made me angry in the same way. It was about a week after our last big argument when I found this list. I ignored him for a month because I was upset and busy with other grad school stuff… He knew I was stressed about it too and said he will wait till I was ready to talk, but at 4 in the morning on Monday, he made our break up official. I feel a bit bitter, but also relieved that I am “free” from a not-so-good future husband….

  78. The dude doesn’t have to be perfect though, I feel like this may be asking too much. Sometimes I can get pretty angry easily and I can be a little sloppy with my work ethic and I would never require my husband to be any better than I am because it seems kind of selfish and unfair. As long as the first three and he’s doing his best to be like Jesus everyday, fair game.
    For those of you who think Christians should date nonbelievers, oh please. A real Christian obeys every command in the Bible to the best of their ability, and only having serious relationships with another Christian is one of them. Go read 2 Corinthians 6:14.

  79. I wish I would have done this before my first marriage. Fortunately, I was able to do this before God introduced me to the love of my life. I purposely made a non negotiable list and prayed over it. I also sought counseling,and mentoring to continuously develop these Godly characteristics for myself on a regular basis. As a Christian woman I believe it’s important for us to find a solid Godly woman as a mentor and in turn also mentor women coming up behind us. My husband and I also chose to find a married mentor couple to study God’s word about marriage with during our engagement. We also went to individual counseling to deal with our baggage and then to premarital counseling for about 5 months. I truly believe that we did all the right things to help us as much as possible. The most important thing I did was pray for God to introduce me to my future spouse if it was in His will for me to remarry.

  80. I have read over both The Husband list and the Wife list, and have come to conclusion that my husband and I both need to work really hard. No cheating has ever happened on either side, but the attitudes towards the others feelings and behaviors are certainly something to be worked on,

  81. I used to have a list. After a few years, I cut a few things out. Then more. Then more. Now, I’m down to Christian and breathing, and I’m still not getting any nibbles. Sad thing is, I’ve worked hard to keep myself to principles set by the Bible (and after reading The Wife List, I am proud to say that except for one about being physically attractive, I meet those qualifications). I may be cutting the “breathing” out next and looking for a Christian zombie…

  82. As a man, I find this list very helpful in how I should examine myself and correct myself. I found it very insightful and thank you for listing the Bible verses.

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  87. Thumbs up! This is so perfectly written, and the most important thing is the reference each time to God’s word. So whether you like it or not, this will and stay God’s word. I love it!

  88. I agree with everything in this article. My mom asked me to make a list when I was about 16. I am 25 now and married to an AMAZING Christian man.

  89. what if you are already married. un happily andsometimes find happiness but im afraid to get a divorce. Idont believe in ending i bc im.unhappy. Ive beenfaithful and we have a child together. been married 4 years. But i walk on egg shells with my husband and some of

    1. Hello Monica,

      Sorry to hear about your struggles with your marriage. I will be praying for you and your husband. I highly recommend that you and your husband seriously think about attending a marriage conference. There are many to choose from. It’s possible you may be able to find one in your area.

      Check out this link:

      I understand how important a healthy marriage is. And I assume you know that God’s word only allows us to divorce for one reason only, sexual infidelity. I hope you are attending a Biblical, healthy, well balanced church in your area. Find a women’s group you could be part of, where other sisters in the Lord can pray for you and console you. Make sure you are spending regular time with the Lord, seeking His strength and will through reading His word. You say you are unhappy. My wife and I have learned that it’s not my role or hers to make each other happy. We have discovered that happiness is fleeting, because it always depends on circumstances. But the Lord can give you PEACE and JOY, that are not dependent on circumstances, but on your relationship with Jesus Christ. He can give you peace and joy, regardless of your circumstances.

      We ourselves have also attended a couple of marriage conferences. I know from reading God’s word that God expects me to love my wife in the same way that Christ loves the church, by laying down His life. God calls me to a sacrificial love, where I put her needs before my own. I also know that apart from Christ, I could do none of this. It is only through his strength and power that I am able. And I also understand that the love I have for her is UNCONDITIONAL. I am to love her regardless of her behavior. That is what scripture tells husbands to do. And in the same way. scripture also tells wives to respect their husbands, regardless of whether or not their husbands deserve respect or not. Your respect for your husband is unconditional. If we are to call ourselves followers of Christ, then we MUST obey His commandments, otherwise, we are complete hypocrites. In a nutshell, since God showers His Mercy and His grace on every single one of us every day, we are to adopt that same attitude and heart, and bring that into our marriages. And we should endeavor to be filled with the Spirit of God every day, so that we may live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.

      Monica, the Lord knows your heart, and He knows your struggles. Seek His will through His word. He will strengthen you and show you what you need to do in your marriage.

      In Christ,


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    email address ([email protected]) after 3 days my husband came back,that is how my marriage was restored by Dr oral.I thank Dr oral for all he gas done in my life.EMAIL HIM NOW…[email protected]

  91. I am not church going christian, but I was raised Christian. I recently broke up with a man I loved but did not share my faith, or the morals I believe in and grew up with. This list is really what I needed to read right now. Thank you.

  92. This is an awesome page.

    I made this my homepage on my computer so that I’m reminded of what my responsibility is and what my convictions are every time I come online.

    I have a wife list and have been praying for “her” since early childhood. But in my prayers over the years I have noticed that God has redirected my thoughts back to my responsibilities and character which is amazing.
    This is very encouraging because it keeps me focused on what God is doing with me and not just on what I want. It helps me to see what is really important to me concerning my character.
    And most importantly, it helps me be sensitive to what God is saying and what he’s developing in my heart every day.
    Men need to be men of character and integrity in their walk with God (which I think involves accountability with an older man who is strong in the faith who can also provide wisdom and instruction in everyday life). If integrity and the character are the priority in our walk with God I think the Holy Spirit will be faithful to lead and instruct in the other “non-negotiable” areas too.

    A great quote that I had read a few years ago was “A woman’s heart should be so lost in God that man has to seek Him to find her”. I think this is awesome because it directs the focus toward God for both parties.

    I would encourage everyone to not only have a list that applies to their future spouse (which is so important) but also to use either “The Wife list” (if you’re a man) or “The Husband list” (if you’re a woman) in order to have specific things to work on and ask God for help with. If you utilize both and are praying for both, I think it’s amazing how God will direct you and bless you in your pursuit.
    I think that if you do that, it will be a catalyst toward an incredible depth in your relationship with God which, really, is the whole point anyway.
    God designed marriage for his glory, but what’s amazing is that he also designed it to fulfill two people as they represent Christ and the Church as well. It’s so incredible when you realize how truly holy and perfect marriage is. How incredible that God would trust us with such an amazing blessing, designed to witness to the world

    This list has been a huge blessing to me and I’m glad to have this list to refer to and to be encouraged by!
    Thank you.

  93. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you
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  94. What if you have a boyfriend who loves God and is a believer but when he’s around his friends he thinks it’s funny to belittle me. He apologizes in advance to his friends saying that I will cause a fight before it even happens. I feel like his enemy all the time and I’ve tried so hard to pray for us and make it work but I’m lost. I feel like God is saying he’s the one but I’m hurting.

  95. Thank you sooo much for this I think I really needed it. I hope to be a good wife for my future husband and I know that God will watch over him and eventually bring him to me.

  96. Pingback: Writing A “Husband List” | Marissa

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  98. I am so thankful that you wrote this and so thankful that you also put the disclaimer to use common sense, simply because no one is perfect and they cannot meet every point all the time. However, the guidelines you gave are spot on.

    I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. He isn’t perfect, but he has so many godly qualities and always has 🙂

  99. Pingback: The Husband List - Delesia Watson

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  102. I have been with a wonderful man for two years now. He is honest and faithful. He is responsible and hard working. He is kind and generous. He is not, however, a Christian. To be specific, he doesn’t think God exists at all. He is respectful of my beliefs, and we have discussed raising our children as Christian (if we make it that far), but he does not believe himself. I have a hard time thinking that it’s okay to leave somebody based on a difference in belief, especially when he is respectful of mine, especially when I love him dearly, and he loves me as well.

  103. If he’s hurting you by “belittling” you in front of his friens, or at anytime, for that matter, he’s not for you!!
    You need to examine your own lack of self worth and why you continue to accept his abuse.

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  106. Thank you so much !! I really don’t read links but I’m so glad I read this one , it’s truly an eye opener especially in my life right now I’m going through a break up or at least deciding if breaking up is the answer and this really helped finalize my situation we have been going out abou two years now and I mean I always knew us having two completely different backgrounds of life me being born into the Christian life parents being pastors and him being catholic didn’t really click and I knew that from the beginning but I got caught up and ignored it and look where I am now stuck in a hard place

  107. Thank you for taking the time to write this. However, for anyone who has made a list I would encourage them to cross off anything in the list that they personally aren’t living already. Making a list like this is a surefire way to remain single and miss out on some great people. How can I honestly expect someone to be all those things when I am not? Even if I did ever meet someone who had those 12 characteristics (which would never happen because they don’t exist) they would certainly not want to be with someone, like me, who didn’t have them. Once you have your modified list, then look for potential and growth like the article said. As husband and wife, this list would be a wonderful goal to work on together, helping and polishing each other.

  108. The fact that people on here are encouraging divorce based on “your husband doesn’t fit this list”-something clearly wrong- BLOWS my mind!

  109. This is wonderful. I would like to share this with my daughters and pray it over them.

  110. This has helped me any many ways I can’t even explain! Thank you so much for all of your words of wisdom! The Lord has used you to speak to many people and help others obviously because I know you have helped me today and I can see by the comments you have touched others! God bless! 🙂

  111. I realize this post is nearly 4 years old, but wow, I must say it was wonderfully written. I’m a single Christian man seeking to better myself in the Lord so that one day, God willing, I will be able to truly love my wife like Christ loved the church and gave His life up for her, as Ephesians 5:25 commands. I could not agree more with this entire post. Thank you for writing such honesty in love in what a husband should be. I will reread this many times I’m sure. As my daughters get older, I will have to have them read this as well. This outlines the very man I would be willing to give my daughters to.

  112. Wow! You really made me think about my standards. I’ve been really unhappy in my relationship and this makes absolute sense why. Thank you! I’m sharing this with my 17 year old daughter.

  113. Hi i am a guy and i just read all of this believe it or not this may help me find the right girl!! But it did show me how i failed at my marriage because i was not a strong enough Christian to be a good Husband.

    Thanks for the list!


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  115. This is an absolute truth.Very educative episode. With wife list,my life partner is 98%

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