One thing that drives me nuts is the idea that real manhood equals a life of hunting, driving big trucks, and owning multiple guns.
Mostly, because I look around and see many men who just aren’t wired that way. Some men care more about computers and would rather sleep in a comfy bed than in a tent. Just like women aren’t all interested in pretty dresses and Anne of Green Gables, men shouldn’t be considered “manly” by their hobbies and interests.
And just as scripture should inform our minds about biblical womanhood, motherhood and the like, we must allow scripture to teach us what true manhood is as well.
So, on behalf of my single girls, I decided to look to the Creator of men to find what is true manhood as he designed and the true characteristics you should be looking for in a potential husband.
1. He loves sacrificially.
A godly man loves sacrificially. He prefers others needs above his own, especially those of his wife. He mimics Christ’s love for the church imperfectly, but pursues it nonetheless. He nourishes and cherishes his wife both spiritually and physically.
He works to cultivate a servant’s heart in ministry and is willing to help those in need.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. (Ephesians 5:25, 28-30 ESV)
2. He provides for his family.
Godly men seek provision for the needs of their family. He has a job or is seeking employment(in the case of job loss) to provide food, shelter etc. He is willing to be humble in submitting to jobs he doesn’t enjoy if it feeds his wife and children.
He is also wise with finances. He looks to the future and seeks God’s wisdom on saving and giving. He’s a giver of the blessings God has given him.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV)
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)
3. He shows his love for God in his pursuit of knowing him more through studying the Word.
He doesn’t have to be in seminary, but godly men love God and they love his Word. They want to know him and love him more.
They know they need the nourishment of the Word in order to live a life honoring to the Lord.
This is not to say that they spend 1 hour a day every day studying. But are they opening the bible to seek him on a daily/weekly basis? Do they look to God’s Word to find wisdom on life issues? Are they interested in learning and growing in Christ?
If not, they may not be pursuing God and that’s a dangerous component to bring into a marriage.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:12-16 ESV)
Look for a man who delights in God’s Word and has made himself a student of it.
4. He protects his own purity and that of the woman he loves.
A man who truly loves God and loves you will not allow his own purity or yours to be destroyed. He will fight against temptation and strive to make wise choices to keep boundaries in place. He has self-control.
This is not saying it isn’t a struggle, but he honors God and you more, which allows him to keep the biblical perspective when the pressure is on. He turns away. He covers his eyes. He flees.
A man who protects the purity of your relationship before marriage, will do so in marriage as well. If the guy you’re dating can’t control his sexual desires now, what makes you think he’ll have more control once married?
Godly men strive to live out their sexuality as God designed.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. (Ephesians 5:25-28a ESV)
How does a man keep his way (and his wife’s way) pure? (Psalm 119:9a).
- By guarding it according to God’s Word. (Psalm 119:9b).
- By seeking God with his whole heart. (Psalm 119:10a).
- Striving to not wander from God’s commandments. (Psalm 119:10b).
- Storing God’s Word in his heart. (Psalm 119:11).
A godly man pursues these things to keep his way pure and also comes along side the woman he loves to guard her heart, encourage her to seek the Lord, lead her to stay on the path that leads to righteousness, and help her store God’s Word in her heart. He partners with Christ to help her become the godly woman she is made to be.
Ladies, you need to marry a man who cares about purity.
5. He understands forgiveness and redemption.
I’m not sure if there is anything that breaks my heart more than a person who hasn’t fully grasped redemption. A man who shames you for your past mistakes is not a godly man who truly understands the grace of God. And that’s heart breaking, because this means he is blind to the gravity of his own sin before a holy God. Without the knowledge of our total depravity as humans, we cannot fully comprehend the glorious grace which has been placed upon us. And following that logic, we scarcely find it easy to offer the same grace to those who have traveled a darker path.
Look for a man who humbly recognizes the amazing grace he has received from a good God. This man will look at you (even upon knowing the sin in your past) and see Christ in you.
A godly man recognizes that his standing before God is in no way greater than anyone else. He knows that it is by God’s grace alone that he stands at all. He understands forgiveness redemption.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)
6. He loves God more than he loves you.
As women, we are prone to want our man to have a mind filled with thoughts about us. It traces all the way back to the fall when our Mother Eve took the fruit. But truly, we should want the man we love to be so in awe of God that nothing fills his mind more, including us.
That hurts our pride and desire to be all a man wants, but we need a man who doesn’t put us on a throne meant only for the Lord of his life. Marry a guy who loves you fiercely but loves God even more.
You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 ESV)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 ESV)
What have you been looking for in a husband? When I was single, God shifted my view of what a godly man is according to scripture. The more my mind was renewed by his Word, the less attracted I was to outside characteristics and the more I desired a man whose heart was focused on God.
No man is perfect. All humans are flawed. But is he pursuing growth in these areas of his life? Is there a desire for change and Christ-likeness?
Don’t settle for less than what God shows in his Word. There are men out there who model these very things. (I’m married to one.) Trust God and serve him with your singleness as you wait for him to bring you a godly man. And pray that you would be attracted to these things more than any outward appearance you see.
You never know what may happen.
Story for you: When I met my now husband for the first time, there was 100% no interest. I wasn’t immediately attracted to him. He seemed quiet and nerdy. When one of my best friends asked, “What about Jimmy?” I gasped and said, “He is NOT my type.” But, 9 months into a simple friendship, I found myself praying the Lord would cause him to pursue me because I had already decided I wanted to marry him. My heart had changed. Godliness in a man is more attractive than anything else to a woman in pursuit of the Lord. Jim became (and still is) the hottest guy in my eyes. As I see him grow in Christ, my heart grows more and more fond of him. God knew exactly who I needed in a husband. I’m so thankful I trusted him with that.