There are many things I’ve been asked when it comes to marriage and relationships with men, but I think it all comes down to one question: What do you look for in marriage? There are many answers to this question. But since it has been presented in such a way, I shall attempt to answer it from my own beliefs on the matter.
I typically avoid discussion on this subject because of all the misconceptions and faulty views expressed by others. I also do this because I’m not your typical female and a “hopeless romantic”. To answer the fairly common question “Don’t you even want to marry?“: Yes. From my experience most do want to marry at some point and I’m no exception to the rule. But I have a different view on it than most.
First of all, I am not comfortable with what I like to dub the “mushy” aspect of relationships that others seems to look forward to a great deal. I’m sorry, but marriage means more to me than license to kiss whenever you want to. That’s a sick reason for marriage, in my opinion. Marriage is more than just this “boy meets girl” and being twitterpated the rest of your life.
I am in no way saying that romance is awful or unnecessary. Romance is a necessary part of it but it’s not all there is. There is much more to life. Marriage to me is a union of two congenial spirits. It is a merging of two harmonious minds and hearts seeking to honor and glorify God in all things, placing their love for each other second to their love for God.
So often we see others marrying someone they get along with. Someone they don’t agree with all the way, but they marry anyway because they can “make it work”. Often important matters are overlooked because it is believed once they’re married they can work through it. This is a recipe for broken homes down the road. Sure, you’re not going to find someone you can agree with fully on every issue. But certainly we (as a society) could stop settling for second best because “we’ll never agree fully anyway”.
Young ladies: What we’re looking for in a husband is not some “cute guy” that is “ripped” and witty. Those are hardly things that qualify someone for the duties of marriage. And the “cute” face will get old, the “ripped” figure won’t stay that way forever, and the wit will become very irksome. We can’t just go for any guy that shows interest. There has to be some harmony of spirit; a Christian unity.
There are qualifying characteristics to look for in a guy before marriage is considered.
- Is he actively pursuing his walk with the Lord or is he content to say he’s a Christian, but not take his position as such seriously?
- Is he a gentleman? No, not one of those overly refined, flowery speech sort, but rather the kind that will guard not only your heart, but those of the other young ladies he has contact with.
- Does he know where he is going? Does he have purpose in life? Many think they are ready for marriage, but the only thing they have by way of a long term goal is getting a good paying job. There’s more to life than having money and learning to jog on together after the initial excitement of getting married wears off.
- Does he have solid beliefs? Is he standing firmly on the word of God in the face of opposition? Most importantly, is he living out those beliefs? Add to that: Are you in agreement with him? Can you trust him to the point where if a matter arises that you disagree on, you can defer to him, and trust him to make a decision on it whether you think he’s right or wrong? Do you share the same beliefs/thoughts/convictions, enough that you can trust him to make right choices on any subject, knowing he will do his utmost to bring glory to God through it?
- Does he have the same goal in life as you? One can’t marry a person having different vocations/callings in life and expect for the marriage to not suffer as a result.
Young men: You are looking for more in a wife than a pretty face, fine figure, and witty tongue. One day that pretty face will wrinkle, the fine figure will sag, and the witty tongue will get (very) tiresome. This is something I see happen a lot. Guys often will overlook a gem of a girl who isn’t a “raving beauty” and marry a “raving beauty” who is shallow and a flirt. Guys, I know you’re driven by sight more than girls are, but please don’t pass over the dull looking treasure for the shiny bit of trash flashing at you.
Granted, there are beautiful girls, inside and out. But there are more that are only beautiful outside and that beauty doesn’t last long.
Things young men look for in a wife:
- Is she actively pursuing her relationship with Christ? Not a Christian in name only, having no idea of how to live out her faith. Is she studying to better herself and to be prepared for what the future may hold?
- Does she guard her heart? Is she careful to not capture the attention of other young men for sake of liking the attention? Is she striving to always be a lady, and being considerate of the guys around her? Controlling her tongue?
- Does she have purpose in life? Do her goals and desires go beyond that of getting married one day?
- Does she respect authority? Will she submit to you even on matters whereon you disagree?
- Will she support you in your calling?
- Is she forgiving? Women have a tendency to “throw it in your face” every time you make a mistake. Is she willing to overlook your shortcomings, and encourage you to be a better man?
- Is she content with where God has her or is she restless and always wanting something different?
A well matched couple will have harmony of thoughts, unity of mind and spirit, and an understanding between them unmatched by their acquaintances. There should be perfect kinship. A desire to glorify God together, through their vocation. If there is no unity before marriage, it’s pretty safe to say there won’t be any afterward either, or, at least, it’s not very likely.
Marriage is more than just an attraction between a man and a woman. It’s two people seeking to better serve God together in unity. To fulfill the dominion mandate and the Great Commission. Few of us know anyone with which we have such unity. But whether we know someone like that or not, we should begin now to pray for the other, and ask God to cause you to have that Christian unity when it is His time.
We would have far less broken homes if we put more prayer and due diligence into marriage before it happens.