The standard is already set- that as a believing lady, the suitor I seek must be a believer in Christ Jesus. God set a standard for His children by instructing them not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), and this is for their own good since such partners will be like thorns in their sides (Numbers 33:55). We can, from this point, talk about the qualities I look for in a man.
Whenever I think of my desired qualities in a man, I always ask myself one of the toughest yet sobering questions- Do I, as a believer in Christ Jesus, also possess these qualities? One may argue that queens deserve kings and vice-versa, right? Not so when grace sings the melody! Thomas Kempis once said, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
Therefore, I find it necessary to manage my expectations by viewing my list from the foot of the cross. A godly suitor is a gracious gift from God, one that no one can ever boast about earning. Christ, our glorious groom, loves us unconditionally! Even with our bad attitudes and behavior.
God owes no child of His a godly suitor just because they have been faithful, sexually pure, mature- you name it (Romans 11:35)! However, just like He delights in giving His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11; James 1:7), one of his delights includes graciously giving his daughter a godly man!
That said, below are attributes I graciously look for in a man as my suitor.
Lover of God
Nothing is as attractive as a man who truly loves God and is yielded to Him! This is a man who understands His spiritual poverty and acknowledges His daily and desperate need for His Saviour (Matthew 5:3,6). To such a man, being born again is not just a name tag but a lifestyle (Matthew 7:15-20)! He lives out his faith by demonstrating His gratitude for God’s grace through his love for and pursuit of holiness (Matthew 5:4). He seeks to obey and please His audience of one- God (Micah 6:8). He desires to grow and be better to please God. Despite his failures and weaknesses, he continues to pursue depth in His communion with God through prayer and His word to keep his gaze fixed on His Saviour’s wonderful face (Hebrews 12:3). Of this, I am convinced that if He truly loves God, then He shall genuinely love me. But if he turns his heart away from loving God, then he shall surely turn his heart away from loving me too!
Man of Conviction
He esteems God’s word above all else and desperately seeks God for direction. He leans not on his understanding or ego (Proverbs 3:5-6). He is not impulsive but has learned and continues to learn to refrain from making moves unless the Lord speaks. To this man, what God says is what carries the day no matter how bleak the circumstances are (Psalm 1:1-3). He is comforted by the safety that is promised to those who remain in God’s will (Psalm 1:6).
God knows the depth of my depravity. Despite my countless mistakes, He continues to lavish me with His love, clothing me with robes of righteousness (1 John 1:9). He never grows weary of giving me countless second chances on account of the cross (Isaiah 42:3). Likewise, I pray for a man who despite knowing my mistakes (both past and present) will be so gracious as to never use them against me and that instead, he will be to me like what a soothing balm is to a wound, loving me and reminding me of my true identity in Christ (Ephesians 4:32; Psalms 34:18).
An arrogant man is such a turn-off! A man who is humble enough to submit to the accountability of a band of brothers, ready to be taught and to listen is wise. Who wouldn’t want a wise man? Such a man seeks godly counsel being intent on heeding to the counsel shared for he knows that safety dwells in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 24:6). He also sets this as his strategy that he may not be devoured by the enemy as a loner and end up like the man to be pitied, who when he falls has no one to lift him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Kind and Considerate
I find a man who is gentle both with his words and actions to be so attractive (Colossians 3:19)! I have met men who take time to mull over their words in their minds (you can see them pausing to think before responding) to say what is kind (Phil 2:3-4) and not blurt out whatever they feel like saying. They first consider others and how their words will affect those people- a demonstration of laying oneself down for others (John 15:13). Such a man has cultivated the habit of putting himself in others’ shoes. He loves people! As C.S Lewis once said, “true humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
He considers being the head as an honor and a privilege. He is humbled by it. He seeks out his lady’s input with a genuine interest in having her as a team player. To him, they are a team, and each party’s input counts (Amos 3:3)! His leadership is not dictatorially wired by machismo. This respect is also demonstrated through respectful words and actions with a clear understanding that the two parties are adults mirroring God’s image and thus, by this are both worthy of that level of respect (Genesis 1:27)!
A lazy man is a turn off (Proverbs 6:6), but a hardworking one is an asset. A hardworking man’s family shall never go to bed hungry because such a man shall not rest until his family’s needs are met (Proverbs 12:11)! A hardworking man considers work as a God-given privilege (Genesis 2:15) and providing for his family as an honor. To him, all work done in God’s will is sacred no matter one’s vocation. Thus, he grabs the opportunities that come his way to share Jesus Christ while also striving to mirror him by working excellently (Colossians 3:23). This man does not eat the bread of idleness but seeks to be a team player to his family by helping to add to its resources (Proverbs 10:4) – he and his lady gather together as a team (Ecclesiastes 4:9)! So, he helps to gather and not scatter!
Do these traits describe you? Yes? No? There is hope! As believers in Christ Jesus, we are all called to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:29) and as we continue to submit to His Lordship, we are changed from one level of glory to another in our likeness to Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). As we await our perfection that will take place when He comes back again, may we, despite our failures, weaknesses, and mistakes, continue to grow in His likeness as we allow Him to lead, teach and mold us as the gentle Saviour that He is! To His praise and glory!