What Should You Look for in a Mate?
The following is a small portion of a three-part radio broadcast series produced by the ministry of Family Life Today which aired August 8-10, 2007. Pastor Alistair Begg was speaking to singles on the subject, “How Do You Find a Mate.”
In his talk, Alistair gave 6 key things he believes a woman should look for in a husband and 6 key things a man should look for in a wife. Afterward, the host Dennis Rainey added his 6 key things each should look for in a spouse (we provide a web site link at the end of this article so you can read them as well).
We will provide for you a portion of what Alistair said. You’d need to either read the transcripts or listen to the broadcast to find out the rest — which we HIGHLY recommend. It’s humorous and helpful! You might even want to purchase a CD to pass along to others who could benefit from this information. (We’ll provide a web site link after this preview.) For now, the question is:
WHAT SHOULD A WOMAN LOOK FOR IN A HUSBAND?
1. The man should be committed to growing in his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not take on a fellow as a discipleship project. Don’t take on a husband who has merely mastered Bible trivia. Look for a husband who is serious about growing in grace and in his knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine that he is going to be, in part, your shepherd and your guide; that he is going to be the spiritual leader of your home; that he is going to be the nurturer of your children together.
2. A husband should be an individual of obvious integrity. If you find him in an employee/employer situation fudging the issue in his sales calls, telling somebody that he can get the product to them in two weeks when he comes afterwards and tells you that actually he knew that he couldn’t get it there for four weeks, but he said that because he didn’t want to lose the sale — on the day he tells you that, you need to have a long, serious conversation with him. And if he seeks to under-gird his deceptiveness with argumentation, you should probably kiss him goodbye. You need a husband who is honest to the core, to a fault.
3. Look for a husband who is able to lead boldly. Look for the kind of man who can think for himself, who can weigh options, and who can make good decisions. A girl should never settle for leadership that is selfish, bombastic, and domineering. The leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ, as espoused by the Apostles, is a leadership that is marked by an attitude of servanthood, an attitude that submits to the leadership of others.
The flip side of it, is that a young woman should be more than a little concerned if the fellow that she’s dating has to check with his mother all the time — “I need to phone my mom about that,” and all he’s trying to decide is where he should buy the large or the medium t-shirt — you’ve got a problem there.
4. Look for a husband who displays the ability to love sacrificially. For example, watch, at the end of an evening with friends, to see if this character is quick to organize and spearhead the cleanup, or whether he waits for everybody else to clean up. Observe the way he relates to children and to strangers. See if he possesses a willingness to hold doors for passersby with full arms. Watch his attitude to waitresses and to other people who are involved in serving the public.
5. A husband should be able to laugh heartily. Humor is a vital element in preventing marital failure. The ability to laugh doesn’t mean that he’s the class clown or even a joke-teller. In fact, he may be hopeless at telling jokes. That may be the funniest part about him. But it is important that he likes to laugh, and a key trait to look for is his willingness to laugh at himself. If he takes himself too seriously, look out.
6. A husband should model genuine humility. Simply put, a good husband shouldn’t be stuck on himself. Genuine humility keeps its focus on others. And if you find yourself in the company of somebody who cannot be an understudy, who can’t sit in the second chair, who has always got to be the theme of the story, the joke of the party, the success of the event, I want to suggest to you, girls, that you might want to take a long, hard look at whether you’re in the company of the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.
WHAT SHOULD A MAN LOOK FOR IN A WIFE:
1. A good wife must have a personal faith and trust in the Lord Jesus. Don’t enter into an intimate relationship where one person is a Christian and the other is not. The Bible is clear —don’t get unequally yoked.
2. Look for a wife who possesses beauty that is deeper than the skin. It is less important to find a woman whose beauty comes from time spent in front of a beauty parlor than from time spent in the presence of the Lord Jesus.
3. Look for a wife who is an initiative-taker with an attitude of submission. This simply parallels what we said previously about a man being a sacrificial leader. Any wise fellow is looking for a woman with ideas, abilities, hopes, plans, gifts, dreams, the whole panorama of abilities that she brings to marriage, because in entering into marriage in more areas than we are prepared to admit, we, as the husbands, will be dependent upon their knowledge, upon their insight, upon their courage, upon their faith, upon their expertise.
There will seldom be a day, as a man, when we do not have occasion to depend on multiple levels upon the wisdom, insight, initiative, grace, courage, faithfulness, integrity, skill, giftedness, of our wives.
4. A wife should build her husband’s confidence. Trustworthiness stems from character. A woman’s intrinsic qualities are revealed by her actions.
5. Look for a wife who displays kindness that touches others. Women don’t have the exclusive ownership of the characteristic of kindness, but often they do a much better job in expressing compassion than most men. If you think about it, women that have marked our lives have often marked our thinking on account of their tenderness.
6. A wife, like a husband, should have a sense of humor that braves adversity. The ability to laugh will get couples through more than a few rough spots.
To read the transcripts or listen to the entire broadcast (all 3 of them, if you’d like)
or order the CD for the series
please click on the FamilyLife.com link below:
• FINDING YOUR FUTURE MATE
(series includes: “How Do You Find a Mate?”
“Instructions to Women” “Instructions to Men”)
— ALSO —
Dennis Rainey’s List:
And then another article that relates to this topic, which you might find interesting, is written by Andrew Hess, and is found on the Boundless.org web site:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.