Last Sunday, Pastor Mike Miller gave the congregation of Kenner (LA) First Baptist Alistair Begg’s 7 things a young woman should look for in a husband.
She should hold out for someone who:
–fears God. You can tell this by listening to him pray.
–has moral character. Does he respect you and have high standards?
–honors his parents.
–forgives easily .
–has biblical priorities.
–is willing to lead or follow, sets aside his own rights, gives leadership to the home. (I’m a mite fuzzy on this one, but those are the notes I wrote down verbatim. The fact that my hearing is terrible may mean I missed something here.)
All right. Good list. Not a thing wrong with it. However….
I went on Facebook and asked my “friends” what they would add to the list. Among the 20 or more suggestions–mostly serious, I think, but you never know–were trust, patience, loves children, able to clean fish, a good mix with the wife re: spontaneity versus orderliness, good listener, and able to cook.
Here are five more, rounding out Dr. Begg’s list to an even twelve, which is as biblical a number as seven.
–Do not marry until you find the person you cannot live without.
I first heard this from Charlotte’s Bob Inman who said his uncle told him that years ago. Bob said, “In time, I found myself attracted to first one young woman and then another, but when I gave them this test, I realized I could live without them. Then, I met my wife–and bingo, I knew she was the one I could not live without!”
–Require a sense of humor in the man you marry, girls.
Now, it’s possible to overdo this and be matched up with a guy who laughs at everything and holds nothing sacred. Don’t do that. You’re looking for someone who knows what is important and what is fleeting, what to take dead seriously and what to scoff at and slough off.
Beware of the man whose laughter comes at the expense of others. Such a person is insecure and loves only himself. Run in the other direction as fast as you can.
–Look carefully to see if he is a good worker who takes his responsibility seriously.
My dad was about 19 when he began coming around the Kilgore household asking to “court” 15-year-old Lois. (They would marry in two years, and log nearly 74 years before Pop went to Heaven.) Carl McKeever won over my grandfather Virge Kilgore by accomplishing something no other fellow had ever done: he kept up with Grandpa in the field. Dad was as hard a worker as anyone Grandpa had ever met, and he rightly decided that this spoke volumes about the young man.
Can he keep a job? Does he work hard at it, regardless of what it pays? Or does he look for excuses to cut corners, miss workdays, and shirk responsibilities?
–Is he responsible in finances?
Jesus said, “If you have not been faithful in the use of ‘unrighteous mammon” (the KJV calls it “filthy lucre” and the HCSB “unrighteous money”), who will entrust true riches to you?” (Luke 16:11)
“How are you going to live?” the young woman’s father asks. She replies dreamily, “We’ll live on love.”
Oh yeah. I’d like to see that.
A month into that marriage, she’s calling home, asking mom to see if she can finagle money from dad to pay the rent or buy groceries.
How a person earns/spends/saves/values money says a world about his values and inner strength. Someone has said the mark of a mature person is the ability to hold money in your pocket without feeling a need to spend it.
–Is he stable and unflappable? Does he make you feel secure? Or does the least thing excite him and unsettle him? Pay attention.
That’s five, but honestly, I can think of a dozen more and no doubt you can too. For instance, assuming her parents are normal, healthy adults with good mental health, no young woman should marry someone without the strong approval of her parents. They will be able to see things in him she cannot.
It’s not for nothing they say “love is blind.” It often is.
The time to decide on the kind of man you’re going to marry, young woman, is now–before you have met him and before you have lost your mind over him.
Decide now, and then do one more thing.
Never date someone who shows no indication of being a strong candidate for this list. My pastor, Mike Miller, warns against the idea of dating an unbelieving boy in order to lead him to the Lord and thus make him a more suitable candidate for marriage. Mike says, “Dating is not an evangelistic tool!”
One of the best stories I’ve ever heard came from a young woman in one of Mike’s former churches. She had grown weary of the type of self-seeking, pleasure-mad men who were always asking her out. So she did something remarkable.
She bought a pair of blue jeans and draped them across a chair in her bedroom. Each night she prayed, “Dear Lord, please fill these jeans with a man of God.”
Her dates, she told Pastor Mike, became interviews for the most part as she searched for a man who lived up to her expectations and prayers. To no one’s surprise, she had lots of one-time dates.
In time, she met the young man, they were married, and have two children. Mike told us, “That husband is now the associate pastor of that church.”
“Incidentally,” he said, “he’s 6 feet 5 inches and perfectly fits those jeans!”
Hold out for the best, young lady. Keep yourself close to the Lord and ask Him to send the right person. Learn to turn away from the wrong persons because there are plenty of them on the prowl.
Do not trust chemistry. Do not let yourself be the victim of your feelings. It’s possible to “feel love” for someone and it to be all wrong. Learn to walk away from a relationship when everything inside you craves it. Want God’s will above all else.
Learn to wait upon the Lord. He does not always answer all prayers by sundown. Some take longer. God may be growing and maturing that young man at the moment and he’s not ready for you yet. Trust the Lord in this.
Finally, an old joke.
When she went to the mission field as a single, the zealous young woman quoted St. Paul who said, “I would not have you ignorant brethren.”
Years later, she was quoting the Lord: “If any man would come after me, let him.”
Laugh, but do not imitate her!
If you don’t expect and ask for the best for yourself, you don’t even give a man a chance to believe you are worth it.
Sitting around the Thanksgiving table, I looked at the family gathered there: my son Neil, his wife Julie, and their 3 children; Julie’s parents Ray and Betty, her brother Mike and his son Sonny, her nephew Jason and his wife Brina; and my wife Margaret and me. Every counter space was laden with food, all of it as good as anything you could ever order in the finest restaurant. And I thought of one more thing my grandchildren should look for in a spouse: make sure he/she comes from a family that enjoys each other’s fellowship over a good meal. It’s one more clue as to the solidness of the person themselves and what your children will have to look forward to.
Good stuff! I’m going to forward it to all my kids.