When you were young, what were you looking for in a husband? I hear ladies in their early twenties constantly getting into conversations with friends about what they want in husbands. And some of the things the girls and their friends come up with are quite funny. They have to be good looking. They have to be musical. They have to be tall. They have to have a sense of humour.
But really all these is beside the point, because after being married for a while now, I have come to the conclusion that you really only need few things in a husband to make him husband material. Everything else is extra, and aren’t really the criteria for finding a good husband. And what are those four things?
- He must love God and be totally and utterly committed to Him.
When someone loves God, he’ll love you as his wife and be committed to doing God’s Will regardless of how he feels. In addition, he would make the marriage a priority knowing that it was instituted by God and not man. And when you do have disagreements (which you will), you know that he’ll take those disagreements to God. Ironically, I believe it is more important to marry someone who loves God than to marry someone who loves you (though obviously you want both). If you marry someone who loves you, but doesn’t love God, then when fights happen or struggles come and that feeling of love goes, he may go, too. Marry someone who loves God, and the commitment to the marriage will be rock solid.
- You must be able to talk about God with him and pray with him.
It isn’t enough to love God; that love has to evidence itself in your ability to talk about God as a couple and to pray as a couple. If you can bring God into conversation naturally, then God is an important part of both of your lives, and you’ll be okay. If he goes to church but never really talks to God or about God, then you have to wonder if that commitment to God is true. You must verify his commitment to God before taking the plunge because he’ll only amplify in marriage what he did as a single man.
- You must bring out the best in each other.
Lots of people marry someone because they are in awe of them. It’s almost a case of idol worship. He is so smashingly handsome. He is so talented. He is so smart. He is so rich. He is so humorous. It is not enough to be enthralled by a man, is he also enthralled by you?
For a marriage to work, you both need to be able to encourage each other in the gifts that God has given you. You both need to be able to recognize each other’s temperaments, strengths, gifts, and dreams, and encourage each other to go for it! Marriage should not be about one person completely serving the other at the expense of him or herself. Please note that it is not a slave-master relationship. It should be mutually beneficial. It should be about you both becoming who God made you to be.
Lots of ladies fall into the trap of putting a guy up on a pedestal and marrying him because “I’m just so amazed that someone so wonderful could be interested in little ‘ole me!”. But that’s not a recipe for a good marriage. That’s a recipe for a lonely and tortuous marriage.
If he soaks up all your adoration, but doesn’t give anything back; or if he is the only one who talks and doesn’t ask for your opinion on issues that concerns both of you, or if he appreciates you for what you can do for him, but never listens to what you want or think; then you’re going to end up feeling alone. It’s not that the marriage won’t last but most importantly, it won’t be fulfilling.
You need to be able to share what God is doing in your heart, and not just support what God is doing in his. It needs to be a marriage on equal footing.
And that applies the other way, too. You really don’t want to marry someone who is in awe of you, but doesn’t want to talk about what he wants in life, or what he thinks about something. It has to be a true uniting of two souls, not one person being dependent on the other.
God wants us to support each other and bring out the best in each other. If you have to hide your best when you’re with a guy, then he’s not for you.
- He must be Motivated/Have Initiative
He doesn’t have to have a good job even though he must have a job. He doesn’t have to have a good career. He doesn’t even have to be brilliant. Because in the end, what will matter far more than intelligence or educational credentials, is whether or not he is a motivated individual who takes initiative. If he is motivated, he will always find a job or look for a way to provide. If he is not, it doesn’t matter how much education he has, he could easily become lazy and shirk his responsibilities.
You don’t want to marry someone lazy. Someone who is lazy won’t get the promotions at work, and won’t look for a better job when the family needs him to. He won’t fix up the house. He won’t get involved with the kids. He’ll wait to be waited on. He won’t volunteer in Church. He won’t have an active life.
Someone, on the other hand, who has always looked for a way to be involved, and who has pursued job opportunities, is someone who will be a good provider. If he was helping out at summer camp or in Sunday School or on praise team when he was 17, instead of sitting around at home playing video games, that’s a good sign. If he helped his dad or mum run errands as a young adult, that’s a good sign. If he is generous to people including his family, that’s a good sign. If he worked really hard to learn some sort of skill when he didn’t need to (like music, or programming, or IT skills), that’s a good sign. If he is visionary and a go-getter, that’s a good sign.
That’s it. Marry someone who loves God that you can talk to about God. Marry someone who brings out the best in you, while you do the same for him. And marry someone who has initiative. Do that, and your marriage will likely be fine (as long as you put God first, too, and are motivated as well!).
All the rest doesn’t really matter. Attraction isn’t even as important, because attraction grows out of friendship, and those who marry just for attraction don’t tend to last long. Being good looking isn’t as important. These are the things that ultimately last.
Always work on your friendship first and please look well before you leap. If there are issues that give you cause for concern while dating, please don’t ignore them. They must be addressed and resolved. Marriage is not an automatic key to resolutions of key issues. Rather, it would blow it into bigger proportions. Marriage does not change a man, rather amplifies his strengths or weaknesses depending on how his daily actions, habits and attitude inform his world view.
To your marital success.