How important is physical beauty? Not very, according to the Bible. But let’s be honest, that’s a hard pill for a lot of us to swallow.
It’s important that you can cherish your wife, that you can look at her and see her as an incredible gift. It’s important that you can love her sacrificially (Ephesians 5:25), and treat her with respect (1 Peter 3:7). But when the road gets hard, you won’t need a “trophy” wife. You’ll want someone who can go to war with you.
Instead of looking for a 10/10 on attractiveness, look for someone with a 10/10 character. And pray that God would make you attracted to the right things (1 Samuel 16:7). Whoever you marry should become your new standard of beauty. That means no other woman will ever compare to her in your eyes, because you are training yourself and choosing to only have eyes for her. That comes from discipline, choice, and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Some of you may be crippled because there are too many options. Here’s the scoop—no one is going to be perfect. Pick a godly girl that you enjoy spending time with and ask her out.
Here are 10 things a man should look for (and a woman should be):
1. Trustworthy (1 Timothy 3:11). Is she dependable? Can you be confident she’ll do what she commits to?
2. Modest (1 Peter 3:3). Fearing God means you are more concerned about what He thinks and says than what people think or say. A woman who fears God will dress modestly rather than show extra skin to get attention from (the wrong kind of) men.
3. Peace Seeking (1 Peter 3:4). A peaceful woman is not about drama or picking fights, but about pursuing and preserving unity. In fact, the book of Proverbs says it’s better to live in a desert (Proverbs 21:19) or an attic (Proverbs 25:24) than it is to be married to someone who is argumentative.
4. Hardworking (Proverbs 31:10-31). You may have heard of a Proverbs 31 woman from the famous passage that describes several desirable traits in a woman. Did you know that at least 11 of the 21 verses in that passage talk about her diligence and hard work? Look for someone who is hardworking and responsible. Someone who gets things done when they need to be done and who uses resources wisely.
5. Compassionate (Proverbs 31:20). Does she care for those in need? If she is selfish with her time and her life, she will be a selfish wife to you and mom to your kids. A selfish single person makes for a selfish married person.
6. Respectful (Ephesians 5:33). It’s been said that where women need love, men need respect. This is displayed in the way she talks to and about others. Is she rude and demeaning? Or does she respect others by listening, valuing their ideas, and regarding them as important (Philippians 2:3).
7. Submissive to authority (1 Peter 3:1). The word ‘submit’ isn’t supposed to be a dirty word. (Side note: women, before you get upset, stay tuned for next week’s blog.) She should be submissive to authority (including government and her local church’s leadership—so should men BTW, but more on that next week).
8. Content (1 Timothy 6:6). Is she constantly unhappy and dissatisfied? Or is she able to find joy in the hard times and the waiting? You’re not looking for a woman who never gets sad or feels unsettled, and we aren’t saying to write someone off for bringing up things she’s not happy with. But if she is overall someone who is never satisfied, it would be wise for her to find contentment in Christ alone before you’re added to the picture.
9. Wise (Proverbs 31:26). A wise person makes good decisions and gives good instruction. Is she teachable and humble? If so, she is the biblical definition of wise. If she isn’t, the Bible refers to her as a fool (Proverbs 8:8-9).
10. Committed to Christ (Galatians 5:22-25). Christ should be the focus of her life. This looks like yielding to His word, being prayerful, living in community, and being committed to a body of believers. If this is there, #1-9 will be there too.
Single men, if you’re pursuing God yourself and you’re ready for marriage, find the most godly woman you know and ask her out. Single girls, if a godly man asks you out and you are open to dating, say yes. If you say no, be honest as to why. Men, be intentional. Women, be honest. If you are walking closely with Jesus and dating a girl who exemplifies the list above, wife her up already. You know everything you need to know.
And if there are areas she can grow, pray for her instead of writing her off. You’re not looking for a perfect woman, but a woman who is wholeheartedly following Jesus. Think about where she’s headed and who she’ll become, and trust God to work.
For more, check out 10 Things to Do When You Have a Crush.
Love you. In it with you.
-David Marvin and Laura Eldredge