What are Christian men looking for in a woman?

Here’s a Bible verse that explains the number one thing that men are looking for from a potential wife.

Ephesians 5:21-33:

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26 to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—

30 for we are members of his body.

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The Bible sometimes sets out rules and goals for expected behaviors, which become moral obligations for anyone for follows Christ. It is up to us to convince ourselves through study that the Bible has authority to speak to us. And it is also up to us to decide the most effective way to achieve the goals that the Bible sets out. This post proposes some tips for women who want to learn how to respect men, based on my experiences of what makes me feel respected as a man. I think this is beneficial for single women, as well, because it allows them to arouse the interest of a man by performing good actions.

Things that women can do to make men feel respected

Here are some things that signal “respect” to me.

1. Listen

The first thing that really works is listening. I really feel respected when a woman listens to me explain my thoughts and feelings. This is especially true when I am talking about my work and my work day. When it comes to my work, I feel respected when a woman listens to me explain what I am doing at work. The more she understands software engineering (what I do for money), the more supported I will feel. I like it when a woman is nearby when I am working, and asking about my progress. I know Dr. Craig also talks to his wife about his work as well. I feel a lot better making sacrifices (studying hard things, working weekends, volunteering at work) when those sacrifices are understood, encouraged and supported. That’s why I think that women need take care to have a broad understanding of the way the world works, and never drop out of quantitative subjects like math, science, engineering and technology. The more you know about what a man is talking about, the better. Knowing more about politics, economics, science, etc. is always a good thing for women. I think that women definitely need to work full time for at least a couple of years to develop a sympathetic understanding of what men do in an office in order to provide for a family.

2. Plan

Another area that is important to talk about is my plan. I like it when I can tell a woman the specific experiences that I had that cause me to have the plan that I have. For example, my struggles getting apologetics into the churches that I’ve attended have really soured me on church leaders. Another thing I like to talk about are the Christian scholars who are my role models, and how I try to emulate them, and I want my children to emulate them, too. One lady I was speaking to has been studying areas that I care about on her own through books, lectures and debates and then going out into the world and engaging with the people around her. Sometimes just a few people, and sometimes with large groups. Recently she told me that she would like to start a group in her church to study useful books with them. This made me feel very respected. My goals matter to her, and she is trying to help with them on her own initiative, and with her own strategies. Note that women who want to respect men may find that it is useful to learn certain skills in order to be more effective at helping men with their plans. For example, she might study science apologetics and then engage her co-workers and friends with scientific arguments for Christian theism. She should find out what areas matter to him with respect to serving God and then come alongside him and help him. I have a homeschooling mom friend who is busy doing a degree in nursing, which is a very useful skill set to have. Her children are able to see her struggling with hard subjects like chemistry, and that is good for them to see. It’s valuable to a man to have a wife who has practical skills and who can shepherd the children through school and into careers. This same lady is reading Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics, as well.

3. Roles

A final area that is important is my roles as a man. According to the Bible, men are supposed to be the main provider for their families. So, I made the decision early in my life to prefer work to academics – so I have actually been earning money since the time I was 12 years old. My grades were As (and some Bs), but I was always working part-time, and in the summers. The money I earned went straight into investments, so that I would be able to afford two degrees in computer science (BS and MS) and have a nest egg saved for marriage. I had $9,000 before undergraduate school and $16,000 after, with no debts and a current model year used car. I chose computer science over English literature, because I knew that computer science was a more reliable way to earn a living. Marriages run more smoothly when money isn’t a concern, so I did these things in order to make sure that the money to run the marriage would be there.

I think that women should prefer men who take the provider obligation seriously. I feel very respected when a woman takes the time to ask me about my education, research, work history, and investments. Our culture today doesn’t value men taking their provider roles seriously. Instead, many women prefer attractive, entertaining men over men who can provide. I see a lot of Christian women going after men who don’t have the ability to finance a marriage. That is disrespectful of the provider role, and I believe it stems from the desire to not acknowledge male leadership. I believe that some women (ones who struggle with trust issues) prefer men who don’t earn a lot of money, so that the man will not have the authority in the home that comes from the provider role. But when a woman chooses a man with an inadequate education and resume, it also makes it much harder for her to respect him, which is what a man needs a woman to do.

To respect a man acting as a provider also requires voting for policies that support a man’s ability to work (e.g. – less regulation on business, lower corporate taxes) to keep what he earns (lower income tax, lower inflation) and to spend it the way he sees fit (privatization of health care, education, etc.) – and these issues need to be studied, not checked off on a checklist as “we agree”. Studying economics and politics in depth, and being political active, are ways for women to respect men in their provider role by promoting policies that help him to perform that provider role. Women should not be supporting policies that promote the redistribution of wealth via taxes. Women should not vote to reward irresponsibility and dependence, either. It is disrespectful to the man’s provider role to vote for leftist fiscal policy. If you want big government, then you get men who can’t afford to marry. Women need to vote for laws and policies that create more of the hard-working, high-earning men they want to marry.

The provider role is not the only role a man plays, he also has to be experienced at leading others on moral and spiritual issues. In order to evaluate a man’s ability in these areas, women must study these exact same issues so that they are able to prefer evaluate a man’s ability in these areas. Christianity is not a checkbox. Bible reading and church attendance alone do not train a man to engage a secular culture on moral and spiritual issues. Bible reading and church attendance alone do not enable a man to intelligently apply the Bible to areas like economics and foreign policy, either. Yet economics and foreign policy issues do affect families (e.g. Obamacare or border security) , and that’s why men need to be tested to see if they know those things. Marriage requires certain behaviors from men, and those behaviors require knowledge and experience. It’s just like picking a man for a job in a workplace. In order to pick well, you need to know what the job is and what it requires.

5 thoughts on “What are Christian men looking for in a woman?”

  1. “When it comes to my work, I feel respected when a woman listens to me explain what I am doing at work.” This is a really good point, and it also places the burden onto the husband to open up to his wife about his work, apologetics, Christian ministries, etc. Some of us men, of an older generation particularly, are woefully inadequate in sharing these things with our wives. It is a horrible sin that we commit when we do this, because it cuts off any chance our wives have to share in our grand quests. To the “keep it to ourselves” men, like myself, let’s repent of this selfishness and allow our wives to enjoy and flourish in the role that God has ordained for them.

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  2. Just a question if I may, have you ever considered other strategies for evangelizing the modern churches? Whilst I agree apologetics is a must in terms any Christian for spiritual growth, maybe a more gentle way of entering people into growing into the faith is required.
    As a Catholic who is devoted to the Rosary, I’m looking into the Ecumenical Miracle Rosary and to see if that may help people and churches grow in their faith. The main difference between this rosary and the original Rosary is that it primarily focuses on the miracles on Jesus. No mention of Mary is in the EMR out of respect to the Reformation Churches.

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  3. Yeah, but the issue is a lot of young girls (especially if you were not blessed with great looks) cannot find a man who meets these criteria. What is a young woman with no one around who fits these criteria supposed to do? Never marry?

    In an age when many women arrive of age to find the majority of men unemployed or unemployable (thank you laws against ex-felons!). If they are gonna marry, they are gonna have to compromise on what he can do for them.

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  4. WK,

    This is another fine post. You make good points that most Christian men share in terms of potential or actual wives.

    I do think you hit on an important point about being a provider.

    “Our culture today doesn’t value men taking their provider roles seriously. Instead, many women prefer attractive, entertaining men over men who can provide. I see a lot of Christian women going after men who don’t have the ability to finance a marriage. That is disrespectful of the provider role, and I believe it stems from the desire to not acknowledge male leadership. I believe that some women (ones who struggle with trust issues) prefer men who don’t earn a lot of money, so that the man will not have the authority in the home that comes from the provider role. But when a woman chooses a man with an inadequate education and resume, it also makes it much harder for her to respect him, which is what a man needs a woman to do”

    I believe the underlying problem here starts with our culture that encourages women to be their own providers. If a woman’s job can provide her the necessities, she will look for qualities in a man other than his ability to provide. This begins the cycle you describe in your words above.

    This also answers Wonderlust’s dilemma as well. With young women being more career-minded, these same young women compete with each other for the most attractive men. Others have made this point in more detail, but this cycle destroys assortive mating. Simply put, assortive mating means a 10 marries a 10, a 9 marries a 9, and so on.

    While women who are 10s usually know their value and choose men accordingly, men who are 10s will be happy to bed many women of all varieties. However, these non-10 women who sleep with 10-level men will often think that they are 10s because a man who is a 10 desired them. This entire cycle distorts their view of their own value in terms of marriage.

    These women shoot too high for husbands and usually fail to land the man that is above their level. Not only is this a problem for these women, but this affects the entire system. Women’s sexuality is so different than men’s, but our society tries to treat it the same.

    In my mind, it all comes back to one thing – women working in environments that are naturally male-dominated. This gives women money (now they don’t need a provider during their peak marriage years of their 20s) and it puts them daily around men (their bosses and superiors) who are older, richer, and confident distorting their choices.

    It might be a cliche, but working women usually spend their 20s pursuing either good-looking men with poor provider prospects or engaging in workplace romances with their male bosses. This leads to extended years where women spend their 20s looking for the perfect prince that they will rarely find.

    Young providers like WK describes look like a lesser choice compared to the other men these working women see. Later, these same women, desperate at hitting their 30s without a mate, will go after a solid guy who they never would have acknowledged in their 20s. This is the problem Wonderlust is pointing out since these same men might have previously settled for a less attractive woman of their same level.

    The bigger problem is that this genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Women see work as a way to broaden and improve their options even if it usually does the opposite.

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  5. Good post but still have issues:

    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This is out of context in this quote, it is referencing the section on churches before it and not marriage.

    “I think that women should prefer men who take the provider obligation seriously.”

    And women think men should prefer women who strong and independant. But it doesn’t work that way.

    The government (through handouts or creation of worthless government jobs) already provide the basics for women. They don’t care about boring providers in first world countries.

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