Note: The following post was written by my friend Laura. On this blog, I have often offered men suggestions about what to ask prospective mates. Laura’s article looks at the problem from the other side, offering women suggestions about what to look out for in a husband candidate. I’ll be posting one per day for the next 10 days.
Apart from the decision to follow Christ, marriage is the biggest decision you will ever make. It is a lifelong commitment that will impact every area of your life for as long as you both shall live. As Jesus’ disciples realized and the apostle Paul taught explicitly, for many people it is better not to marry at all (1 Corinthians 7). But for those who do marry, it must not be entered into lightly. Here are ten behaviors to avoid in men when considering committing for life.
1. Unwillingness to read great books. I put this first because of how critical it is to every other aspect of a man’s life. The reality is that our culture has gone to rubbish. Morally, intellectually, relationally, and spiritually, we are unlikely to learn much of value from those around us. In most cases, we will be harmed, not helped, from the media, from entertainment, from public schools, from our parents’ example, and even in the local church. We must look harder, dig deeper, and be more intentional than generations before us if we hope to become men and women of character, knowledge, wisdom, and excellence.
If you want to find a man worth marrying, start by finding a man who reads the Bible often and who takes it very seriously. The God of the universe, who created all things and knows how all things work, has not left us to figure it all out ourselves. He has given us an invaluable resource, and any man who does not avail himself of this resource at every opportunity for the sake of learning how to live is likely to lead you and your family astray.
Additionally, I strongly recommend you find a man who reads apologetics, economics, military history, and classical literature. Why these areas? As Wintery Knight explains here, “Evidential apologetics teaches you to become focused on truth. Free market economics teaches you how the world works. Military history teaches you gratitude and humility. You can undo the nonsense that you learned about men, women and relationships simply by learning the lessons about human nature found in the classics – Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, etc.”
If you want a man who knows and obeys the Lord, who understands and applies truth to real world issues, who will lead you well and make wise decisions for you and your children, and who will sacrifice worldly pleasure and the approval of others in order to treat you as a woman ought to be treated, he must be committed to reading great books.