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.
6. Lacks kindness, gentleness, and self-control, especially in his treatment of women. Men are designed to lead and protect women. Husbands are given authority over their wives for this purpose, and practically speaking, they are generally bigger, stronger, and less vulnerable to harm. Women, in contrast, tend to be more delicate, sensitive, and relational. Accordingly, in 1 Peter 3:7, men are commanded to “live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
In other words, men are to be gentle with their wives. They are to be steady, stable, and able to control their emotions in a variety of challenging situations. If a man is prone to surrendering to his emotions, either through angry outbursts, condescending or contemptuous manners of speaking, use of intimidation rather than reason, or other emotional behavior disproportionate to the triggering event, this is not a man you will be able to count on when the going gets tough. Anger and harshness in particular can be scary to women and detrimental to relationships, but the Bible calls men to be gentle, considerate, understanding, and to show honor to women. Even if you think you can handle a man’s harshness, consider this: God does not accept it. According to 1 Peter 3:7, such behavior is enough to hinder a man’s prayers, and that is something you do not want in a husband.
If you’ve never seen your boyfriend in challenging, stressful situations that require him to work with you (and others) to resolve problems, then you don’t know him well enough to marry him. And if he responds to such situations with anger, harshness, blaming, quitting, or other childish behaviors, trust me: you do not want to marry him.