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.
8. Poor handling of finances. A critical part of a man’s responsibility is to provide for his family financially. If he doesn’t have a useful, income-earning skill, he is not ready for marriage and children. But a man must not only earn money; he must steward it wisely. This requires wisdom to know what is important to God and what is not important. It requires knowing that everything belongs to God and has simply been entrusted to him for a time.
If he spends money frivolously or irresponsibly, he will not be able to use that money for important things like equipping his wife for effective ministry, preparing his children to be effective Christians by making sure they have a good education and great books to read, and equipping those he is mentoring to go out and make disciples. On the other hand, if he is stingy and cares more about his bank account than about equipping those around him for effective ministry, the same problems will abound. In either case, he will not have much to show for the resources with which he’s been entrusted, and he may even pressure his wife to sacrifice ministry, put the kids in daycare, and let others raise them in order to have a second income.
Before you get married, ask your man who and what he gives money to and why. Ask him how he plans to equip you to carry out your ministry, including raising the children. Ask him what he believes is worth spending money on and what isn’t. And observe the decisions he makes. If he prioritizes luxury items over ministry, or if he plans to deprive his family of all they need to thrive in life and ministry for the sake of putting his security in a huge savings account, he is probably not going to be someone you want to entrust as the head of your home.