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.
9. Lacks serious concern for others. If a man hasn’t shown genuine love and concern for others—being willing to help them solve their problems, recover from their wounds, and overcome their hardships—he isn’t going to show genuine love and concern for you once the honeymoon period is over. A man who loves others well listens to their story, empathizes with their struggles, identifies their needs, and takes action to help them in practical ways. He is not indifferent to the plight of others, but he takes seriously the tasks of helping others through mentoring, encouragement, provision, and protection.
It is not possible to live the Christian life without taking seriously the commands to love one another. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
People will be able to identify us as Jesus’ disciples by our love for fellow Christians! Jesus doesn’t say they will know us primarily by our love for the atheist, the poor, the feminist, the homosexual, or the Muslim. Although we are to show love to all people, many non-Christians care about those groups too. What distinguishes us as God’s children is our love for one another.
If your man is too busy with other things to love fellow Christians well by taking action to alleviate their suffering, making sure their needs are met and ensuring they know their value and worth as members of the family of God, then you do not want to marry him!
Ask him who he mentors. Ask him what actions he has taken to help other Christians. Ask him about his relationships with other Christians, and get to know those people too. Ask his friends what makes him a great friend, and ask even his enemies and ex-girlfriends to tell you what kind of a man he is. Do whatever it takes to get to know the best and worst about him, and remember that one day, when the lovey-dovey, he’s-so-hot period of your relationship has passed, his character will be what remains. If he was willing to sacrifice his own ease and comfort to love other Christians without personal gain before you married him, he will likely be willing to do the same for you for the long haul.