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.
10. Unwillingness or inability to lay out a plan for your life and ministry together. A man ought to be able to communicate what he needs and desires from his wife, how he sees her fitting into his plans for life and ministry, and how he intends to equip her to achieve the important work that is before her. He must present a vision for her spiritual, emotional, relational, and physical well-being, and he must be willing and able to provide the necessary resources to make this vision a reality.
If a man hasn’t thought about how his wife fits into his life and plans, he isn’t ready for marriage. And if he has expectations of her, he must not only identify those expectations and communicate them, but he must also provide everything she needs in order to thrive in her role. Of course, there is freedom to tailor the plans to the women’s strengths and passions, but it is not enough for a man to ask a woman to join him for a lifetime without communicating his plans to make her effective as well.
Without these conversations, a woman may find that she is dragged along into whatever next adventure excites her husband, without thought or care for what she needs or how she can contribute effectively. A prepared and thoughtful husband will not allow this to happen. He will commit to prioritizing her ministry with his time, money, and decisions rather than leaving her to create (and potentially recreate) her own life and ministry without any help from him.
Marriage is hard, and the only way to do it is to commit for life! The stupidest thing a person can do, apart from rejecting Christ, is to marry a bad spouse.
How do you know if your man will make a bad spouse? Avoid the behaviors above, and wait for a man who reads great books often; demonstrates a biblical view of spiritual leadership; is willing to make enemies rather than compromise his convictions; responds humbly to constructive criticism; engages in healthy and productive disagreements; treats people with kindness, gentleness, and self-control; shares his feelings about matters of significance; stewards his finances well, without stinginess or frivolity; demonstrates genuine love and concern for other Christians; and communicates his long-term plan for life and ministry together with his wife. If you can’t find a man like this, I implore you, do not settle for a lesser man. A lifetime of regret is not worth it.