So we heard from the guys last week and found out what kind of girl they are NOT looking for. I thought it was only fair to ask the girls to weigh in. Notice, I didn’t ask their parents. We parents want anyone like, oh…say… Jesus Christ to marry our daughters. But since I’ve never met anyone like that, I figured I better just go straight to the girls and find out what’s on their “wish list.” They were happy to give me a little input. (Names are kept private.)
And by the way, if you are a guy reading Visionary Womanhood, first of all, congratulations. Only a real man would have the guts to read a blog called Visionary Womanhood. Second, pass this post along, because there are some important gems in here from the girls – and they probably aren’t what you THINK they are. (You know what happens when you assume. Ahem.)
Here we go:
“I care more about a guy’s trajectory in his life. Is there fruit in his life that he has a thriving, passionate relationship with God?
Or how about:
When I say I’m looking for a “godly” man I mean a person who is seeking to love God and love others–to constantly be growing in faith and working on weaknesses in his life through the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s also the same quality I’m looking for in my best friends, a mentor, a local church, and so on…it’s not a quality that only applies to potential romantic interests.
And then there’s:
I think it is so easy for us girls to set up really high, unrealistic standards, both because we know we want a good guy and because we get messages from Church and other Christians to not settle for someone who doesn’t meet our standards. We also get messages from the world and from Hollywood that we should be waiting for the perfect guy, our perfect prince to take us off into the sunset to live happily ever after (and we’ve gotten these ever since we were little, if, like me, you watched Disney princess movies in your childhood). So, with all these messages, it’s hard to remember that we aren’t going to marry a perfect man. He will have weaknesses, he will sin, he will do things that hurt me and I will do things that hurt him. Our marriage won’t be perfect, but it will help us to grow in our sanctification. But even though we know this, sometimes it’s hard not to have unrealistic expectations.
Another young lady sent me a comprehensive list of amazing qualities she was looking for in a man. I have to admit, I wanted to weep for her. She’ll never find him. And if she does, she’d be sorely tempted to worship the ground upon which his perfect little (sweet smelling, of course) tootsies tread, which is just plain bad. But then she wrote this:
My mentor has often told me that I need to stop looking for the complete package and start looking for potential. It’s unreasonable to expect that guys in their twenties are going to be as godly or accomplished as the men we look up to (our dads, pastors, other leaders and married men, older brothers), but we still need to have assurance that they will become one of those men one day. She compares it to baking chocolate chip cookies. The older godly men are the baked chocolate chip cookies – the finished product, if you will – and the younger guys are the flour, the sugar, the chocolate chips and as long as they have the right mix of ingredients, there’s potential.
It sounds like someone wants the specifics, the to-do’s, the book “How to be a Godly Man for Dummies,”— The Checklist:
- Loves Jesus (check)
- Takes leadership (check)
- Plays guitar (check)
- Athletic (check)
- Calvinist (check)
- Wants lots of kids (check)
- Makes enough money so I can stay home and home-school the kids (check)
- Dreamy (check, check!)
- Wants to be a pastor (No go. He’s a “vocation-as-ministry” type guy.)
I kid. Checklists like that only lead to frustration for all involved if We-The-Girls are overly precise on a “Godly-man” list. I understand the frustration of getting vague responses. I myself want specifics, to-do’s, “Biblical Womanhood for Dummies,”— a checklist. I’m hoping to get across, both to myself and men, that maybe we just can’t be as specific as we’d like with these lists.
There are literally billions of men in this world. For all men who are following Christ, the word “godly” must be broad enough to live out in the myriad of circumstances in which they live out the gospel. And did I mention that not all of these men are married? “Godly” must be broad enough…
- For Christian unmarried men
- For Christian men whose parents pick their spouse.
- For Christian widowers
- For Christian men in war camps, without their families
- For Christian men who (fill in your life circumstances including your ethnicity, education, family background, job goals, failures, relationship status, personality, etc.)
Godly must be big enough for all of that. All that being said, I do have thoughts on what the word Godly in Godly man means.
When I think of Godly I think of God-like. God calls His creation, both men and women, to be like God.
- The good news: Imago-dei; we’re (already) made in His image!
- The bad news: Sin; we’re grotesquely distorted from His image.
- More good news: Enter Jesus. Truly God, truly man. God-man. Godly man.
To be a Godly man, be like Jesus, because Jesus was everything that God made man to be, and he fulfilled every requirement that God commands of men. How to sum up God’s commands? Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And love others as you want to be loved.
And lest we get all clangy with a list of good deeds, here’s a reminder of:
What Love Is:
Patient. Kind. Rejoices with the truth. Bears all things. Hopes all things. Endures all.
And What Love Isn’t:
Envious, Boastful, Arrogant, Rude, Irritable, Resentful, rejoicing in Wrongdoings.
There is a lot of true teaching in the church about how men should protect, provide for, and lead their wives and families. But if we are sticking strictly to the question, “What is a Godly man?” the answer needs to be broader than the man who has a wife, broader than the man who has children. My hope is that by looking for a Godly man who keeps the commands to love God and love others, it will mean that those truths are reaching into all corners of his life right now, and those truths will grow and reach into all corners of his life if he gets married and has children.
There are a lot of truths left out on this list that are important to ANY Christian, male or female. However, loving God and others leads to so many other truths that I decided that was a good place to stop (start?!). When I see these characteristics in men, I would say they are Godly.
One quick caveat:
I hear that We-The-Girls are a little more sentimental than guys, a little more emotional, a little more on the feelings side. If I was a guy, I might be prone to call this emotional mush.
I want to affirm Godly men that in loving God and others they do not in any way have to produce some soft, female, emotional feeling. This love (because it’s God’s love!) is steely; it is strength building; it is pain-staking as you lay down your life daily for others; it is perseverance testing and character revealing, and it is Jesus-like. Which is God-like. I guess you could say, Godly.
So we started with a rubbish checklist. Here’s one for a Godly man.
- Loves God
- Loves others
- Two is not a list. I will sub-point Love.
- Rejoices with the truth
- Bears all things
- Hopes all things
- Endures all things
And then when you can’t live up to the standards on that checklist, (hint: no-one can) humbly rejoice that it is not red-ink, but red-blood, that is etched across the page.
And then when some girl you “kinda like” screws up [perhaps she expects you to be a spiritual giant in order to consider you worthy of a relationship] humbly forgive her. Like God. And perhaps, since love is patient and bears all things, you can still pursue her. And take notice that it is the same red blood etched across her checklist.
I think this is good enough to share with some boys I know…