Sue Schlesman is a Christian writer, teacher, and speaker who has a passion for inspiring believers. And so, she’s put together a godly spouse checklist. But while Sue directs her advice towards single women, her checklist is a great way for all of us to evaluate our journey in growing closer to Christ. Check to see how you stack up!
If you're a single gal, you may have a mental checklist for finding a godly husband. Maybe you wrote it in your teens when you did a Bible study on dating and marriage at youth group. Maybe you've been on a lot of disappointing dates, and the "what I don't want" list has been writing itself.
When my husband was trying to get me to go out with him on a date, he asked me, "What are you looking for in a guy?"
I wasn't sure about him yet, so I answered playfully, "Tall, dark, and handsome."
Being short in stature, he responded, "How's two out of three?"
The rest is history. (Eventually, I pulled out my other list.)
The Bible says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." If you want a good guy who's following God's direction, you're going to have to be judicious and gracious. We're all on a journey to godliness; don't look for the perfect guy (he doesn't exist)-look for a guy on the path toward perfection in Christ. Look through this 10-point checklist for finding a godly spouse (or becoming a godly spouse):
Godly Spouse Checklist 1. He Has an Active, Growing Relationship with Jesus
Finding a guy that goes to church isn't easy, but finding one that's actively engaged in growing spiritually is more important. Does he study and apply the Bible to his life? Does he serve others at church and in his personal life? Does he reflect Jesus?
What you and your future husband do with Jesus and the Bible will form the centerpiece for your home. It will either be the core, out of which all decisions and priorities flow, or it will be an add-on activity. The difference between those two will guide your marriage, your parenting, your pursuits, and your future. Don't give a cute guy a pass on this one because he's good at everything else. This one is the key to everything.
"All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you" (Colossians 1:6).
Godly Spouse Checklist 2. He Has Integrity
He speaks honestly, does not deceive or manipulate, and follows through with his promises. He can be depended on to be who he says he is. He is not one guy at work and another at home. He doesn't have shameful secrets or sinful habits.
Remember, honesty differs from blatant shamelessness. Integrity doesn't mean that he lives an unfiltered life on Instagram; it means that he holds God's standard for purity and holiness wherever he is. Personal holiness is the defense against sin. Good men are good because they fear the Lord, not because they are nice guys.
"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart" (Psalm 15:1 – 2).
Godly Spouse Checklist 3. He Keeps His Ego in Check
His actions and words are characterized by kindness and humility. Instead of thinking of himself first, he is considerate of people's feelings, time, and talents. He is willing to let people go first, speak first, choose first, and feel valuable.
Meek men aren't pushovers; they are secure enough to serve others because they understand that greatness is a quality of the heart's condition. True humility involves courtesy, which is not the same as having good manners at an opportune time. But ego kills everything good around it. Remember that ego is acutely important to men; humility often comes with age and experience, but you can look for the seeds of a coachable spirit now.
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom" (Proverbs 11:2).
Godly Spouse Checklist 4. He is Respectful
You are a lady, and he is a gentleman. This is not old-fashioned; this is the answer to date rape, abuse, sexual harassment, control, and infidelity. A good man will treat you as God views you-a beautiful masterpiece made for a spiritual purpose, who's so valuable that He sent Jesus to die for you.
A good man doesn't need you to move personal boundaries for him. He won't objectify you or take advantage of you. A respectful man values a woman enough to protect her heart and her life because she's God's daughter.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all'" (Proverbs 31:28-29).
Godly Spouse Checklist 5. He Makes Wise Decisions
He is teachable, and he seeks mentors to help him grow. Although we all make poor decisions when we're young, a godly man's life is not characterized by foolishness. He should seek counsel, gather information, and pray about decisions before he makes them.
If you marry a man who acts on impulse, you will find your marriage rocked by financial insecurity, anxiety, and arguments. Spontaneity may be exciting when you're dating, but you need someone dependable and trustworthy for a husband. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy surprises; it means that surprises are planned and paid for responsibly.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).
Godly Spouse Checklist 6. He Can Admit When He’s Wrong and Ask forgiveness
If you're dating a guy who never apologizes, who lectures instead of listens, or who debates until you agree with him, you're in dangerous waters. Not confessing and forsaking sin (two steps further than apologizing) is indicative of a proud and rebellious heart. Getting married will exacerbate the issue, not solve it. A defensive or dogmatic man needs to get counseling and address his behavior immediately before the relationship goes any further.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:8-9).
Godly Spouse Checklist 7. He Works Hard
Young guys can stay busy doing a lot of things-sports, school, work, friends-but take notice of how a guy handles responsibilities. Is he diligent, thorough, ethical? Does he enjoy doing his best work?
A guy who receives an allowance, gets bailed out of debt by his parents, weasels his way out of paying for dinners, and spends freely has not yet learned the value of hard work. And if he requires an enormous amount of "down time," beware. God designed a man to love work and to be a provider. If your guy is not sowing habits of working hard and managing a full schedule now, this could mean trouble for you later. Even while a guy figures out what he wants to be in life, he should be actively working at something useful.
"The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him because his hands refuse to work" (Proverbs 22:25).
Godly Spouse Checklist 8. He Respects Family and Friends
You can learn a lot about a guy by the way he treats parents, siblings, and friends-yours and his. Is he kind, respectful, engaging, even if people are unreasonable? Does he make an effort to spend time with them? Is he comfortable and adaptable in different environments?
While not every guy is a people-person, his ability and desire for family unity is a good indication of how he will behave toward you when you're being difficult. It may also be a good indicator of how adaptable he will be to children, neighbors, and friendships in the future.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).
Godly Spouse Checklist 9. He is Fun to be with
Having fun often begins a relationship, but many people can't sustain this high without a constant flow of activities. A lifetime partnership must include happiness, laughter, and contentment, regardless of activity or wealth. You must have fun just being together, even when you're doing nothing. You must find conversation and rest easy.
Find someone who can help you create a happy environment. Much of what annoys and angers us in life is funny later; save yourself a lot of anxiety by finding humor in life's mishaps. Joy is a decisive perspective.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit" (Proverbs 15:13).
Godly Spouse Checklist 10. He Loves You Completely
This means that he supports your spiritual growth and your dreams. He wants to help you be the best you. He encourages you through your fears and inspires you to grow spiritually.
Real love is sacrificial and generous. It doesn't worry about what it's getting; it only gives. But it also doesn't idolize the object being loved. Reserve your worship for God and give grace to the guy God has for you. Just remember, the first and last points on this checklist are the key ones. They are both emotive responses to a loving God. Everything else can be learned.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another . . . honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:9-10).
Sue Schlesman is a Christian writer, teacher, and speaker. Her blogs, Bible studies, fiction, and non-fiction reach a wide audience. You can find her philosophizing about life, education, family, and Jesus at www.susanwalleyschlesman.com or email her at [email protected].
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