What To Look For In A Man

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Edric is and always will be the love of my life. The other morning, I snuggled up to him in bed. He doesn’t like to be awoken prematurely, but he knew it was me. So he pulled me to himself and hugged me. “I love you,” he said and fell asleep again. I just lay there, content and calmed by the nearness of him.

In the book of Proverbs there is a verse that says a man should rejoice in the wife of his youth. But I think of it from the perspective of a woman and I rejoice in the husband of my youth. Marriage has been such an adventure with Edric, from it’s tumultuous yet romantic beginnings, growing up together, sharing ministries and passions, and now…five kids later. Sometimes, we look around the table at our children’s little faces and ask ourselves, “Do we really have five?!”

I have no regrets about marrying young because I married the right person. Single women have asked me if I could talk about this topic. So I’m going to venture back to my pre-marriage days. With the added wisdom of the present, I hope these insights will give perspective on what to look for in a man.

First, let me clarify when I use the phrase “what to look for.” I don’t ascribe to the idea that a woman should go around prowling for a man. It’s not feminine. A man may be flattered by the attention of an attractive woman but she will not be able to hold his interest forever. No matter what society does to reverse the roles of man and woman, certain truths remain. A real man wants the challenge of pursuing a woman he is interested in. I like how author John Eldredge puts it, men want a “beauty to rescue.”

So, when I say “what to look for,” it’s more about having a conscious list a woman can refer to, something to sift through the dross of suitors who do not fit the bill. But, a word of caution. This list doesn’t have to be so exhaustive that there is no man on the planet that can meet all 100 requirements. May I suggest a few things that really matter, the “non-negotiables.” Looking back, these are the things that made a positive difference in my own marriage.

Remember, this isn’t the Bible. A woman has to develop her own convictions. But I would like to think that this short list can provide a thoughtful start.

1. A God-fearing man who has a personal, growing relationship with Christ. This is number one. If a man truly loves the Lord, he will want to please him. In marriage, this translates to a man who will commit to faithfulness, a man who will be willing to change for the better. He doesn’t have to be a bible teacher or a preacher. But if he has, at his core, the desire to follow God with all of his heart, he will also take care of his wife’s heart.

Edric wasn’t teaching the bible when we got married. I could’ve compared him to my preacher/teacher father and thought, he should be like my dad. But I knew that Edric had something fundamentally important – he loved God. I knew that since the Holy Spirit was at work in his heart, he would become the man God wanted him to be and the husband I needed him to be.

Even though our marriage begun with a colossal clash in personalities, Edric became better and better over the years. He developed an even greater desire to put God at the centre of our marriage. He committed to fulfill his biblical role as leader, lover, and provider. God also gave him the patience to help me grow as a wife!

Furthermore, he had the fear of the Lord in him. So I wasn’t afraid that he would go off and cheat on me or lie to me. Even though he struggled with the same temptations any man would, I learned to put my trust in God. I prayed for him to remain faithful to me. (I still do!) By God’s grace, Edric has stayed faithful and given me no heartache in this aspect.

A lot of women crush on Edric, especially now that he is a public figure on TV. And some of them even tell me they wish they can marry someone like him. (Only in the Philippines!) Yes, he is good looking, especially to me, but what makes Edric special is Christ.

2. Hard-working and responsible. Not every man is a millionaire. But they don’t need to have a fat bank account to be marriage-material. For as long as they understand the value of hard work and their role to provide for the needs of their future family, then God will bless their efforts. Of course a woman needs to adjust her own expectations. She has to be willing to simplify her lifestyle.

When Edric and I were starting out, we hardly had anything, monetarily speaking. But we had enough to get a place to live in and to cover our expenses. (We weren’t recklessly romantic. Edric made sure he had what we needed to get started.)

We had a very simple lifestyle. It was an adjustment for me at first because I was used to having my own car, traveling, and not having to worry about budgets. Although I didn’t expect to have the same standard of living when I got married, I missed some conveniences and comforts of my single life. But I never felt like I traded that life for a substandard version. I was willing to go through anything with Edric because I loved him and trusted his leadership. I couldn’t imagine a better life without him. There was never a time when I doubted that he would take care of me. First, I knew that he loved God. And, as witness to holiness in his private life I knew there was nothing in his life to exempt him from being blessed. Second, he tried his best to be a good provider so I knew God would make sure we never went hungry.

The added bonus of not having much to begin with made Edric and I careful about our spending decisions. We couldn’t be lavish. We had to be thrifty. Edric was genetically wired to be frugal but I needed training in this area. So God used this season to mature both of us. He taught us what it meant to be a steward of his resources and to trust him for our daily bread.

3. A good set of friends. The company a man keeps is pretty defining. If a guy hangs out with fools and drunks, well, that has got to make an impact on his own value system. Proverbs 13:20 says, He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

I knew Edric’s friends. They were nice guys. They didn’t party or mess around with girls. Edric’s friends mattered to me because we would be hanging out with the same set of friends in marriage. Furthermore, I knew that these men played a big role in Edric’s life and they were an influence to him.

Up till this day, we spend time with his “barkada” and we share many common principles about marriage and raising children. And on days when Edric is hanging out with the boys, I don’t have to worry that they are going to go off and do something stupid. I have peace.

4. Parent-approved. I praise God I married into a wonderful family. Edric’s family accepted me as their daughter and sister with open arms. If Edric’s parents had disapproved of me, I wouldn’t have married him. I wouldn’t have dated him either! And if my parents had not given Edric their blessing to marry me, we wouldn’t have gotten married.

Having been privy to many of the marriage counseling cases my parents dealt with over the years, I knew that parental blessing was a key factor in the success of any marriage. Many of the couples who had marital problems began without the blessing of their parents. There are consequences for dismissing the biblical principle of obeying and honoring parents. But, on the positive side, the Bible says “it will go well” with those who listens to their parents.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12)

Both my sisters, Candy and Carolyn, are married to amazing guys. In a sense, they were “hand-picked” by my father. But I will talk about Carolyn’s husband first.

Carolyn did not really have marriage on her radar. She was busy with med school and music ministry. It was my dad who asked her to consider Joel. And it was my brother, Paul, who encouraged Joel to pursue her. Carolyn opened her heart to the idea and not too long after they were dating, God led them to marriage with the full blessing of both sets of parents. Today, they are happily married, expecting their first child, and Joel is really the perfect match for Carolyn. He brings out the best in her and vice-versa. Together they serve the Lord faithfully and have a loving, Christ-centered marriage.

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5. A man who has a compass. It’s scary to entrust your life into the hands of a man who has absolutely no idea what he wants to do with his own! We should get a clue from the animal kingdom. The female goes with the mate she feels most secure with, the one who proves that he can take care of her and their offspring.

One of the things I really admired about Edric when we were dating was he knew what he wanted. He sat me down when and talked about his 5-year, 10-year plan. Did he have everything figured out? Nope. But there was a plan and I knew where I fit into the plan. I anticipated that there would be bumps along the way but I wasn’t afraid. His compass was pointing in the right direction. I was confident that he would be able to lead me and lead our children.

Just look at him handle a map… 🙂 Doesn’t he look like knows what he is doing? (Such an unnecessary photo at this point but I just wanted to put a picture of him in this post.)

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Over the years, Edric’s 10-year plan got revised a couple of times but always for the better, because God was changing it for his purposes. We’ve gone through some tough times in our marriage and every now and then, these obstacles and challenges present themselves again. However, my trust and confidence are in the Lord who is the center of our relationship. I know Edric walks with him, and I’m trying my best to do the same. Therefore, the present and future glimmer with hope.

If I had married a man whose life-goals were secular, worldly, and whose choices did not honor God, I would feel very insecure about the present and future. (I am saying this to singles people who have not yet committed themselves to a life partner. However, if you are married to the kind of man I have just described, don’t lose heart…with God, nothing is impossible. Pray, pray, pray, and exemplify Christ-likeness in your own home as a testimony to your husband.)

For my single friends, don’t be suckered and waste time giving your heart to a man who has the potential to shatter it. Pay attention to the signs… If you know that a guy has a history of promiscuity and is also sleeping with you, whose idea of fun is getting drunk with his buddies, who has a bad temper, who has no spiritual appetite for God or his word, whose life goals are worldly and devoid of the desire to please God, who tends to make choices that are self-serving…hmmm…wisely consider this reality: Married men don’t miraculously change their ways. They need a heart transplant, in the spiritual sense!

Women don’t have the expertise to rescue a person like that. It takes the Lord. So we are better off waiting for that moment to happen way before any sort of commitment is made or moving on entirely.

Good looks, athleticism, charm, wealth, popularity — traits that women tend to find attractive — can camouflage the real man. So pray for discernment. Be realistic about 10 to 20 years from now and ask yourself, is this the kind of man I want to give my heart to and raise children with? Are our values aligned?

Let’s not trade the more valuable qualities for the lesser, temporal ones that may even become our very source of pain. Imagine how sad it would be to marry a handsome and rich man who peacocks himself to other women!

Furthermore, we need to be “femininely” investigative. Use those powers of observation to see how a man responds to stress, relates with people (especially his family), spends or invests his money, uses his time, and follows through when assigned a task in ministry or his job. If he belongs to an accountability group, or a discipleship group, as we call it in our church, gather some information about him through discreet sources. If he owns his own company, find out what his business ethics are like and what others have to say about him. It’s common to be so enthralled by a person and get smoke-screened by traits that we find so attractive. But we have to look deeper and pay attention to what surrounds a man – the people, the history, the influences, the circumstances. What impact does he have on others and how is he impacted by the world around him? What choices define him?

When my sister, Candy, was interested in a guy while she was at dental school in San Francisco, she wanted my parents to meet him. Candy thought he was a nice guy — good-looking, musically inclined, intelligent. She was raving about him and talking about how amazing he was. But she wanted to see what my parents thought. So they took her and her boyfriend out to dinner. During dinner, my parents asked Candy’s boyfriend a lot of questions, particularly about his plans and what he wanted to do with his life. During this dinner the poor guy hardly ate, but it proved to be a very critical moment for Candy. She realized that he wasn’t the kind of man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. He had no compass.

Later on, my dad suggested that she consider Jeff (her husband today). Jeff wasn’t an option at the time because he was in a relationship. But my father said, “He’s not yet married!” In other words, there was still hope. Not too long after, Jeff got out of his relationship and started hanging out with Candy. Their friendship blossomed into a romantic one and well, long story short, they are married with two sons and another baby on the way. Both of them love God and have a great marriage. Oh, and the cutest sons!

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I’ve laid out the non-negotiables and it’s up to single women to fill in their “negotiables.” This can be anything from the color of a guy’s hair, to his height and build, to the sport he plays, to hobbies, to sense of humour. The list can go on and on (hopefully not too long! Does it really matter what color a guy’s hair is unless you are really big on genes and chromosomes?!)

Be encouraged…It may seem harder and harder to meet a man with outstanding qualities, but remember, there is no telling what a man can become and accomplish when his heart belongs to Christ, especially when he marries someone who strongly supports, faithfully prays, and positively affirms him. At the onset this man may not fit the image of one who has it all by worldly measures, but the potential for extraordinary lies in the inner man. And it is a wise woman who is able to discern this and a prized wife who is able to encourage it.

Next up: HOW TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT KIND OF GUY

Comments

  1. Praise God for this post 🙂 It really puts things in perspective.

    Sharing this with the ladies of our D-group.

  2. Shake Villela says:

    I’m so excited on this topic although I’m already married to a wonderful man. i want to share this to my single friends. thanks Ms Joy 🙂 i always read your blogs.

  3. I very much agree with all these that you enumerated. I am also as blessed to be married to a man whose heart is devoted to God, hard-working and responsible, and with an amazing vision for our family and our life’s mission. And I ditto what you said that parental approval is very much an important ingredient if one is considering a lifetime partner. It’s so crazy to be part of a marriage where your relationship with the in-laws are already shaky to begin with. So sharing this with my single women friends! 🙂

  4. I was so blessed by your article. I was homeschooled until high school, and I am now in college. It is a good reminder to continue to wait for God’s best despite pressure to settle for the superficial.
    Thank you for encouraging us single ladies to pursue purity and God’s will.
    God Bless! 🙂

  5. John Michael says:

    Not that I’m against this article…but ladies don’t keep your hopes up..There is no perfect man…. That’s all movies… So stop rejecting.. or you will end up in your late 30’s afraid not going to have baby’s anymore. Maybe the guy you reject before was the awesome one that got away. Just saying.. don’t be hating. “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”

    • raisinette says:

      Indeed, there is no perfect man. However, it boils down to what qualities to prioritize. There is probably no man who fulfills all these requirements and is also 100% healthy, drop-dead gorgeous, incredibly rich, has a spotless family background, and other qualities of secondary importance. I agree with Joy that these are indeed the Christian essentials. Ladies, don’t give up hope. Remember that the godly men out there are waiting for godly wives as well; make sure their candidates do not all disappear by settling for less =)

    • there is no such thing as relationship without expectations. of course there are things expected of you as a partner. the thing is how you guys manage your expectations. 🙂

  6. you guys are members of the elite(s) of the society, it’s EASY to get someone you want when you’re sitting on top of the food chain 🙂

    anyway, congrats to you and to your happy family

  7. Thank you for posting this. It is truly inspiring to know to patiently wait for the right person God wants you to be with.

  8. God loves Kaye and Eliza says:

    Thank you for the inspiring article..
    this inspires me a lot and gave me a lot of good ideas what to look forward to a man..
    and how a good relationship with God would be when we start knowing God..
    I married a wrong person, had a daughter and couldn’t believe what just happened to my marriage. but with this article, I just realized that maybe I was in a rush that time and had no time to ask him several questions like about his plans 5-10 years from now..and knew about his history of promiscuity but just being blind to the fact cause maybe I love him that time; a man whose idea of fun is getting drunk with his buddies, who has no spiritual appetite for God or his word, whose life goals are worldly and devoid of the desire to please God, who tends to make choices that are self-serving (got it from your article which I need to use to describe him) but now that I just finished reading your article..it makes sense to me now that not all that you see in front is just a glitter of your eyes..and relationship is build on trust and friendship not just affection..thank you for the good article..

  9. Lloyd Stevens says:

    Reality check…!!!! Beautiful woman would not really have a problem looking for a good man, but if you are average and ugly. Don’t be picky. Don’t keep you hopes up or you’ll end up single in your 40’s.

    • how do you define average and ugly? ^_^ i have seen beautiful women marrying in the news and even they ended up in nasty divorces/annulment. dear Lloyd you shouldn’t spread the virus of insecurity and low self-worth around. This is a good article and every woman is beautiful and special and deserves the very best and nothing less. peace!

    • uh, thanks for the “worldly” advice. but we’re not viewing marriage in a worldly perspective like you do. 🙂

  10. thanks so much for sharing this! very inspirational to us ladies! 😀 God bless you and your beautiful family with a lot more!!! 😀

  11. I love the way you present the story. It’s so practical, with parental consent and mostly aligned with God’s words. This made me laugh too, (But my father said, “He’s not yet married!” In other words, there was still hope). Pastor Peter or parents involvement and approval made a difference too. I shared this with some of my single friends and nieces. Praying that they will allow God to be in control in choosing the right mate for them.

  12. I wish I have read this when I was still single. May have saved me from so many heartaches and disappointments in my marriage now. After getting married, I realized I didn’t really know my husband even after dating for years. He has put his best foot forward those dating years and I thought he was the responsible and goal-oriented type (which I merely based on his words over those years, I think, since our dating days were mostly just long phone calls and short lunches/dinners). What if my husband doesn’t seem to be responsible and don’t have a vision until now, after years of marriage? Reading these things make me feel more hopeless that I could have a good marriage that I wanted, the one where the man leads the family and I will be submissive to him. I feel I cannot be submissive because when I try, we don’t accomplish anything in our lives. All he wants to do is cuddle and spend time together. He’s content to be earning just enough for himself. No reflection or planning on our financials as a family or our future because he has always been confident that I earn enough to support both our needs. Because of this, I have also been very much strongly against having children until the day I see him growing some responsibility bone. He talks about nice future but after 5 years of marriage, they are all just talk. Sometimes, I feel so hopeless in our marriage. I married late and not getting any younger. I want to have children but I don’t want to have them at our present situation. I pray about it (but maybe not as much as I get angry about it)… Sometimes, I feel just so tired about the whole thing and hopeless. =(

    • I know what you mean. The problem is – we have children and right now I just want to make the best of it. Sometimes I feel so envious of other couples. The person I am with is mostly selfish and wants people around him to be his fans. But I have no one else to blame except for myself. Oh dear God, please help me

  13. Hi Joy – this article is such a blessing. I’m glad to hear that you and your sisters enjoy a Godly marraige. Would you also have the “What to look for a woman?” version of this article for men? Thanks in advance 🙂

  14. WOW! This is probably God’s way of answering my prayer, through this blog. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you more!

  15. sophia ann says:

    #1 criteria for me is a man who loves God, first and foremost. he should have a relationship with Christ. my first yrs of marriage was difficult, but as my husband grow in Christ, i can see change in his character ( for the better, definitely ) and i really see the holy spirit working in our marriage. we can never change our spouse, only the holy spirit can.

    i do not agree with some f the comments that women should not be picky. this is a lifetime commitment with a no return no exchange policy. therefore, single ladies, do not shortchange yourself. it is better to be single for life than marrying the wrong person.

  16. I agree with Sophia Ann.. its better to be single for life than end up with the wrong person.. In the same manner, dear God, your grace is sufficient for me to become and stay being the right person to whom You intend me to be with

  17. *for whom You intend me to be with

  18. Great article, Joy! Though it is quite sad that the “non-negotiables” that you mentioned here are things that single ladies dont value nowadays. Thank you for taking the time to point these things out 🙂

  19. This is sooooo powerful, Ms. Joy! 🙂

    I’m sure, I’m not alone waiting for your next article!! 🙂 continue to shine for God’s glory! 🙂

  20. I’m too young for this stuff but I guess, I am fully prepared to discern what man should I be marrying. God bless! 🙂

  21. Thank you for reminding me again Ma’am..by faith and prayers surely God’s plans will reveal itself. I always tell my friends that I am NOT a girlfriend material-but a wife material. And I think, it’s the way it should be. Serving the Lord and having a man in my life later will be a plus plus plus:-) I am content with what God has given me and am encouraging the singles to NOT focus on what we don’t have-like worldly fun, instead let’s focus on God and people as our ministry. We won’t get lost!!! Hoping to be with God’s man for me..in His time.

  22. ruth ocampo says:

    I Thank God for your inspiring thoughts and testimony of how to look for In a Man. I will share this to my 23 year old daughter. Your sharing will be very helpful to the single ladies out there especially our sisters In Christ. May I share this to my other dgroup members (ladies)? They too have teenage daughters. God bless you Joy for the many insightful thoughts which I know is Spirit-filled may God continue to use you in this ministry..

  23. I really enjoyed reading this post. I totally agree with the “non-negotiables”. Actually, as I read on, I hear myself saying, this is Ivan, so much like Ivan. I feel even luckier now.

  24. I found a man with all the mentioned traits.:) God gave him to me & he’s definitely worth the wait.:)

  25. I agreed with every point in this article EXCEPT the line about men wanting “a beauty to rescue.” As a strong and independent woman, I get tired of the “damsel in distress” mentality that society constantly tries to perpetuate. I feel like if a man always wants to play the hero in a relationship and always wants to do the “recuing,” he probably has some insecurities about himself, thus the need to assert his dominance and “manliness.” When I think about the kind of wife I’d like to be someday, I always think of the woman in Proverbs 31. Nothing helpless about her; instead she was a wise, strong and capable woman and great blessing to her husband. After all, even the godliest man is still only human and will have his moments of weakness. During those times, he will need the support of a loving and equally godly woman instead of a helpless damsel in distress who always needs to be rescued.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Oh but it’s so nice to be rescued! he he he. Yes, I see what you are saying. But a man’s desire to take care of a woman doesn’t diminish who we are. It’s like this guy who holds a door open for a woman and the woman is like, “Why are you doing that? Is it because I’m a woman?! I can do that for myself.” He turns to her and says, “I’m not doing it because you’re a woman. I’m doing it because I’m a gentleman.”

      Anyway, you have given me something to think on and hopefully some new inspiration for a post…:) Perhaps some sort of reflection on the many facets of strength and independence and a dissection of the Proverbs 31 woman.

      • I see what you are saying too 🙂 What woman doesn’t enjoy being pampered and taken care of? Of course I’d like that too. I only take issue with the word “rescue” because I feel I don’t need it as I’ve already been saved by the Ultimate Rescuer, that’s all. I pray for a man who wants to help me with my struggles, not because he thinks I’m weak, but simply because he wants to be involved. If my Prince Charming is out there, I’d tell him we can skip the whole dragon-slaying, tower-rescuing part and just go straight to happily ever after hahaha 🙂

        PS. I would love to read that post! Will look out for it 🙂

  26. Thank you for this article. God’s time is always the best time.

  27. Adinjoy Maglasang says:

    I praise the Lord for this post! So timely! Looking forward for more practical and biblical insights from this website! Godspeed!

  28. I agree with every point, but #4, I think I would say, it depends. 🙂 If a couple is coming from a position where both parties (e.g. the guy’s parents and the woman’s parents) gave their blessing to the couple, then its a blessing indeed. But I think a woman can’t/won’t just drop the relationship when this criteria is not met. I am sure most people know this commandment (specially Christians), “honor your father and your mother”. But what if all the criteria were met and yet they disapprove of the guy you chose? (let’s put it this way, the guy waited for this woman of her life, did everything to win the heart of the woman’s parents, and it doesn’t work, they just don’t like him). Then let’s say after 3yrs of exclusive dating (includes praying, fasting, thinking, waiting) they decided to get married and still the parents don’t approve? I think from that standpoint, the parents need to recognize that you are already an adult that can already discern what’s right and wrong, what’s good and bad, and you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I think from that standpoint, the couple should also try to understand where the parents is coming from and understand their concern over the relationship. I still believe that the parents will always want the best for their children. Part of being ready to embark on such a major milestone in life such as marriage, is being able to face this kind of uncomfortable and difficult situations. It would only raise concern when the couple is not willing to sit down with the parents and talk about it. Bottom line of my point, is “free will”, it is not absolute, but on this kind of decisions, I think it should prevail. That is why it is important that we teach our kids how to discern what’s good for them and teach them that there are consequences in every decision and show them how important to align their values to what God says and lead them to correct understanding of it. God bless. May you bless more people on your writings. 🙂

  29. You did a great job Ms. Joy. I am really inspired with what you have written. May God bless you and your family. Continue being an example for us women.

  30. I found this article through a post on Facebook and it piqued my interest. But to be honest, I lost interest after reading the introduction. Men need “a beauty to rescue”? I am honestly deeply offended to think that women would acquiesce to such an idea. It’s as if you’re implying that women are “damaged goods” that need repair, damsels that need rescuing. I don’t. A lot of women don’t.

    I’m sure this article has some great tips for finding the right man, but I cannot get past the fact that it was written with the implication that women must be “feminine” and womanly, and therefore must rely on a man?

    I don’t think that the goal of a good relationship is finding a man that can take care of you, it’s finding a partner for life and caring for one another.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Whatever gave you the idea that a woman must rely on a man from this article is surprising. In fact, the article is about finding a man who has qualities that will protect you from future hurt and problems in a marriage. I never once said that women were damaged goods. The article makes an appeal to the good and wise judgment of women to be discerning about men, which means it is meant to empower women to make the right choices and not to be helpless. If you have been offended by the way I have worded some of the content then I want to apologise. You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. However, I will not concede to your judgment of my intentions which have been misinterpreted. Furthermore, the goal of a good relationship is definitely not finding a man who will take care of you (like you said) but neither is it finding a partner for life and caring for one another as you suggested. A couple needs to have a greater spiritual purpose for coming together and this purpose cannot revolve around one another or mere companionship.

    • The “beauty to rescue” was taken from John Eldrich’s book Wild at Heart and the context of it is that men were created to have an “innate” desire to pursue a woman (except of course men like the apostle
      Paul who were gifted by God to remain single). We see this across different cultures, races and throughout human history. It never implied or hinted that women are weak or damaged and need men to rescue them. I am a man married to an amazing amazing wife. God made her strong in the things that I am weak. She is a lifesaver in many many things that I would usually fail on my own. Although I do acknowledge that the world and man’s sinfulness has twisted this God-given desire to mean that men are superior and women are weak and helpless. Nowhere in Scripture do we see this.

  31. how about an atheist who has a good moral compass, successful and hardworking? are you going to cross him out just because he doesn’t have a personal relationship with your God? though some points are very valid, number 1 doesn’t work for me. there are a lot of atheists who do good and have proven that religion is something that is not necessary. the danger in your article is it becomes too preachy. what you looked for a man will not work for everybody else. let other women figure out what qualities they are looking for. the internet is full of very impressionable people who cannot think for themselves and once an authoritative figure (or so they think) preaches, they will believe it 100% without assessing it first themselves. i am not bashing you and your article – i am glad that you met mr.right and married him. however, do not think that what worked for you should be followed by everybody else.

    • I believe that the target audience of this article are Bible-believing Christians so yes, #1 really won’t be honored by atheists. That’s a dead given. But even for the true Christians, I see that the author mentioned this and I quote “Remember, this isn’t the Bible. A woman has to develop her own convictions. But I would like to think that this short list can provide a a thoughtful start.” Also about the preachy stuff, you have to realize that you are doing the same thing just the opposite. If this article is “preaching” a worldview to follow God, you are preaching a worldview that tells Bible-believing Chistians “do not follow #1 because God doesn’t exist”. Same banana.

    • Ariel

    • Moral compasses are built upon each unique foundation, the framework standard for right and wrong. Why would an atheist, whose moral foundation is so different from a believer want to consider marrying a Christian and vice-versa?
      This is why Joy’s article is so right especially the first criteria because that sets the underlying basis of certain agreed upon moral principles that will guide the relationship of the couple., Professing atheists must marry atheists and professing Christians must marry genuine believers. And true Christians first and foremost love and honor God.
      This makes a lot of sense.

  32. Thanks to this! Now my mind is clearer 🙂

  33. A CCF Pastor once told me during prayer and fasting week to write down all the qualities i want in a guy, and he also told me that if there’s even one quality i wrote that’s not in that person, then i shouldn’t entertain that guy. I was stunned at first, i asked “even one??” and he said “yes” , then he started telling me about her daughter’s list and how God blessed her with a wonderful guy ( he perfectly fits the list, even the “knows how to play piano” part ). I was really blessed by his daughter’s story but then I asked him if it’s possible and then he asked me “do you believe God will give you the best?” and I said “yes” and he said “then trust God” =) the talk i had with him was such a beautiful reminder that God will give us the best at His right time, though it may take a while, still..it will be worth the wait.

    Thank you for this post that we single girls are reminded on what to write in our “non negotiable” and “negotiable” list, things we haven’t thought of ourselves but you being married to a wonderful husband gave us a wonderful reminder.

  34. Chariza Abalos Tacson says:

    Deep breath. Gosh…. I was so amazed with this, I’m so glad that someone shared me this story. I just love being known those, what i really can say right now, God really wants me to set my mind in His standards not my own. Before, I was praying for someone that I’ve wanted to be my boyfriend(having the picture)but then someone also told me that I should pray with the man that God wants for me not the man that i just wanted. Man of God that prepared for me and it will be given to me if it is aligned with the plan of God.
    We must be thankful to have a bonus when God answers in the way we’ve wanted. But then, God who knows better than I.
    #God_mind set
    Thank you.

  35. Great traits to look for! Thanks for blessing us with your wisdom!

  36. This is something that must be read over and over :)I agree that we must put into writings our list of “non-negotiables” and scan the moment we will be needing them. One size do not fits all! But, as a single person I should learn and listen 🙂 to those faithful women who went through the same battle. Indeed, we shouldn’t compromise even “one” most specially the man describe in #1. 🙂

  37. You know, I also have my list of essentials. I know that there should be essentials (the non-negotiables) and preferentials (the negotiables), but I couldn’t seem to separate the two. Until I’ve read this article. The interesting thing is, I have been thinking of your site these past few days (I’ve seen it before, but was not able to go back regularly), so today I finally looked it up again, and this is the first article that caught my attention. Maybe it’s God? 🙂

    Even more, we share most of the non-negotiables, but one thing (from my end) is lacking: A man who has a compass. It never occurred to me before! It’s like, “Oo nga, no!” Thanks for sharing this. God bless. 🙂

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