I recently had a conversation with someone about what I crave in a relationship, and it led me to think about the qualities that I look for in a potential future spouse. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting viewpoints about writing down standards because ultimately God knows what we need more than we do. However, I know that for so many of us, it can be so easy to lose sight of things that truly matter to Him, putting our own feelings above what He wants for us. So, I decided to go into the Word and imagine and create a clear picture of the man of God that I think He has for each and every one of His daughters, not just me.
The basis of this list is not to make a checklist of the perfect man, but rather to help us become aware of the fact that the only man worth our time is one striving to be in likeness with Christ. “The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.” Romans 8:29 (MSG). No one is perfect. I’m not saying that people can’t have faults and flaws, I know I definitely do. But I am saying that any man who is after God’s heart will desire to be like Him, and follow what His word says.
- He seeks Jesus first and desires to please Him. He is a Psalms 27 man, desiring “to dwell in the house of the Lord” each and every moment, “gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple” (4, HCSB). When we aspire to please and wait on God before doing anything, everything else falls into place. This is a deal breaker, because a man who is putting something, even me, before God isn’t utilizing wisdom, and he is placing himself outside of His protection, provision, and direction. Also, there is peace in knowing that a man who has experienced the love of God will seek to love you in that same way.
- He is not judgmental. He doesn’t judge me or others. A judgmental spirit is a hypocritical spirit. As Matthew 7:2-3 says, “God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye” (CEV). God hates it. I think a true sign of maturity in someone is their ability to let God be the judge. Followers of Christ should strive to be grace givers, just like Jesus was and is.
- He loves and cherishes unconditionally. He pursues and treasures. We are so blessed to have a God who is always in pursuit of us, who loves us in light of our imperfections. Unconditional love can be a hard concept to grasp, but the God who created the whole earth and put the stars in the sky sees you and me and loves us no matter what. It is never ending and never changing. The fleshly heart can so easily do this wrong. Lysa TerKeurst put it this way: “It’s not that love fails. It’s that other people were never meant to be my God.” Unfortunately, there is not a perfect person out there. Still, I have hope and believe that when we ask God to help us with loving the way He loves us, He is delighted and will answer our prayers. A man after His heart strives to love unconditionally. This means he doesn’t love you just when you do what he wants or say things he agrees with. Immaturity says that you “made” him react the way he did, you caused him to become harsh and rude. A man of God realizes that we are all human, and everyone makes mistakes. Luke 6:32 says, “If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that” (MSG). People striving to be like Jesus know that true, unconditional love is putting love on despite the circumstances. The whole point of Christ’s love is that we are undeserving, but His love for us still runs so deep.
- He is patient. He understands 1 Corinthians love. He desires to experience a love that resembles the way Jesus loves us. He cares more for others than for himself, he isn’t selfish. He doesn’t keep a list of wrongs from others. He always seeks the best in people. He is not jealous, and he doesn’t get competitive in conflict.
- He listens and tries to understand you. He does not jump to conclusions. Proverbs 18:2 says that “fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions” (NLT). A man of God puts his desire to have peace and understanding over the desire to be right. This doesn’t mean that he lets himself be walked all over, but that he is able to put his pride away and choose his battles. James 1:19 says to be “quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry.”
- He is a servant. He doesn’t put his opinion on a pedestal, but he values and is conscious of the needs of others. Ephesians 5:21 says to “honor Christ and put others first” (CEV). It is very simple. This isn’t a calling for only some people, every follower of God is called to have this value. He is also willing to humble himself. John 15:13 says that “no one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends” (HCSB). God calls us to have a heart for others. He places so much emphasis on community and relationship. Ephesians 4:2-3 says to “always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. Try your best to let God’s spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace” (CEV).
- He walks in the fruit of the Spirit. I love how the Message version explains this in Galatians 5:22-23. He has “exuberance about life, serenity,” he isn’t unsatisfied with where he’s at because he trusts where God is taking him. He has a “willingness to stick with things,” he doesn’t give up easily. It is so important to have a man who knows the value of perseverance when things are less than perfect. Someone who isn’t halfway out the door the first time things look like they’re getting a little hard. He has a “sense of compassion in his heart,” he is kind and gentle. These qualities are the evidence that he has put God first in his life and put his own way second.
These are dealbreakers for me because they reflect the life that God calls us to have. I think it is so important that, during the time in our lives when we are potentially entering into serious relationships, we take a moment to reflect on the Bible and what a real man of God looks like. I also urge you to read this again and look inward to make sure that you are trying your best to reflect the image of God, which is where the blessings start.
Thank you so much for reading!!!