Lawdamercy, you’re almost 30! Quick, freeze the eggs and latch on to the nearest man you see!
I hate to mock my beautiful sisters out there — I know a HUGE part of the panic some experience is due to the pressures placed on single women by the media, our family, and even our friends. Babydaddy Tyrese is just the latest to warn us single gals that we might just “independent [our] way into loneliness,” if we aren’t careful! But ever since I’ve devoted myself to the Six Months No Dating Pledge and have focused solely on building a closer relationship with Christ, I’ve been more of the mindset of the Apostle Paul: “Your attention is divided when you’re married, but when you’re single, you can focus everything on Jesus! Isn’t that GREAT?!!!!” But y’all aren’t trying to hear that so I’ve decided to be useful to my sisters instead of making fun.
If you’re really ready for a serious relationship, then there are some things as Christian women, that you should be on the lookout for that make a man husband material. I present to you “The Husband Checklist,” inspired by the book that the Six Months no Dating Pledge comes from: P.B. Wilson’s Your Knight in Shining Armor (which you can purchase below).
1) Must Love Jesus. A potential husband should be able to articulate a clear and definite answer on his relationship with Christ, (not the unoffensive “God” or “the universe” or “the spirit world”). He should be able to tell you when he became saved and what being saved means to him (not the name of his church or the date he joined it!!). This cannot be stressed enough, Christian women!!! Yes, it is important that you are “equally yoked,” or on the same page spiritually so that you can raise your kids in your faith, together and provide a more stable home. But most of all, you must know that “a man who doesn’t want to break God’s heart, won’t break yours, either!” You are not perfect, you are going to upset your boyfriend/husband. But a man who loves, honors and fears God will do everything he can not to break God’s heart. That means even if you deserve it, even if you have wronged him, because of his love for God, he will not try to hurt you back or will take steps to make amends if he has hurt you. Human love is not 24/7. Sometimes you will downright hate each other. But a man who truly loves the Lord will ultimately do right by you and honor his commitment to you and will work with you to get your relationship back on track. Remember: you know a tree by the fruit it bears. If he loves Jesus, it will SHOW in his life: his words and his deeds! Beware the Christian with the “invisible” walk. For more about why Jesus must be the center of your relationship, read here.
2) Must Come Highly Recommended. Think of the last time you were hired for a job; Didn’t your employer check your references first? If you are considering building a life with someone, why wouldn’t your research be JUST as thorough, if not more so? Get some referrals, ladies. Ideally, your church family, pastor, or close friends — people who know you well and know who would be a good fit for you — would be the ones to recommend a guy to you. But how often does the ideal happen, right? At the very least, ask his friends and family what they think of him. You might be surprised by what you find out. (Hint: if his MOTHER says “run,” I’d take her word for it…)
3) Must Make Wise Decisions. Financially, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, a husband-worthy mate is at a point in his maturity to make good decisions for his life. This matters to you because his decisions will clearly spill over into your life. If he is blowing his paycheck on a sports car payment he can’t really afford, don’t be surprised when you’re married and he saddles you with debt for a house you all can’t afford, either. If he is making decisions that endanger his spiritual life (sex outside of marriage, not tithing, not committed to a church family, etc.) chances are, he’ll be comfortable making decisions that would endanger your spiritual life, as well (encouraging you or supporting you in decisions that would cause you to sin). How does he arrive at decisions? Does he pray and seek godly counsel first? Nobody is perfect, but your potential husband should be someone who is at least aware of his past bad decisions and actively taking steps to correct them and make good decisions in the future, as well as encouraging you to do the same. Do not ignore red flags!! You may not have to stop seeing him, but slow down significantly if he does not make wise decisions and shows no signs of doing so in the future.
4) Must Be Spiritually Accountable. Who does he have in his life that he respects and listens to who keeps him spiritually accountable? You will quickly learn how important this is when you have a problem in your marriage and he isn’t doing what he is supposed to do as your husband. What if you need marital counseling and he isn’t willing to go? You will need an authority figure in his life to turn to who he respects and listens to, who will tell him when he is spiritually out of line or to encourage him to seek counseling with you when necessary. Ideally, a team of people — such as his father, pastor, deacons, etc– would keep him accountable to Christ and would be a support to you and your marriage. However, even if it is just one person, it is so important for the health of your relationship that he be submissive to a Christian advisor. Men who are teachable are the ones who will consistently try to be better people/husbands/fathers and will not let their own pride or arrogance destroy what matters most to them.
5) Must Check Baggage! Everybody has issues, some people even have volumes. Having a past is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but he MUST be completely healed (or well on his way to being healed through counseling) of all baggage. As Wilson says in Your Knight In Shining Armor, “Beware of a man who has unresolved bitterness, anger, and resentment. It will inevitably bleed into the next relationship. If he has not dealt with his feelings concerning [his past], let him know that you will not consider becoming involved with him until he has received counseling to overcome his bad feelings.” Meanwhile, do not get personally involved with this man as he is working out his issues. You need to be able to walk away from anyone who is not willing to seek godly counsel. Ask whether he is or has ever been married, why his past relationships ended, ask about his family and his childhood and be sensitive to red flags like anger and resentment toward people in his past. Responsible, mature, and healthy men have accepted responsibility for their lives and do not harbor hatred against others. A man who won’t forgive someone in his past will eventually find himself unable to forgive you, as well. A forgiving man forgives, an unforgiving one does not. Make sure he’s got his baggage in check!
Please note, “Must be foiiiine” is nowhere on this list. That is intentional. Isaiah 53:2 says this about Christ: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Jesus Christ, Savior of the world was not physically appealing, but people flocked to Him, travelled miles to be near Him, to hear His voice, to touch the hem of His garment because they knew that His love was the most beautiful thing they would ever experience. Contrarily, Satan is described in Ezekial 28:11 as “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” Need I say more? Judge a man’s beauty by the love he shows for Christ.
Even if a man comes into your life with all of these qualities on the checklist, please “watch and pray”! Do not be anxious to jump into a relationship. As the author of Your Knight in Shining Armor tells us, dating is all about “collecting data.” Take your time! “Patience is the weapon that forces deceit to reveal itself.” If a man appears to be faithful and committed, ask the Lord to show you the condition of his heart. Trust me, He will do it!
Happy Data-Collecting! What’s on YOUR husband checklist?
Are you ready to surrender your dating life to Christ? Will you give Him 6 months to rebuild you in His image?
Lord, I want You to fashion me for my prospective husband. I commit the next six months of my life for Your construction. I will surrender any area which is not controlled by You so that my life will bring You glory.
Purchase Your Knight In Shining Armor below and get the latest DCDistrictDiva.com shirt, “Call Me In 6 Months” at The Diva Shoppe!