Christian men and women share a similar problem in this day and age: finding a suitable mate. But the problem afflicts them in different ways, and so they must each approach it from a different angle. Much of this centers around the differences in what men and women look for in a mate. Men look for youth and beauty when it comes to attraction, and a feminine personality when it comes to character traits. Women look for the various LAMPS attributes for attraction, and Beta or comfort traits when it comes to character. But that is only part of the story. Before you can apply any strategies on how to find a spouse, you need to know what you are looking for…
What Christian Men should look for in a potential wife:
1) Devout Christian. Whether you are Protestant, Orthodox or Catholic, you want as your wife a woman who takes her faith seriously, and doesn’t view the Church as a social club. Her faith can’t be the product of some desire to satisfy or please her parents. It needs to be real, genuine, sincere. If she doesn’t share your exact faith, is she willing to convert? She must be willing to submit to your authority, and if she disagrees with you on something as fundamental as your faith, expect problems down the road. Just as important her faith must not be “Churchian” in nature, ie. “feminized.” If she is a Churchian, then you must be able to convince her of the falsity of the doctrine she clings to, otherwise she is a risk you cannot afford to take.
2) Feminine. Men respond positively to feminine women, and Christian men are no different than secular men when it comes to this. If a woman acts feminine, she will bring out the best in you. Not to mention that a feminine woman is more likely to act as a woman rather than a man.
3) Takes care of herself. There is only so much that a woman can do about her beauty, but keeping herself fit plays a huge role. You want as your wife a woman who respects her body. Someone who eats healthy and exercises regularly is an increasingly rare commodity these days. It shows discipline, always a good sign, and will help her live longer and happier.
4) Resilient. Life is tough, can she handle the challenge? You want a woman who is able to handle the duties of wife and mother. Will she fold when things get tough (and they always will at some point)? It will not be easy living as a Christian in the future, aside from all of the other difficulties in life, and you want a woman who can carry on despite the trials.
5) Submissive. Is she willing to follow your lead? Will she accept your orders, even if she disagrees? You want a woman who is comfortable fitting in the First Officer role, and won’t constantly rebel against you. As the Bible makes abundantly clear, nothing is worse than a rebellious wife.
6) Industrious. Proverbs 31 speaks of a wife who is a blessing to her household, because she contributes so much to it. You want as your wife a woman who isn’t lazy, but instead a hard worker. Look for someone who is creative, and is willing, eager even to find ways to save money and earn it for your household.
What Christian Women should look for in a potential husband:
1) Devout Christian. Whether you are Protestant, Orthodox or Catholic, you want as your husband a man who takes his faith seriously, and doesn’t view the Church as a social club. His faith can’t be the product of some desire to satisfy or please his parents. It needs to be real, genuine, sincere. If he doesn’t share your exact faith, are you willing to convert? You must be willing to submit to his authority, and if you disagree with him on something as fundamental as your faith, expect problems down the road. Just as important his faith must not be “Churchian” in nature, ie. “feminized.” If he is a Churchian, then you must ask yourself if you should try and convince him of the falsity of the doctrine he clings to. If he needs just a nudge or two in the right direction, then you should be ok. But if he is blind to the truth, or requires real pushing, then he is unfit for the role of husband.
2) Masculine. You need a man who is strongly masculine, as his masculinity will influence whether you are attracted to him. This is especially important, because women are much more limited in how many men they find attractive. You need your husband to satisfy your desire for masculinity in your life, otherwise you will feel insecure and unhappy.
3) Takes care of himself. A man who takes care of himself is a man with self-discipline. This attribute is essential; without it a man will fall astray. Also, his health is essential for the well-being of the family. If he takes care of himself by exercising and eating right, his ability to protect and provide for your and your children will be greater and last longer. Furthermore, he will be more attractive in your eyes, which will help maintain your affections for him; leaving both of you happier in the process.
4) Resilient. Life is hard. Can he endure hardships and troubles? Will he fold or break when life is cruel? You want as your husband someone who can stand up to the burdens of life, someone who won’t run away or crawl into the bottle. This toughness isn’t physical, but mental and spiritual. Is his faith strong enough to survive what lies ahead? What about his will? He must be strong for you and your family; a family is only as tough as its leader.
5) Authoritative. Is he willing to lead? Capable of leading? Your husband will be the leader of your family; you need a man who is comfortable with the role and ultimately unafraid of it. In order to love a man you must respect him, and a woman cannot respect a man who cannot or will not lead.
6) Industrious. He must be a hard worker to provide for you and your children. Whether it is with his mind or his back, can he support your family, now and in the future? If he is still young and establishing himself, does he show signs of being a capable provider down the road? You need as a husband a man who understands he is working for more than himself, and won’t slack off at the first opportunity.
The Age Factor
There is another matter which needs to be addressed, age.
A Christian man should be looking for a woman younger than himself, with the age gap widening as he gets older. Men are discouraged in popular culture against dating/courting/marrying women significantly younger than themselves, ignore this. While there may be some who disagree, I think that as a safety precaution a man shouldn’t marry a woman 30 or older unless there is a very good reason why she hadn’t married sooner. One acceptable reason would be if she had spent years recovering from a terrible injury. Otherwise, if a woman isn’t married by then someone is likely wrong with her. Either she has toxic hypergamy, or has a very low to non-existent sex-drive, or some other hidden fault. While there may be some God-fearing marriageable women in this group, unless you as a man are significantly older, say 40+, you shouldn’t be looking at this cohort. Under 25 is probably preferable, for several reasons. First, she will still retain much of her fertility, ensuring that you can have the number of children you desire without resorting to medical aid. Second, she will most likely have retained much of her youthful beauty, which will help with the creation of wife goggles. Third, a younger woman is less likely to be jaded and corrupted by outside influences, even if she has remained chaste.
A Christian woman should be looking for a man older than herself, with the maximum age set not by some bright line rule but more by health and compatibility. Popular culture might advocate against an age gap, but as a Christian woman you shouldn’t have any concern for popular culture. Instead, you are looking for a man who can fulfill the role of husband. Don’t be afraid of men 5 to 10 years older than yourself. First one, they are more likely to have established themselves and gained a steady income as compared to a younger man, especially given the current economy. This will help with meeting the financial needs of your family. Second, they are apt to be more mature and more confident than their younger counter-parts. That means they will be both more attractive and responsible, and better equipped to deal with the world. Third, because of their experience you will find it easier to look up to and admire them for their accomplishments, which will not only aid you in being a submissive wife, but give you the respectful attitude which is essential to truly loving a man.
There is more of course, but I can’t think of it at the moment. If anyone else has any thoughts and ideas on what to look for in a potential Christian spouse, please feel free to chime in. I hope to make this series a community project, and invite anyone who is interest to contribute.