By Amanda Hinton
I have been married for 16 years and have been blessed with six children. My oldest is 11 and, although marriage is not immediately on the horizon for her, she is already forming an idea of a husband in her mind. What do I want her to know about a husband? What do I want her to have in a husband? What does God want her to have in a husband? What should she be looking for?
Find a man that puts God first in his life.
When God is first in his life, He will be first in your life together. When God is first, all other things fall in to place. I am not saying life will be easy, but God is the source of hope in this life.
Find a man that will honor her even when you are apart.
Find a man that you do not have to worry about his behavior without you. Find a man that would not act in a way that dishonors you or cast a shadow of doubt on your relationship or your reputation. No woman should ever worry about fidelity in a marriage.
Find a man that apologizes, asks for forgiveness, and forgives you when you have sinned.
We are all sinners and will need (indeed will desire) forgiveness when we sin. Again, if you find a man that fulfills the first characteristic on the list, this one naturally will follow. A wife should be able to approach her husband, confess her sin to him, and know beyond any doubt that he will forgive her and still love her. A husband should also feel open to come to his wife to apologize, knowing that he will receive full forgiveness from her.
Find a man that loves you.
Not the butterflies in your stomach kind of love that does not last and comes crashing down once you realize that you love a sinner. No, find a man that loves you as Christ loves the Church. Christ willingly laid down his life for the salvation of the Church. Find a man that you know will lay down his life if needed. If you question this, it means that this man has not already shown you that he does or will love you as Christ loves the Church.
Find a man that will not allow you to suffer alone.
When you are at your lowest, he should be right beside you, reminding you of the promises of Christ and reminding you that you are not alone. He should be reminding you that this life is temporary and that one day there will be no sin and heartache. He should not run and hide when you need him. In fact, he should be man enough to not allow you to push him away, no matter how hard you try.
Find a man that is the head of the household, a man that you will submit to.
No, this does not mean being a doormat and not having an opinion. But it does mean that you submit to the authority that God has given the husband over the wife. Frankly, this is a great comfort because I know that I always have someone whose concern is my and our children’s well-being (both physical and spiritual). If you both need shoes, but only have money for one pair, you get the new shoes. Your husband should go without before anyone else in the family does. At the same time, find a man that asks your opinion and considers them when making huge life changes.
Find a man that wants children, not one that still wants to be a child.
Men should view children as a blessing from God. Your husband should desire this blessing from God. Find a man that you would want your children to emulate. Men who cannot hold down a job, refuse to try to provide for their families, and would rather spend time and money on video games or sports are not worthy of the title of father or husband, and therefore are not worthy of you.
Find a man that acts like the husband you want your son to be.
Your son will look to your husband and learn from your husband. Find a man that acts like the husband that you want your daughters to marry. They will look to their father to see how a husband should be.
Marriage is a reflection of the relationship that Christ has with His Church. Christians should be the model for marriage and that means choosing a husband or wife that will fulfill their godly roles in marriage. In a world where divorce is rampant, marriage is not viewed as necessary, and the roles of men and women are confused, we Christians must be clear on marriage. There is no wiggle room in this. The world will look upon me as being an unloving mother because I will not support just any choice that my daughter makes in relationships. I will tell her to judge potential mates against these criteria and that if she finds him lacking to run. Move on. This is one of the most loving things I can do for my daughters.
Amanda is a pastor’s wife, a mother of six beautiful children, and teaches first grade.