10-point checklist for finding a godly husband

10-point checklist for finding a godly husband

If you’re a single gal, you may have a mental checklist for finding a godly husband. Maybe you wrote it in your teens, when you did a Bible study on dating and marriage at youth group. Or you’ve been on a lot of disappointing dates, and the “what I don’t want” list has been writing itself.

My husband and I met in college. When he was trying to persuade me to go out with him, he said coolly, “What are you looking for in a guy?”

I wasn’t sure about him yet, so I answered playfully, “Tall, dark, and handsome.”

Being short in stature, he responded, “How’s two out of three?”

The rest is history. (Eventually, I pulled out my other list.)

The Bible says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” If you want a good guy who’s following God’s direction, you’re going to have to be judicious, as well as gracious. And most of all, be honest about yourself and about him. We’re all on a journey to godliness; don’t look for the perfect guy (he doesn’t exist). Look for a guy on the path toward perfection in Christ. There are at least 10 clear indications whether or not a guy has the makings of a great man. Consider this checklist for finding a godly spouse (or becoming a godly spouse in the future):

  1. He has an active, growing relationship with Jesus. Finding a single guy who goes to church is impressive, but finding one that’s actively engaged in spiritual growth is way more important. Does he study and apply the Bible to his life? Does he serve others at church and in his personal life? Does he reflect Jesus? What you and your future husband do with Jesus and the Bible will form the centerpiece for your home. It will either be the core, out of which all decisions and priorities flow, or it will be an add-on activity. The difference between those two will guide your marriage, your parenting, your pursuits, and your future. Don’t give a cute guy a pass on this one because he’s good at everything else. This quality is the key to everything. “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you.” (Colossians 1:6)
  2. He has integrity. He speaks honestly, does not deceive or manipulate, and follows through with his promises. He can be depended on to be who he says he is. He is not one guy at work and another at home. He doesn’t have shameful secrets or sinful habits. Remember, honesty differs from blatant shamelessness. Integrity doesn’t mean he lives an unfiltered life on Instagram; it means he holds God’s standard for purity and holiness wherever he is. Personal holiness is the defense against sin. Good men are good because they fear the Lord, not because they’re nice guys. “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.” (Psalm 15:1-2)
  3. He keeps his ego in check. His actions and words are characterized by kindness and humility. Instead of thinking of himself first, he is thoughtful of people’s feelings, time, and talents. He is willing to let others go first, speak first, choose first, and feel valuable. Meek men aren’t pushovers; they are secure enough to serve others because they understand that greatness is a quality of the heart condition. True humility involves courtesy, which is not the same as good manners (that’s appropriateness, which is also important). Ego kills everything good around it, and an egocentric man is poison to a relationship. Remember that ego (respect=value) is acutely important to men. While most young men are still learning humility, you can look for the seeds of a coachable spirit. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)
  4. He is respectful. You are a lady, and he is a gentleman. This is not old-fashioned. This is the preventative to date rape, abuse, sexual harassment, control, and infidelity. A good man will treat you as God views you—a beautiful masterpiece, made for a spiritual purpose, who’s so valuable that He sent Jesus to die for you. A good man doesn’t need you to move personal boundaries or lose weight to please him. He won’t objectify you or take advantage of you. A respectful man values his woman enough to protect her heart and her life because she’s God’s daughter. “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’” (Proverbs 31:28-29)
  5. He makes wise decisions. He is teachable, and he seeks mentors to help him grow. Although we all make dumb decisions when we’re young, a godly man’s life is not characterized by foolishness. He should seek counsel, gather information, and pray about decisions before he makes them. If you marry a man who acts on impulse, you will find your marriage rocked by financial insecurity, anxiety, and arguments. Spontaneity may be exciting when you’re dating, but you need someone dependable and trustworthy for a husband. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy surprises; it means wisdom—spiritual and otherwise—provides the foundation for decision-making. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
  6. He can admit when he’s wrong and ask forgiveness. If you’re dating a guy who never apologizes, who lectures instead of listens, or who debates until you agree with him, you’re in dangerous waters. A refusal to admit and confess sin (two steps further than apologizing) is indicative of a proud and rebellious heart. Getting married will exacerbate the issue, not solve it. A defensive or dogmatic man needs to get counseling and address his behavior immediately before the relationship goes any further. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” (1 John 1:8-9)
  7. He works hard. Young guys can stay busy doing a lot of things—hobbies, school, work, friends—but take notice of how a guy handles responsibilities. Is he diligent, thorough, and ethical? Does he enjoy doing his best work? A guy who receives an allowance, gets bailed out of debt by friends or relatives, weasels his way out of paying for things, or spends his money freely has not yet learned the value of hard work. And if he requires an enormous amount of “down time” to be happy, beware. God designed a man to love work and to be a provider. If your guy is not sowing habits of working hard and managing a full schedule, now, this could mean trouble for you later. Even while a young man wrestles with choosing a career or finding his calling, he should be actively working at something useful. “The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him because his hands refuse to work.” (Provers 22:25)
  8. He respects family and friends. You can learn a lot about a guy by the way he treats parents, siblings, and friends—yours and his. Is he kind, respectful, engaging, even if people are unreasonable? Does he spend time with them, even when it’s inconvenient for his schedule? Is he comfortable and adaptable in different environments? While not everyone is a people-person, a guy’s ability and desire for family unity is a good indication of how he will behave toward you when you’re being a difficult wife. It may also be a good indicator of how adaptable he will be to children, neighbors, and friendships in the future. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
  9. He is fun to be with. Having fun often begins a relationship, but many people can’t sustain this high without a constant flow of activities. A lifetime partnership must include happiness, laughter, and contentment, regardless of activity or wealth. Can you make fun, just by being together (even when you’re doing nothing)? Do you converse easily and rest in one another’s company without discomfort? Find someone who can help you create a peaceful, happy environment. Save yourself a lot of anxiety by finding someone who can laugh at life’s mishaps. “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:13)
  10. He loves you completely. This means that he supports your spiritual growth and your dreams. He wants to help you be the best you—that means you are allowed to change and grow as a person without threatening his security. He encourages you through your fears and inspires you to grow spiritually. Real love is sacrificial and generous. It doesn’t worry about what it’s getting; it only gives. It also doesn’t idolize the object being loved. Reserve your worship for God and give grace to the guy God has for you. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another . . . honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:9-10)

Above all else, remember that the first and last points on this checklist are the keys (loving God and loving you). As the Bible’s two greatest commandments, they are emotive responses to a loving God. Everything else can be learned.


This article was originally published by Crosswalk in 2017.

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