“what does a godly man look for in a woman? with the intent to ‘leave his parents and find a wife’ please don’t just say proverbs 31 woman, but explain.”
First off, you are asking the right type of question. It is far too common that both guys and girls, as they are growing up, often imagine their spouse and create a mental checklist of the attributes they want (and feel they deserve) in a spouse. Of course you should not altogether abandon all expectations and marry the first person that smiles at you, especially if he is not a Christian (or currently a criminal, has serious moral failures, and etc.)
However, please understand in our selfishness we comb over the imperfections of others and ignore our own shortfalls. We expect our spouse to meet all of our criteria and do everything to please us, but often neglect to do the same in return. Many pastors and teachers often say something like “be more concerned about being the right person instead of meeting the right person.” So just by asking this type of question you are already one step closer to the answer.
The main distinction I’d like to address before we jump into the answer, is that your question would be better asked as “what does God want from me as a woman?” First, a godly man would want his wife to be anything God wants her to be. Second, and more important, your main priority should be to please God, and if indeed you are submissive to God, you will automatically be pleasing to any man that also submits to God’s word.
I thought it would be helpful to see the ideas held by those in my (Facebook) community so I asked this exact question publicly to see if any of my brilliant friends would respond. Fortunately a few jumped in and I feel we saw some good comments.
Yuriy – She has to love Jesus
Brandon – Cook good
Surge – She has to be wise
Maria – Wise in what sense? How? With words, actions, money, knowledge?
Vadim – Wise as in a Women who is independant, has her life together and knows what she wants in life. God must be #1 priority, ofcourse this is just my personal opinion. Others can have different ones.
Surge – Proverbs say a wise women builds up her house while a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. But im mostly along the lines of what Vadim said
Peter – Does the Word of God have any authority in her life?
Viktoriya – I’m not a guy but in my opinion as your relationship matures with God, He will personally reveal to you the qualities that your future spouse is looking for; the qualities that YOU need to obtain. You won’t need to ask around for people’s opinions on this because God only knows the type of spouse you need. Girls often are so busy running around, taking people advice on marriage when the only thing they need to worry about at that moment is growing in Christ and fulfilling their individual calling.
Adam – One who is submissive to God and her husband, one who obeys and loves the Lord, One who asks her husband for godly advice, one who is sincere and frank, One who put’s God at #1 Her Husband at #2 her Children at #3 and lastly her work is #4. One who has the same beliefs values and morals as you do. One who is willing to work in the relationship even when times maybe rough. One who is humble. One who is in the Word and implies it to her heart.
Inna – Adam, just curious, how is she supposed to be submissive to her hubby if she isn’t married yet? Lol..
Vadim – One capable of bearing 15+ offsrpings. LOLz
Adam -Its idea that she believes in being submissive when she is married.
Serhiy – I say some single guys need to be a bit easier about their list. There must be a few key things like #1 (and possibly #2 :) above. For the rest, be prepared to accept (and enjoy!) her qualities that weren’t exactly on your list.
David – Fear God. I think that is at the top of the list.
Alex – her foot has to fit the glass slipper.
David – Only prerequisite is that she has to love Jesus. Some helpful additions to that (notice I say additions) are that she:
1. is willing to be led by you 2. has the same view of God as you (theology).
Oleg – Character. Sound character can make up for any other shortcoming that a person may have, but there is nothing that can make up for a lack of it. Oh yeah and…women who read……sexy.
2 CATEGORIES OF PERSONAL GROWTH
Overall I see two distinct categories of growth for any person, especially when asking themselves “Am I a good (future?) spouse?” These are, first, things that are expected of you by God, and second, things that will vary depending on who you are.
1. GODS COMMANDS TO YOU
What are Gods commands to people, in general? And to women? Read the Scriptures and ask yourself are you fulfilling these commands? These things are non-negotiable. While you can talk with your (future) spouse about personal preferences/styles and sometimes have a bit of negotiation, when discussing God’s design for humanity and marriage, there can be no compromise.
Calling as a Christian (Love Jesus)
The Scriptures have expectations for every Christian, and the Holy Spirit is given to every Christian to help them grow in the grace, knowledge, and love of our Savior. This topic is very broad, but overall, you are called to be a child of God and live a life that is pleasing to God. Out of all the relationships you have ever had or will ever have, the main one is with the Father who sent His son, Christ, to atone for your sin and adopt you. Every other relationship, including marriage, is a reflection of that primary relationship with God. Ask yourself are you in obedience to God’s word? Is the Spirit at work in you? Are you living a joyful Christian life? Seek Christ first, and all other things will be added.
Calling as a woman (Be submissive)
See this link to a blog post specifically devoted to submission, especially in marriage. But as a general rule, the Bible prescribes that women ought to be submissive to their husbands. While it’s not easy to be submissive to a husband if you don’t have one, as was noted above, that doesn’t mean a young woman cannot show she is submissive before marriage. There are a few ways to do this, first by being submissive to your parents in character and humble attitude, even by obedience in any good and reasonable request. Second, you can live with a respectful attitude towards your friends, especially male friends (and not because they are better, men are equal to women in value, they are only different in function.) Thirdly, in your mind and heart, expect to be submissive to your future husband and let this be reflected in your life and conversations. What is in your heart, will have an impact on your life.
Role as a woman (Be feminine)
In one of his letters (1 Pet 3:4) the Apostle Peter describes a godly and beautiful woman as one who has a quiet and gentle spirit. This is a huge thing for men, especially Christian men. And it’s also part of God’s desire for a woman, for why else would the Spirit lead Peter to write it? In our culture, a quiet and gentle identity for a woman seems very sexist and even sounds like we ought to turn a blind eye towards spousal abuse. But I assure you, so long as the man is obedient to Christ (and loving his wife even to die for her) the wife’s obedience to Christ and husband is in no way derogatory or unsafe, but on the contrary it’s both glorious and beautiful. Peter wasn’t telling women to “shut up” and let the man do what he wants, he was describing the gender role for a woman and saying when she adopts her feminine role, she is beautiful. Quiet and gentle does not mean passive and powerless. It means even in disagreements she will be feminine. Even when correcting her opponent she will gently guide them towards truth instead of sharply rebuking (like a man would).
2. GODS GIFTS TO YOU
This second category depends on you! It depends on who God created when he made and remade you in his Grace. Everyone is different and unique. Neither I nor someone else could or should tell you exactly how to be, how to dress, what to eat, what to like and so on. Instead, as you are growing more in love with Jesus, you can let go of any fear or shame that is based on the opinions of others and discover the person you are by the Grace of God. On the Scriptural issues of sin and obedience to Gods word, as above, you ought to reject your selfishness and submit to God’s will. But concerning the rest of what makes up the person you are, is His gift to you; the gift of personality, the gift of uniqueness.
Are there specific things you are very good at or that you like to do? Feel free to pursue those things and hone your skills. Maybe you love to cook and arrange the contents of your oven with artistic delicacy as painter on a canvass. Maybe you are a gifted musician, by all means pursue that. If reading and writing literature or poetry is your things, by all means don’t cease. Maybe you have the desire to help people and become a nurse, follow that desire. In anything that you do and you see success and ability, you are not only free to pursue it but are also being a witness to the fact that God gifted you. I have heard it said by a few pastors that the way to find your calling and who you are is to try many things, and that at which you excel and find joy in doing, that is part of Gods design for you.
Do you like a certain color, hairstyle, genre of music/film/literature, style of dress?. Are there styles and habits that set you apart from other girls?. You don’t have to either imitate everyone or specifically try to be different, but if you are, and everyone is in their own way, then be different. Feel free to follow your desires, so long as they are not sinful. Be who you think you are without hostility against those who are different from you. Follow Jesus foremost, and let him guide your heart away from sin; and once Jesus is in charge of your life and your heart, then you can truly “follow your heart” and be who He has made.
What if your “love” hates it?
If the person you “love” rejects all of this, then maybe you should consider they are not the right person? Maybe they are only in love with you because of physical appearance and don’t know the you under your skin. Maybe they love a completely different person than you with the same face as you. Of course its normal to change for the one you love on many things, but these are usually small issues of pleasing your spouse, not a complete re-polarization of your personality and identity. Its normal to ask your husband to replace his daily weightlifting sessions into just one or two per week to spend more time with you. It’s not normal to demand he completely substitutes his desire for working out with dress shopping and to require him to love it. A husband can ask his wife to change her clothing style somewhat to better please him, but it’s just weird for him to date and ‘love’ a girl who is into flowers, bunnies, rainbows, teddy bears and teletubbies, then one day demand she become a goth and wear only black or he cannot love her. If someone cannot love you for the very things that make up a large part of your identity, consider that their love may be only skin deep…. and appearance is not forever.