As long as your relationship with God is on par (Psalm 73:25b), you—in the mysterious balance between man’s free will and God’s sovereign will—have the freedom to choose your spouse, but how do you know which one is the right one?
Thankfully, the answers are not as ambiguous as they may seem, but they do get pretty technical. Think them through. Approach your situation honestly. And guys, don’t let my narrowed audience turn you away. There’s something to learn about potential wives here, too!
It’s all about the one who calms your storm. It’s your dancing partner, adventure buddy, stare at the stars while talking about life, and best friend in one. You will experience something with them you have never experienced before.
But don’t settle for someone because they may be interested in you or you can see it working out with them. There’s a lot more that goes into a marriage than mere fancy, so here are 10 ways to check if he is Mr. Right-For-You:
#10 — He will be a man, not a boy
A man of God will lead you like Abraham, fight for your love like Jacob, care for you like Boaz, and love you like Christ. The right guy will be a leader who gives when he doesn’t have to, cares for others, continuously grows, lives authentically, empowers others, manages hardship, and serves with humility.
A boy gives false promises. A man honors his commitments. A boy thinks “me.” A man thinks “us.” A boy blames others. A man accepts responsibility. A boy lives off others. A man lives for others. A boy relies on himself. A man relies on God…and you should, too.
Marriage is not about finding your “other half” in a 50 + 50 kind of sense. Each of you should be a complete person, confident in their identity and able to stand on their own two feet. In that case, “I do” can mean 100 + 100, which is much more powerful anyway.
#9 — He will have SOLID character
First of all, good looks don’t really matter. We are all aging and will one day lose our youthful appearance, so look below the surface and analyze a potential suitor’s character. It’d be better to have a beast who treats you like a princess than a prince who doesn’t.
Look for a guy who is serious enough to have deep conversations but also whimsical enough to dance in the rain. Someone who has purity, confidence, faithfulness, humility, high standards, and a relationship with Jesus.
“A gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, and carry things. Not because she’s helpless or unable, but because he wants to show her that she is valuable and worthy of respect.”–Charles J. Orlando
Who does he hang out with? What does he read, watch, and listen to? How is his reputation with those who have known him longer than you? How does he treat his mother and sisters? A man’s actions will tell you everything you need to know if you just listen.
How he spends his time and money will show you what he worships, and don’t ignore anything you may find— the good, the bad, or the ugly. Anything you can see an inkling of now will only (aside from the grace of God) be magnified if you get married.
#8 — He will hold God higher
The right guy will never put you first. He will put God first because He knows that God is the One who can sustain a relationship between two broken people. The right guy will talk to God about you and pay attention to what God is telling him to do when it comes to you.
He will pray that he gets to marry you and thank God for you. The right guy will seek, worship, and acknowledge God because a real man opens more than the door. He opens his Bible.
“Know this: if he’s a guy that God is suggesting as a good choice for you, he is a man who talks to God. He’s a man who listens for what God might say back to him, even about the choice of a spouse. He’s a man who would be willing to pray about what place you might hold in his life. He is also man enough to be honest with you about how he feels.”–Susan Rohrer, Is God Saying He’s the One?
A man will only be able to truly love you well when he knows Love Himself, so make sure he does and did before he even knew you existed. The right guy will know God is the foundation of your relationship, a relationship that should bring each of you closer to Him.
A man who is not after God’s heart should not be after yours. If he doesn’t fall on his knees in prayer, he doesn’t deserve to fall on one knee with a ring. Your future husband should find God and then find himself before he comes looking for you.
#7 — He will actively pursue you
If a guy is seriously interested in you, you will know. He will be aware of his intentions and make them known. He won’t leave you wondering whether he’s into you or not. What does intentional pursuit look like?
- He’ll be glad to meet your family and friends
- He’ll want to introduce you to his friends and family
- He will ask your primary guardian for permission to pursue you
- He will initiate time together. You won’t have to chase him
- He will let you know he has taken an interest in you
- He will call it a date, not “hanging out” or “just chilling”
- He won’t be scared of the word marriage because he’s dating with intentionality
Then, even years after “I do,” a Godly man will never stop pursuing his girl. One couple in my church body set aside one evening out of the week and have spent every Thursday night of their marriage intentionally with each other.
#6 — He will maintain boundaries
The mark of a man is restraint. If the guy you’re interested in cannot exercise self-control now, what makes you think he would if the two of you were married?
When God sends you the man you are called to be with, you will know. He will speak to your spirit, not flesh. He will lead you to God, not to sin.
“The man who loves Jesus will respect you. He’ll pursue you and treasure you. He won’t pressure you or control you but gently walk beside you and lead you. He will appreciate you as the gift of beauty you are and remind you of it. He will worship with you. He’ll pray for you and pray with you. He will lead you with strong hands, stand up when you can’t, but remind you that only God can satisfy.”-Unknown
Anyone who truly wants to be in your life will respect your boundaries. There’s a difference between somebody who wants you and somebody who would do anything to keep you. Remember that.
#5 — He will love you for who you are
Ultimately, your future spouse is going to find out how you slouch, how you dance, how you can be hyper at times, how certain shows make you really happy, and how low your mind can sink when you’re tired.
He is going to know everything about you, and you know what? He’s still going to love you.
The right guy will know you’re not perfect but treat you as if you are. He will love you in ways other men didn’t and look at you the same way you look at the stars, showing how much he loves you without a single word.
“Find someone who wouldn’t mind waking up with you in the morning, seeing you in wrinkles and your gray hair, but still falls for you all over again.”-Unknown
The right guy also won’t be afraid of your insanity. His love will roar louder than your demons. He will understand the worst of you and fall in love with your scars because they helped make you who you are today.
#4 — He will bring peace to your busy mind
The right guy will bring you comfort naturally, someone who is home and an adventure all at once. He will calm the storms in your mind and you will love him so fiercely it will defy your logic and reasoning.
You will be able to talk to the right guy like you talk to yourself. You will cover every topic under the moon, even ones you’re uncomfortable addressing, but it will be okay with him because the two of you will see eye-to-eye on the principles that matter.
The right guy will play with your hair, won’t mind holding your cold hands, will go on long walks with you, is serious but also knows how to have fun, makes you laugh, will join in on your random bursts of song, let out his inner-child sometimes, and isn’t afraid to be himself.
He will stand up for what he believes in, will stand up for you and protect you, make you feel like a princess, will pray with you and for you, and love you (but loves God more). In short, the right guy will be your best friend.
#3 — He will make you fall more in love with Christ
The only thing any of us truly need is Christ, so you should be looking for characteristics of God in potential suitors and marry the one who brings out your truest identity in Christ.
“Whatever makes you feel the sun from the inside out— chase that.”–Gemma Toy
The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is lead her closer to God, so don’t settle for a guy who doesn’t prioritize his relationship with God.
There’s a big difference between a guy who goes to church with you once a week and a man who encourages your walk with Christ daily.
Marry a man who genuinely loves God and leads you closer to Christ. Marry someone who makes you fall in love with God every single day.
#2 — He won’t be perfect
A common misconception in society today is that we are good at our core. This is not the case (Romans 3:9-20). We are broken people living in a fallen world. I am not good, you are not good, and any future spouse won’t be either.
“The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
My dad describes marriage as “two sinners in a box.” Inevitably, something will break down and the fairytale feeling will slip away. “Those who marry will have worldly troubles,” Paul promises in 1 Corinthians 7:28.
Because of this, you shouldn’t marry someone before you have a genuine fight with them because marriage isn’t about finding a “perfect” someone but someone whose problem-solving skills work well with yours.
The right guy will sit down with you and say “let’s fix this” instead of ignoring you. He will be someone who will fight for your marriage instead of give up when skies grow dark. The couples who are meant to last will go through the hardest times and come out stronger.
“A person whose primary goal is to glorify God has a great backup plan: he will be a repenting person.”–Rick Thomas, Get Ready
It’s not about who sins the least. It’s about who’s willing to grow and change because a man who is honest and real with you is more important than someone who just appears to be perfect. Someone like Steve Rogers: not a perfect soldier but a good man.
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”
#1 — He will be right for you
Although you do not need another human to complete you, your future spouse should compliment you. As 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 says, your future husband should fill in where you lack.
To get specific: it is my nature to take people at their word. I will believe you before I question you, so my “other half” should lean toward skepticism. He would fill in where I lack just as I would fill in for his lack, like pieces to a puzzle.
The list could go on and on, which goes to show that you need to know yourself before you could possibly know what you need in a spouse. Do not, however, rest on the acquisition of complete self-awareness because you may never come to understand the complexities of your soul, as I know I will never come to understand mine.
If you try to fix yourself fixed before you get married, you will never get married.
Ultimately, your purpose is to point others to Christ, so you should only marry if being with him helps you display Christ’s love for the Church more effectively than you could by yourself.
“Because Eve was made in the image of God and without sin, she did not need Adam’s love because there was nothing wrong with her either. She needed Adam for the same reason Adam needed her— to more efficiently image the One who created her.”
-Rick Thomas, Get Ready
Trying to find Mr. Right-for-you may seem hopeless. How can I find him when, at times, the world seems to be full of immature boys? Rest assured, good men do exist.
The seemingly fairytale-like attributes above may come across as far-fetched, but I know guys who possess them: Caleb Russo. Christian Boulton. Luke Black. Matthew LaPenna. Nathan Sigmon.
Be patient. If marriage is within God’s will for you, your future spouse will come along. Prayers don’t have expiration dates. If God is making you wait longer than expected, be prepared to receive more than you dreamed of.