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8 things to convince you of a man’s character

We ladies have all seen the movies, read the books, wished upon a star, and wondered, When will he come?

When a man does come, we begin to worry and wonder if he’s “the one.” Is he the man who will fulfill my every longing and complete my very soul?

Let me save you some time here: No, that Man already came 2,000 years ago. If Jesus’ love for you doesn’t complete you, nothing will.

But for most of us, there will be a man who comes into our lives as a husband, promising love eternal and joy never-ending. By God’s grace, he will exemplify Christ-like qualities, but he will be no god. I love how Tim Keller has put it, that there is only one the one and his name is Jesus. These words are both true and profound. If you find yourself pursued by a man, you must wisely evaluate his character and determine if he is potential husband material.

I remember when I first realized that Phil was interested in marrying me, and there were no fireworks or skywriting involved since we did not have a particularly giddy beginning to our relationship. Also, I was not one of those girls who had planned out every detail of her wedding at age five, but what I did know is that, beyond fading infatuation and mushy words, Phil was a solid man of God.

While this may sound utterly unromantic, entering marriage comes down to one consideration:

Are you convinced of his character?

Character is the distinctive nature of someone. It is often said that character is who you are when no one is looking. The reality is God is always looking at our hearts. As you lay yours bare before God, he will show you your character and allow you to prayerfully evaluate this man’s.

In considering a man as future husband material, it is important to consider physical attraction, whether he can provide for you financially, whether your interests and hobbies are similar, and whether you think his jokes are funny. But, in the end, none of those may be a true deal breaker.

A deal breaker is if you cannot with full confidence and honesty answer any of the following eight questions about his character.

1. Is he a man of God?

A man of God is vigilant over his own life. He prays and studies the Word of God. He is both strong and tender because he images God. If he is a man of God, then you can be convinced that God’s character will define, lead, and change this man over the course of his lifetime.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

1 Corinthians 16:13–14

2. Whom does he follow?

The Sunday School answer to this one is Jesus, of course. But do you see him doing this actively? How do you see it specifically play out in his life?

If he truly is submitted to Christ, he will also willingly place himself under the authority of the church, its leaders, and other godly men who can correct, encourage, and speak truth. As my wise husband says, “A man under no authority is a dangerous man.”

3. Does he love Jesus more than he loves you?

I know, ladies, this one can be hard. But trust me on this: you want a man who puts Jesus first in his life so that he has all the riches and righteousness of Christ to love you from—not his own limited supply.

4. Does he love you more than he loves himself?

A selfless man will love you better than a selfish man would. Simple as that.

5. What does he fear most?

All men fear. The absence of fear does not a man of character make. Humble, courageous response to fear is what makes a man able to trust God and still lead himself and you in the fearful moments.

6. What makes him angry?

A man of character may be stirred to anger, but it will either be righteous anger or he will repent. If you see a pattern of anger over trivial matters, this is not a man who is ready to be a husband.

7. Is he humble?

You want to be with a man who does not always need to be best, first, right. Humility will serve Jesus and you well all the days of his life.

8. Does he frequently repent?

A man of character is not perfect. He would be the first to admit that. A lifetime of repentance deeply forms the character of a man.

Jobs may come and go, romantic notions and lofty aspirations may fade, but a man of godly character is steady in his devotion to Jesus first and foremost. If you, as his sister in Christ, can confidently describe and observe his character in action, you have found a gift.

Be convinced, above all else, that you see Christ in his character.

Jen Smidt is a deacon at the Ballard church. She and her husband, Pastor Phil, were part of the original core group when Mars Hill was planted.

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