Monday, October 10, 2016

The Kind of Man She Wants

Note: This post is part of a series of posts on marriage/relationships. I pray that this "mini-series" would be a blessing to you! Please feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear them! 



Chivalry in love has nothing to do with the sweetness of the appearance. It has everything to do with the tenderness of a heart determined to serve. You must not act under the impetus of charm, but out of a commitment to make someone's life the joy you want it to be. 
Ravi Zacharias

A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman's resentment like tenderness. 
Elisabeth Elliot



What kind of a man does a woman long for? What kind of a man does she need? The world tells us that he should be handsome, successful, wealthy. Or maybe someone "cool," modern, and progressive. Someone who pushes against authority, someone who "breaks the rules." Or maybe someone who makes us feel good about ourselves. The list goes on and on. 

But as a woman and as a Christian, my heart longs for something deeper. Something purer and richer than surface, artificial qualities. As Christian women, we long for something that speaks to us on the inside of our souls, souls aching for the love and gentleness of Christ displayed to us through the actions of our husbands. A husband will never fill the place in our hearts that only Christ can fill. But he can, through his actions, take our hands and place them in the hand of Christ. And I think that this is why so many women feel hurt and confused in their marriages. Because, honestly, as the leader of their homes and as the visual representation of their wife of Christ, many husbands are not fulfilling this role. And so the wife stumbles, and searches to find His hand, the hand of Christ, in the dark, through the confusion of her husband's actions that are un-Christ-like. 

This is not true in every marriage. And it is a precious thing to see those marriages where the husband is selflessly serving his wife and family in humility and love (not perfectly, but obediently). But I will say that it is rare. And I write this post in part as a challenge to men to walk with the Lord in their daily lives, to step up to the plate, so to speak. To become the man that you were created to be through the grace and mercy of Christ. To stop thinking about your own selfish or even legitimate needs and how your wife is not fulfilling them and to treat your wife as Christ treats the church. To love her. To pray with her. To listen to her. To serve her. To bless her. To be Christ to her. I think that you will be very surprised by the response. And I think that you will see, in most cases, that your needs will be met in the process. It's a funny thing how women respond to men who cherish them and serve them by cherishing and serving that man in return. We are designed to respond that way. Do you want your wife to serve you? Serve her. Do you want your wife to be sensitive to your needs? Be a sensitive, gentle, Christ-like man. 

I have witnessed , in my own experience, so many marriages where the women are starving for their husbands to take Christ seriously and lead their families. Where the man is literally not allowing the woman to serve him through his own actions and lack of obedience where the woman would gladly do so. Men, this should not be! You are the Leader and Shepherd of your family under Christ. So shepherd them. Love them. Nourish them. Lead them to the cross. 

Of course, this is impossible in our own strength. And this is where the grace of God comes in. Obedience is never easy . . . it is remarkably hard. Especially where feelings are absent. But again, this is where the grace of God comes in. And we find that we can do all thing through Christ who strengthens us as we put our trust in Him and take those first baby-steps of obedience. The feelings will follow.

So what kind of man has the qualities that the Lord values, that He lays out in His Word? What kind of man has the heart of Jesus Christ and follows in His footsteps? 



I compiled this list of qualities in the kind of man who is seeking to imitate Christ in his relationships.. But before I share it, I want to make it very clear that no man (or woman) is perfect. As I discussed in my introduction, we have not arrived, but we are arriving. My husband, after reading this list, in his usual humorous way, quipped, --"It's nice to know you have low standards." :-) Grace is essential. Forgiveness is essential. No one is perfect . . . but we ought to be, as believers, seeking daily to emulate Christ, to become more and more like Him. Obedience is the only way, and it is the pathway to joy -- our own and the joy of others. Do you want to make your wife happy? Imitate Christ. Love her and cherish her as Christ does and would. I'd also like to say that this is not an exhaustive list. Rather, it is a list of character traits that I find, as a Christian woman, admirable. When a man is Christ-like, he is attractive. He may not be physically attractive, but he is spiritually attractive. The attractiveness that I am speaking about here is not a sensual one. It is a spiritual one. When a man emulates and seeks to imitate Christ, he becomes spiritually attractive to the extent that he imitates Christ. His life compels others to put their trust and faith in Christ. His life is a shining beacon, a breath of fresh air in a toxic society, a sweet aroma. He is attractive spiritually. And this is the kind of man that a Christian woman yearns for  . . .  because she feels protected and loved and cherished by him -- because he protects and loves and cherishes her as Christ would to the best of his Spirit-filled ability.  Here are some characteristics (and reminders from Scripture) that I brainstormed of a spiritually attractive man. Think about them, search the Word of God, and seek to put these into practice in your marriage . . . and the grace of Christ will fill you where you lack --

~A man who serves with his heart, from the heart -- not only with his head.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 NKJV


~A man who is kind when he thinks that no one (important) is watching.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV

~A man who respects authority.

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 
I Peter 2:13-17 NKJV

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due,customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Roman 13:1-7 NKJV

~A man who is sensitive towards children.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 NKJV

~A man who will not compromise under pressure.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 
James 1:12 NKJV

~A man who is faithful with his body and with his mind.

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:28 NKJV

~A man who does not demand submission.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV

~A man who puts his own needs after the needs of his family. 

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
I Corinthians 10:24 NKJV

(A beautiful example of this is the character of Joseph in the film The Nativity Story--well worth watching!)

~A man who leads.

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
I Corinthians 11:3 NKJV

~A prayerful man.

...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Ephesians 6:18 NKJV

~A man who loves the Word of God.

Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
Lord God of hosts.

Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV

~A man who is humble. 

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 NKJV

~A man who is sensitive. 

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV

~A man who is gentle to animals.
A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10 NKJV

~A man who dies daily (to his flesh).

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13 NKJV

Difficult? Impossible? In a man's own strength, yes. But through Christ and in His grace--possible, beautiful, joy-giving, romance-inspiring, Follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and He will lead into all truth. For your joy, for His joy, and for the joy of your wife. 



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In this post, I focused on the man's response and responsibility in marriage. Next week, I'll be addressing the qualities and characteristics of a godly woman and how she may love and serve her husband through the grace of Christ. Please join me then! :-)



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9 comments:

  1. Such a great list and I loved the quotes you chose at the beginning. Have a great week!

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  2. This makes me even more grateful for the man of God who I walk alongside. I feel so blessed to be his wife. Thanks for sharing these ideals here. May we each live up to them ourselves.

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  3. My husband is not perfect by any means - and he'd be the first to admit that - but your words make me so grateful for the tender way he cares for me and serves our family. As a middle school teacher, his days are long and laden with needy kids, many of whom don't have caring parents of their own. Yet he never fails to meet our needs first and foremost. Thanks you for stirring up that gratitude in me - I'm off to tell him so.

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  4. So thankful for my patient husband -- and your words give shape to my prayers for four sons who I'm trusting will follow in their Dad's footsteps and base their lives and relationships on the truth of God's Word.

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  5. I am so thankful for my husband! And even when I don't think he is getting it right, God shows me that is usually is except I thought it would look different

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  6. "A man who is kind when he thinks that no one (important) is watching." I love this one. I think being kind shouldn't be for show or notoriety, one should be doing it for the sake of being kind and that's it. Thank you for sharing this marriage series with us on #shinebloghop!

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  7. What a great post... My Honey and I are celebrating our 24th Anniversary on Monday, which means we've been together for over 25 years and while he is not perfect, nor am I, he is the closest thing to Jesus I have ever met in the flesh and I know that I am blessed every single day!

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  8. Amazing post! Printing this off for my daughter and so thankful you wrote this:)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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