This guest post submission was made by an anonymous reader of the blog and translated into English. For the original Spanish, see 15 Cualidades Una Mujer Creyente Busca En Un Hombre.
It’s easy to believe that love is hopelessly complicated, but that isn’t the case. Love is a phenomenon that transcends words, nice gestures, and even actions, but it isn’t unfathomable. And the stakes of relationships are high. It follows that a woman should clarify what she values in a man before pursuing a relationship that might lead to marriage.
In this article, I outline 15 qualities I personally look for in a man. I address women, specifically, but reading through it as a guy can also be beneficial. Note that this article is not intended as a rigid rubric or recipe to be followed. Individual expectations are influenced by experiences and evolve over time. And many of our preconceived ideas fall apart when we come face-to-face with another human being.
That said, by being intentional about what we value we increase the probability that we will find it:
1-) Friend of God
Many of us call ourselves Christians, but few of us have experienced the love of Christ such that it fills every area of our lives. Maintaining a healthy vertical relationship with God fosters healthier horizontal relationships with family and friends. Maybe he isn’t a leader at a church or college ministry, but can you observe some of the following qualities in him—Peace? Patience? Kindness?.. and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians? Is he diligent in his work? How does he treat children? What about his mother, even when he is upset? Does he possess any qualities that you admire?
2-) Healthy self-esteem
We all have hurts, traumas, complexes, and bad habits, but freedom is available if we allow God to heal our past wounds and speak to our present challenges. It’s also important to break negative thought and behavioral patterns that affect our relationships with God and people. Sometimes it’s necessary to seek professional or medical help to treat unresolved issues. Make sure your prospective partner has a firm concept of his identity. Having a firm identity in Christ is vital to a healthy self-image. And there is nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who is secure in who he is in Christ, without becoming proud or arrogant.
Nowadays, it’s common to meet people full of hate, bitterness, and discontentment with their lives. Many of them were hurt by others and never made a point to forgive. The last thing a woman of God wants is to be in a relationship with a man resentful of mistakes, problems, misunderstandings, bad relationships, or addictions. Mercy is an inner devotion, love, and reverence for God that keeps the believer’s heart pure and results in acts of love, justice, mercy, and compassion. Good deeds are the outcome of a heart devoted to the Lord and inspired to be holy and merciful.
Maybe you like to be right (trust me, I get it), but as women we need men who are willing to walk hand-in-hand with us and let us know when we’re being difficult or when we’re looking at the world through our crazy googles. Everyone has a personality that makes them unique. Personality isn’t something defined at birth. We have a certain genetic disposition to be one way or another that gets shaped by experience. We can say that personality is partly determined by genes and temperament, on one hand, and lived experience, which gives way to character, on the other. In short, temperament and character together determine personality.
Temperament: Temperament is innate. We are born with it. It is the part of personality that is genetically predetermined. It is inevitable and can’t be changed.
Character: Character is the acquired part of the personality. It refers to behaviors and reactions that have been developed and become habits as a result of lived experiences. Character, in other words, can evolve.
In sum, all of us are born with a certain genetic predisposition, i.e. a temperament, that gets molded by our lived experiences, which gives way to character. It is important to know the temperament and character of the other person and identify how they give and receive love. In other words, their love language: gifts, quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, and acts of service. Personal compatibility is an important consideration of any relationship.
Jesus showed compassion to people to whom no one was showing compassion. Jesus knew that many of the people who followed him did not love him, but were only there for food and healing (John 6:26). But He had compassion on them anyway. Jesus even worked miracles among those who did not ask for a miracle. People who understand the power of compassion, who have a compassionate attitude in their dealings with others, eliminate fear. The absence of fear enables others to be more open in their interactions. Compassion creates a positive and friendly environment. It leaves no space for toxic emotions like envy or hatred.
Although compassion consists of doing selfless acts for others, it’s worth noting that compassionate people are able to identify and receive good in completely unexpected places. Being compassionate should not be confused with being charitable. Love does not seek to show others how generous we are, but instead is a reflection of our character. As our love for God grows, we increasingly show love to others. In a word, our compassion for others stems from our relationship with God, because God is love and He first loved us.
One sign of a humble man is that he is willing to celebrate the virtues of others. Ephesians 4:2 says “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” To be humble is to accept that without God we are nothing, but that with him we can have it all. Humility is not synonymous with low self-esteem or poverty, but is the effect of elevating God above ourselves in the context of a relationship. Humility fosters a calm and relaxed environment. It motivates us to treat others with openness and respect, and cultivate solid, long-lasting connections. Humility makes the people around us feel good, and it increases the depth and closeness of our relationships.
An intellectually curious person is intelligent indeed, because they are motivated to learn about the world, not as they wish it would be, but as it really is. Above all, a man should be hungry to know the Truth (Jesus) and desire to learn more about the unknown. An intellectually curious person is more concerned about “learning” than they are about “being right.” The character of an intellectually curious person tends to be warm and positive, and many women like me crave knowledge and having open and honest conversations. To be on the path of self-improvement is to be intellectually curious. Believe me that if you are on this path you will want a partner who is similarly so. An intellectually curious person will converse with you in an effort to understand the reasoning behind your actions instead of jumping to conclusions.
8. Sense of humor
His appearance may give you butterflies, but charm and palpitations fade with time while laughter remains a great asset. An ideal partner has a good sense of humor, or at the very least, he is able to understand yours. He rarely gets offended, since getting offended is literally the opposite of “being funny.” When we get offended, we take things personally and react based purely on emotion. On the other hand, a light spirit studies underlying motives and reacts based on facts and logic.
9. Spiritually in shape
“If you only do physical exercises and never spiritual exercises, you will have a pretty corpse and a dreadful eternity.” – Max Damián
A Christian woman looks for a man who is constantly trying to develop his spiritual muscles. He may take part in a Bible study, cell group, men’s group, Gospel workshop, prayer, fasting, etc. In any case, a man who is spiritually in shape makes spiritual growth a consistent priority.
Another quality that we as women find attractive is self-control (Galatians 5:23). A man who remains calm in difficult situations is a man of great value. He knows that in spite of everything God is in control and exercises discipline in the midst of temptation. On the other hand, a man who is easily angered, who lashes out and is emotionally unstable, is not someone anyone wants to be around.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “All things are lawful.” Of course! But not everything we desire is beneficial to the Christian life.
Every man in close relationship with God possesses His love. If a man does not have love, that is a clear sign you should run from that relationship. Love should be wholly true, unconditional, pure, and unmistakable. Today’s culture has taught us that true love doesn’t exist, and that those who look for it are wasting their time. It’s taught us that love is nothing more than physical attraction and that you can do with it whatever you want. But the Bible emphatically shows us what true love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is more than feelings, more than nice gestures, more than romance, more than words. Love is commitment and dedication.
12. He should think that you are the bomb
The best relationships I have witnessed are when both partners have a high view of one another. For a example, a man may think that you are almost “out of his league”… and you feel the same about him. In any event, there is gratitude. As women, we like exclusivity. Knowing that we are valued and treated as special makes us feel loved and cared for.
He should know how to live in relationship with God and recognize the importance of God’s presence in his life. He has a heart of praise without being religious or superficial (and coming across as obnoxious and irritating). He worships God for who He is and not for what He gives.
A man of God is a man ruled by convictions, not convenience or emotions. His lifestyle is consistent, that is, he practices what he preaches. Faithfulness to God and his wife are non-negotiable
A man who knows what he wants. A man who takes care of himself and the people around him, and doesn’t neglect his health. A man who works hard, whether that’s manual labor or a desk job. I personally have always liked skillful and hard-working men. No women are attracted to lazy men.
Ultimately, no two Christians will perfectly embody any of these characteristics. There may also be two strong Christians who really like each other, but God has other plans. And His plans are always better than what you could even imagine. So learn to discern what is the will of God, which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).
May we all live with integrity and desire holiness without which no one will see the Lord. This will save us a lot of unnecessary pain and increase our chances of finding a good partner.
Finally, I hope every Christian girl reading this will be wise when it’s time to select a partner with an eye toward marriage. Many people are in a relationship solely due to physical attraction, some to hang out, and others for social pressure or because they feel alone. Others avoid relationships altogether because they have had bad experiences or convinced themselves that they will be single forever.
Examine your heart and ask God for wisdom to make the best choice.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalms 139:23-24)
What do you think of the 15 qualities I outlined in this article? What other things should a Christian woman look for in a man?