I recently shared with you the pros and cons of having a Future Husband List, and even shared what kind of man I pray for. Too often we women become disappointed with the Christian men around us and we compromise our dreams of marrying a godly and pure man.
But recently I read a post that made me realize that sometimes we women can also be so focused on what we hope our man to be, that we dream up unrealistic fantasies and discourage our brothers. The author in the post Which Comes First – a woman’s respect, or a man’s godly leadership? shares how we woman do great harm to godly young men by our zealous desires of finding the perfect man.
We young woman need to be careful in our attitudes. It is prudent to pray for our man, with a humble attitude that desires to be made into a virtuous woman. Our men will be human. They will have flaws. Not just now, but even during courtship…even after marriage.
Girls seem to have it wrong, either way. We either compromise our standard and throw out dreams of marrying a righteous man. Or, we dream up a fictitious super man that every man we’ve met fails to meet.
So how do we be balanced in this area?
A man that is saved and has a relationship with the Lord is obviously crucial. But what about other things we deem crucial, such as financial faithfulness, leadership, vision, godly manhood, spiritual maturity?
They are important, but just as we are maturing, we must remember that they too are learning and growing.
We look to godly older men as examples, or biblical characters for role models. But it’s imperative to understand that the young man we will marry will not be a perfect example of Caleb. And he most definitely will not have had the experience and wisdom of an older man. How would we feel if our man expected us to have equal maturity of his mother, the wisdom of Deborah and the spirituality of his Pastor’s wife?
Sometimes financial faithfulness begins with a desire to be faithful. It might mean the big things at first. Then later on the small purchases. Leadership might express itself by making wise decisions in life, not a stereotypical take-charge attitude. A visionary man may not begin with a multi-generational plan. He may only know the first step God wants from him. Manliness is learned, not achieved by becoming a certain age. We did not become virtuous women by turning 21. It’s a constant lesson — godly manhood is as well. A godly man in the making may look different than the ideal man we’ve imagined.
We should pray for our future man, and for our brothers in Christ. It’s not wrong to pray for a lion of a man. But we can’t look down on the young lions and dismiss them as under-par simply because they are young and learning. Obviously I would never advocate marrying a man who is less than what God would have us marry, just because he is probably “learning and growing and needs a little grace.” Never. If anything I am more extreme on the other side.
But if we were focused on who God wants us to become, and humbly prayed for our men to be who He wants to be in them, then we should have no worries. We can pray for kingly attributes but our men will be knights in training. Just as we are rare rubies in training. Let’s pray for our men. They will be leaders, and carry the weight of leading in today’s sick world. And they are human, with faults and frailties. Just as we will be their helpmeets, their encouragers, standing by their side in this sin-sick world. And we are human, with faults and frailties.
We never have to compromise. But we also can expect the best without fantasizing a perfect.