The Search for a Godly Spouse

Many single men and women don’t know how to pursue marriage with purpose.

When asked what they’re looking for in a spouse, most will say something about good looks. While physical attraction is not unimportant, for a marriage that stands the test of time couples must rise beyond that initial connection point. They must keep character top of mind, understanding that marriage is a relationship with a whole person, not just a body.

A second idea for single men and women to consider is the length of their engagement period. Jean and I were engaged for six weeks and have been married for over thirty years, so there are no hard and fast rules. Generally, though, couples who rush into marriage do so before they’ve had an opportunity to experience each other in a variety of different seasons and situations. They don’t get below the surface and answer questions like:

  • What is he like when he’s stuck in traffic and late for an appointment?
  • How does she act when she’s stressed because of a hospitalized loved one?
  • How does he treat his mother?
  • What’s her relationship like with her father?
  • What is he like when he’s around his friends?
  • How does she feel about children?

People are usually on their best behavior when they’re dating. It’s in the course of the journey that you see a person for who they really are.

On Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, we’re airing a stirring message by Pastor Alistair Begg, the senior pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio since 1983. In this recording, he shares characteristics to look for in a spouse and explains why it’s a lot easier to have a great relationship when you’re married to a person with Christ-like qualities.

For women, here’s his advice for what to look for in a husband:

  • He’s committed to having a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • He should be an individual of obvious integrity.
  • He should be able to lead boldly.
  • He should display the ability to love sacrificially.
  • He should be able to laugh heartily.
  • He should model genuine humility.

For men, here’s Alistair’s advice for what to look for in a wife:

  • Like her husband, a wife should have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • She should possess an inner beauty that goes deeper than her skin.
  • She should be an initiative taker with an attitude of submission.
  • She should build her husband’s confidence.
  • She should display kindness that touches others.
  • She should have a sense of humor that braves adversity.

Hear Alistair’s full message on your local radio station, online, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or listen on our free phone app.

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