Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefits from their labor. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
A partnership may be either a very good thing or a very bad thing. If partners are well matched and work together for a common goal, they each share in the good results of their efforts. If partners do not work well together and have conflicting interests, either one or both will be stuck with his or her portion of an unhappy outcome.
Marriage is a partnership that God intends to last for a lifetime. It is, therefore, extremely important to choose a life partner with whom one is well matched. But how can a Christian woman be sure that the man she marries will be a “good” choice?
Because people may change over the course of time—either for the better or for the worse—there is no fool-proof way to assure a good marriage. But there are some observations a woman can make during courtship or dating and some questions she should ask which may help to reduce her risk of entering into an unhappy partnership for life. In this study, we will look at qualities and behaviors in a man that make him a good risk for Christian marriage as well as qualities and behaviors that serve as warning flags of poor husband material.
This study is intended to be interactive, with answers to find in Scripture verses and observations about your current boyfriend to record. You may write your answers on a separate sheet of paper or download and print the Microsoft Word document and record your responses directly on those pages.
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
The apostle Paul gives a very strong warning in this passage regarding partnerships between believers and unbelievers. Though this principle of not being “unequally yoked” may also apply to other binding associations (a business partnership, for example) it is clear that Paul intends it as a rule for marriage partnerships.
Sadly, there are some men who claim to be Christians, yet they do not truly live as “temple[s] of the living God.” To be a temple of God, a man must have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Let’s take a look at a way to discern whether or not the Holy Spirit really resides in a man.
Read Galatians 5:22-23.
When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a man, there are nine character qualities which should become a prominent part of who he is and how he interacts with other people.
All of us should be in the process of producing greater and greater evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Certainly no man will perfectly display all of these qualities all the time, but if you do not see at least some evidence of their existence and growth, you may conclude that this man is not truly walking with God and is, therefore, not a good candidate for a husband.
The Bible provides some clues that will help in discerning the presence or absence of the fruit of the Spirit in a person’s life. The writers of the Proverbs—mostly King Solomon, but also several others—make many insightful observations that lend clarity to the way these qualities should be evidenced in a godly lifestyle. We will examine each of these spiritual fruit individually, then explore several other aspects of good character that the Proverbs and other portions of Scripture address.
The questions that follow are designed to examine the behaviors and habits of men who are on the threshold of adulthood (early-twenties) or well into adulthood. The purpose is to help the women who are attracted to them discern the work of God in their boyfriends’ lives and to ask the questions before marriage that will be very important to their happiness after marriage. Hopefully, these questions will also bring to light any areas in which a man may be shutting God out of his life and refusing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in him.
Keep in mind as you work through this study that each man is a work in progress. It is unfair to expect perfection and maturity in every area, particularly if your boyfriend is still in school or is a fairly new Christian. Growth occurs over time and with experience. Knowledge is gained in increments, and childish behavior gives way gradually to adult reasoning. Some men have more negative behavior and thinking to overcome than others, due to their family backgrounds or hurtful experiences. God works to bring wholeness and change a little at a time, but He does work continuously. Therefore, if a man is truly desiring to walk with God, it will show. And if he is not open to the shaping work of the Holy Spirit within him, that too will show.
Spend some time in prayer, asking God to reveal to you through this study of His word the things He wants you to see in your current boyfriend and to give you wisdom to know how to respond appropriately to what you discover. Ask Him, also, to work in you the same qualities of holiness that you desire in your partner. A godly man will want a godly wife.