10 Things A Woman Should Look For In A Man

From JP | January 28, 2013 . By Jonathan Pokluda

Last Thursday I picked my 5-year-old up from kindergarten and she informed me that she has a boyfriend. I asked “Who?!!” and she said that she wasn’t sure what his name is. Evidently, when you are 5 small details like names are not important when it comes to relationships.

As adults, some of us continue to struggle with knowing what is important in a significant other. I certainly did. Like so many young adults, I chased the experience of dating, grew addicted to the highs and lows of dysfunctional relationships, and suffered through bringing these bad habits into my marriage. The fact that I am now married to a beautiful follower of Jesus is only because of God’s tremendous grace (and only after we suffered through difficult years of rebuilding trust and love).

Monica and I seem to be an exception, as so many with similar stories have very different endings. Today we spend countless hours in pre-marital counseling with young couples, observing relationships of others, and preparing for weddings I’m officiating. I see clear patterns of what works, and what ends terribly. I see how awful compromises of morals and logic are made when strong feelings get in the way. On the other hand, I see how some go about dating in such a calculated way that no one can ever meet their “standards.”

Asking the Right Question

The biggest problem I’ve noticed is that most singles are trying to answer the same question: “Who should I date?” But that’s the wrong question. The question you should be asking is “Who should I marry?” Lift your eyes above the here and now—above the fun of dating a stranger, the emotional rush of a long phone conversation, or the pursuit of premarital intimacy—and start to think about dating with the end in mind.

Ladies, sometimes it seems that when a guy “finally” gives you attention everything else goes out the window. But if you focus your attention on finding the traits that make a good husband—and not simply a good date—you’ll be much more likely to end up with “happily ever after” instead of heartbreak.

10 Things a Woman Should Look For (And a Man Should Be)

In no particular order. You want to marry a guy who is:

  1. Submissive to authority. Rebellious guys might grab your heart for a moment, but they will not lead you or themselves well. You want someone who will admit that he is not always right, and be willing to change when others point that out to him. Does he listen to others and yield to wisdom? (Hebrews 13:17)
  2. Honest. Does he say what he means and do what he says? Does he go out of his way to speak with whole, complete, and concentrated truth? Without honesty, you cannot trust what he says—including when he says he will commit to you in marriage. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
  3. Kind. Is he nice to others around him? Don’t expect him to be consistently kind to you long-term if he is not kind to others. (2 Timothy 2:24)
  4. Selfless. Does he think of your needs, and the needs of others, ahead of his own? Is he generous and willing to share his possessions and time with others? Husbands are called to love their wives selflessly and sacrificially, “just as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25).
  5. Patient. Is he willing to wait for good things? Does he value you enough to wait for you? “Patient” is the very first word used to describe love in the famous “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
  6. Courageous. Will he stand for what is right when it is difficult, embarrassing, or unpopular? Will he stand up to protect you? (1 Corinthians 16:13)
  7. Gentle. Can he control his strength, and balance it with grace? (1 Timothy 3:2-3)
  8. Diligent. A diligent person can be counted on to provide. Does he work hard? (Proverbs 12:24)
  9. Faithful. This insinuates a reputation. Anyone can fake the things on this list when trying to impress a girl. Does he have a reputation consistent with these character traits? (Proverbs 20:6)
  10. Committed to Christ. Christ should be the focus of his life. This looks like yielding to His word, being prayerful, living in community, and being committed to a body of believers. If this is there, #1-9 will be too. (Galatians 5:22-25)

Men, strive to develop these qualities, by trusting fully in Christ and submitting to His Spirit. Women, look for a man with these qualities. Of course, no man is going to be perfect—you can’t marry Jesus—but choose someone who is striving to be like Him.

Next week, we’ll cover what a man should look for in a woman (and what women should strive to be). And be sure to join us Tuesday evenings at The Porch for the new “Cupid” dating series, which starts this week.

Ladies, anything that didn’t make the list that should be there?

– JP

  • The Porch

    We would be happy to connect with you, email theporch@watermark.org if you want to follow-up!

  • The Porch

    We would be happy to connect with you, email theporch@watermark.org if you want to follow-up!

  • Refilwe

    Thank you,
    I loved reading your blog,

    10 Things a Woman Should Look For (And a Man Should Be)

    Its so eye opening,
    I was blessed by reading it.

    Thank you and May God continue to use you more.


  • Em

    What does it say about a guy who all of his friends are girls? He hasn’t gotten connected in a church yet, but knows he is needing a solid group of Christian guy friends. So for the time being his friends are the girls from work, who aren’t strong Christians. I don’t want to be jealous but think it is very important for a guy to have guy friends.

  • The Porch

    Hey Catherine!

    Thank you for reading our blog and for commenting. We’re glad that you asked!

    Here are some helpful things to read:
    The Gift of Singleness
    Why Singleness is Better
    Should Girls Ask Guys Out?

  • Catherine

    Hi um I a bit younger than 18, but there is this boy in my church and I’m having a little bit of mixed feelings about him. I mean he is cute and strong and I don’t know his relationship with The Lord. E does seem to be a little secretive and stays by his mother which I don’t mind, terribly. We have had conversations but hey are always so award. He is a little annoying but he does it in a cute way and it’s hilarious cause I can’t stay mad at him! X3 I want to get to know him better but I’m terrified of asking anything about him! I’m just kinda in that friend zone ya know and he’s my first, but I don’t… I’ve been praying but I need advice. What should I do?

    – CP

  • The Porch


    Thank you for reaching out! That’s a great question to think and pray through. I highly recommend checking out our Merge Ministry for couples who are seriously dating or engaged. Throughout the course, you and your fiancé would get to walk through great ways to process whether or not moving forward is the best next step and gain valuable tools to help set you up well for a successful marriage. I would also recommend our ministry GriefShare to hear from and process through with other people like you who have also experienced loss.

    Here are some other helpful resources:
    Should I? – Making Wise Choices
    Should We Get Married?
    9 Signs You Should Break Up

    Thank you again for reaching out! Please feel free to email us at theporch@watermark.org if you have any more questions.

  • LaToshia

    I Love this. All my life I been dating, but no guy was good enough or my kids just didn’t like him. Now that I am engaged and I how found a good man, I’m having second thoughts about everything. He seems to be only stuck on himself and financial wise will not help me at all, not even put gas in my car. He is supportive of me, has my back when things go wrong, but I see only bad not good. After the death of my ex fiancé, I see men different from him. I compare them to him and I shouldn’t. Is this the reason why I can’t move on?

  • odell

    I thank a relationship should have A spiritual Foundation.we as Christian’s in marriage’s in the body of Christ divorce is high in Christian marriages we have to make a stay in in marriages and pray fast love one another as Christ love the church the Word of God says he that findeth a wife finds favor with the Lord hallelujah.

  • valdrina

    very good presentation

  • […] is exactly like him—because that’s what you’re going to get, more or less. Check out this list of things to look for in a man. Good moms hold out for men who are becoming good […]

  • Bill


    Hello. This is in response to your question. I would tell you that it would be ok to go out with him, but, make sure you test his thirst and sincerity for the Lord. A person can be a “wolf in sheeps clothing,” just to capture the heart of the object it’s pursuing. But, in the end, that person’s true character will emerge after it’s been tried and tested. God does the same thing with us to see if we’re foreal or fake. Be very careful not to give too much of yourself or heart too quick. I wish you luck.


  • DP

    I need help..
    This guy wants to ask me out. I do like him back too but the thing is he is trying to get closer to God now, he is not that close to Him yet…
    I am very confused because he likes me and I like him back, but I dont want to make bad decisions, Dont know if i should say “yes” or “no”. There is something about this guy that makes me love him unconditionally.
    Any suggestions?

    -DP 🙂

  • […] part of our Cupid series, I listed some things a woman should look for in a man. These were traits that good husbands tend to have, and are things that guys should strive to […]

  • JP

    No need to be concerned. I am sure the scriptures stand as true.
    What do you think it looks like to submit to God? How do you interpret God’s will if not by way of scriptural authority, and the authority of your community of faith? Some might say by feelings interpreted as “The Spirit”.

    Authority can certainly be abused, and there are times to submit regardless (when we are not asked to sin) and times to stand against (when it is sin) as is the case of Nazi Germany, David Koresh, Saddam Hussein and many others. However, we should proceed with much caution knowing that our flesh’s desire is to often “buck” against authority. There are some who use the “I submit to only God” banner to justify rebellion, isolation, and sin. How do you read those verses above? What do you think they mean?
    Thanks for the dialogue.

  • Gabriel Gibson

    I was concerned you might say that.

    And…what if those “authorities” are clearly corrupted and wicked?

    What about those “authortities” that would choose to limit your ability to practice your faith?

    This was a popular passage taught in Germany during WWII. Was it right for those Germans to “follow authority”?

    Where do you draw the line JP?

  • JP

    Great questions Gabriel. God is our ultimate authority and has outlined how we are to live in relationship with Him in His word. God has also ordained institutions where he places people in positions of authority. We are under the authority of our local and national governments (Romans 13:1-7). We are under the authority of those we submit to in groups (teachers, bosses, and so forth- 1 Peter 2:18), and we are under the authority of the leaders of our church (Hebrews 13:17). So, who’s authority other than God’s? Everyone that God, in His sovereignty, has placed in authority over us. (1 Peter 2:13)

  • Gabriel Gibson

    Submissive to Authority as #1?

    What is this? Who’s authority other than God’s?

  • Robert James Babuji.M.D.

    I was thanking God for your teaching at The Porch today; “Ten things that a guy should be”. It reminded me of Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

    I came back home and the Holy Spirit inspired me to write this devotional on my Facebook timeline:

    When the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD comes upon us and HE begins to live in us, we are transformed irreversibly. The transformation is a tangible and perceptible change. The transformation is undeniable. The transformation is visible and very apparent to those who have known us, prior to the MIRACLE. No longer are we controlled by the fleshly spirit of our earthly bodies but by the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. This is a MIRACLE. A MIRACLE that only GOD can do, through GRACE, so no one can boast about it. The transformation being that we were formerly the created beings of GOD, made in the image of GOD but now we are THE CHILDREN OF GOD. Baruch HaShem Adonai. Halleluyah.

  • […] 10 Things a Woman Should Look For (And a Man Should Be) —>http://theporch.wpengine.com/10-things-a-woman-should-look-for-in-a-man/ […]

  • Angela

    Please read

  • Odie

    Adding to “Commitment to Christ,” the guy’s commitment to Christ models how he will be committed to you. I loved hearing that my fiancée went to my communities to find out about me, that she didn’t simply rely on her own intuition. Do your research ladies! And don’t be afraid to let a guy go if you can’t find other men willing to vouch for his commitments!

  • Cyd


  • Marcus T.

    Good list.

    In dating Julie, I found the “Guy’s Guide to Marrying Well” (ebook) put out by some people at Focus on the Family, to be a really well done, non-cheesy resource that helped me think through how I pursued her.

    The “Girl’s Guide” is equally great:


  • Ashley Marie

    Repentant!! Scott and I have a great marriage, certainly not without its faults though. One thing I’m always so amazed by (and thankful for!) that Scott does is be quick to repent and seek forgiveness. It seems even if I’m the one at fault, he owns even the smallest thing that *could* have been his “fault” and seeks forgiveness for it. By setting this example, he’s made it easier for me to repent and seek forgiveness when I’m the one “at fault.” If it weren’t for his ever-repentant heart, and the way we intentionally keep short accounts, marriage would be A LOT harder.

    Thanks for this list, JP!! I hope all my single friends out there take heed. I dated guys that didn’t meet this list & it typically ended badly. The man I married loves Christ above all else and possess all of these character traits. I ask myself all the time how I got such an amazing man to marry me! 😉 (I totally married up!) Haha!

  • Michele

    This kind of goes along with courageous, but I think “a leader”… I want to marry a man that is able and willing to follow God’s lead and make decisions for our family as the spiritual head of the household.

  • Natalie

    I think it’s also important to have something in common because if you have nothing in common with the guy your dating it won’t work out. Also trust worthy is a big thing too