As Christian women, we do not have an explicit set of rules or a checklist for what type of husband we should be looking for. Granted, this in and of itself is difficult because while we can look, we should not pursue. Beyond that though, we can look (unless, of course, we are married!).
The Bible has set one stipulation in regards to marriage—being equally yoked (2 Cor 6:14). This simply means that the man must be a Christ-follower. While in one sense this is easy to determine (his profession and actions), on another hand it is difficult because a man can easily lie and put a show on in order to get the woman he desires. Moving on beyond what ifs, buts, and althoughs, marrying a believer is first and fore-most.
We also have a qualification list of deacons and elders that every Christian man should be striving to attain. Christian women can look at this list as a guide to see if her pursuer matches these criterion. I will say that as a married woman myself, the second most important quality about a man is his leadership ability. This is quite loaded because leadership encompasses a vast array of facets.
I will break some of these facets down into four categories and give examples of them in action. The first two will be focused on this week and the last two will be focused on next week. The four categories of leadership are:
Beginning with spiritual leadership (to me, this is most important), it is necessary for the man to lead his family in matters concerning faith, doctrine, and love. He is the head of his house (Joshua 24:15). God has placed him in charge and the responsibility lies on his shoulders (Gen. 3). Women who want to usurp this position or desire to take the responsibility on themselves are in sin and need to repent. It has been said that taking on responsibility that is not our own is wrong. What does this have to with spiritual leadership? Success starts here. We have our guide book to follow (The Word of God) and he must know his Bible and how to get through life with it (2 Peter 1:3).
One important side note to spiritual leadership is should women have degrees in theological areas? Picture with me for one moment a woman who has a doctorate degree in ministry. Her husband has his associates degree in general studies. Who is the spiritual leader in this family? Who knows more about the Bible? Who will be asked the questions regarding spiritual matters? I will say off the bat that women who do get these degrees are not in sin. But I will say that it would be extremely difficult for a man to be seen as the spiritual leader if his wife has more formal education in theological matters. It is not sin, but I will say it is unwise.
Example of spiritual leadership: A husband who leads his wife and children in family worship. A husband who guides his wife in biblically reconciling with a friend. A man who teaches his family catechisms. A man who strives daily to present his family to Christ without blemish or spot. A man who pursues emulating Christ.
The second leadership quality is commanding leadership. As an officer (husband) in the military is in charge of the overall workings of a unit, the non-commissioned officer (wife) is in charge of the finer workings of the unit and of the individual soldiers. The officer is the one who holds the responsibility and therefore the blame when something goes wrong.
Commanding is a word that describes action and enforcement. While a husband should not be seen as a tyrannical dictator, the husband ensures that what he has directed is coming to fruition. He calls to action and sees its fulfillment. The husband delegates the responsibility of the household management to the wife. When crisis occurs, the husbands steps in and takes charge by reorienting and getting the balance back in place. His commanding leadership is necessary for a well-run, non-chaotic home.
Looking at leadership is essential in prospective Christian husbands. We must nurture these characteristics in our sons and teach our daughters what to look for in strong, godly men. This week we looked at Spiritual Leadership and Commanding Leadership and, Lord Willing, we will touch on the last two leadership characteristics: Exemplar Leadership and Family Leadership.