By Melissa Rich
When we get beyond the surface of that man, after the attraction and the infatuation, what is left? Is he capable of being in a solid relationship? So often we jump in without getting to know a person. Our heart becomes intertwined before finding out if this is someone with whom we can see building a future. Better to find out before our hearts become too involved because these things will come up at some point.
Although these subtitles can apply to the man or the woman, I wanted to speak to women about men on this one. It is okay to desire some very basic qualities in a man (or women) before making a long term commitment. These are some of the things I look for which are foundational to healthy relationships. Even if they are not all 100% there in the beginning, they begin to take shape as you learn one another more and grow in the relationship but they are absolutely going to matter once you are fully committed.
1. He Loves God- This goes without say if you are a Christian but when I say “loves God”, I am not talking about words. I’m talking about a man who has a healthy fear of God and is continually, desiring to know more. It isn’t about how many verses he can quote or whether or not he is always referring to God with his words. Everyone expresses themselves differently. It is about who he is from within. How he makes his life decisions.
A man who loves God will always be pursuing more of God. His full intent will be towards God’s purposes for his life.
2. He keeps his word- This is necessary to build trust. When he says he is going to do something, he does it. When he says he is going to be there, he is there, on time. When he makes a commitment, he keeps it. When he is not able to do what he said he would, he communicates with whoever is involved that needs to know. It isn’t about perfection so much as integrity. He must be able to stand by his word, how else can you count on what he says? A man who keeps his word is dependable.
3. You feel safe with him- What does it mean to feel “safe”? This all depends on where you are emotionally and what your history is but there is something comforting to a woman when she is with a man who’s arms are wrapped around her or even him standing behind her; it makes her feel safe. She is not afraid that he will in any way try to bring harm to her. She knows he will be protective of her. When he speaks with her, it doesn’t leave her feeling small or dishonored but safe and secure. He is strong within and without but his true strength is not in overpowering her, it is in providing a safe place for her to come to him. A man’s true strength is not in his ability to display it, but in his ability to harness it.
4. He is always learning- If a man is not a “learner”, how will your relationship continue to “grow”? Whether it’s formal education or books and seminars, he has a hunger for knowledge and growth. He understands that there is so much more to know and he is always, desiring to be a better man. This will show up in all areas of his life. He will want integrity in all areas, especially his relationships. His heart and mind is pliable for God.
5. He is approachable- A relationship without communication is doomed before it starts. Most men do not have the capacity to sit and listen or engage for hours (although I know some who do), but you can talk to him. If this man is to be the head of your home, you will need to be able to approach him without feeling like a burden or bother. It may take some time to establish good communication and boundaries with him but ultimately, he understands how much you need him as your covering to be approachable.
I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list but it is 5 very basic things to consider as you are getting to know this man. I am always reminding everyone that it is never about “perfection” it is always about continual growth. Some of these areas may need to be worked on in the beginning but by the time a permanent commitment is being decided on, they should be well under way. Every relationship is different but these 5 apply to all relationships on some level and if you remove one, the relationship will “tilt”.