“Each [woman] will be like a shelter from the winded a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.” Isaiah 32:1-4
A lifelong relationship is the start of a new union–a family. For this union to work both partners have to bring something to the table. It is also imperative that you form a union with a man who shares the same values as you. Any Relationship–whether it is business, love, work or friendship has to have an alignment of values otherwise it has an inescapable expiry date. If the actions of a man are not aligned to your core beliefs, you will soon suffer.
There is nothing more life changing than saying “I Do” to the right match for you. You will spend the rest of your life with this man; your children will have his DNA running through their veins. You want to spend the rest of your life with a good match so aim high in character but not so high that you end up missing the target.
I know every woman has a list. We all have a list of requirements for our Mr Right tacked away somewhere in our drawers. Every time one more man breaks your heart, you add one more requirement to the list. And over the years the list has become so long that it will take a perfect man to meet those requirements.
Today, I want us to look at a different kind of list–one that is based on compatibility between you and your man.
The Lady’s Choice
Most of us tend to fall in love with the most perfect traits of a man. Who wouldn’t? Anyone can fall in love with a tall, handsome man who weighs her ring finger with a diamond rock and always knows what to say. There is nothing special about that. The real wisdom is in if you can accept his weaknesses. Can you look at a man’s flaws and say, ‘I can work with that. I can make something beautiful out of these ashes.’ It is not his nice Italian suits, or his humility or his godliness that will destroy your relationship. It is the imperfection underneath his perfection that will shake your relationship so bad that you will want to quit.
Leah was the wife of Jacob, a man who had no desire for her. Jacob had been in love with her younger sister all along. Imagine how Leah must have felt to watch the man he loved love another woman. The bible actually describes Leah’s pain and rejection by the names she gave the sons she bore with Jacob. Sometimes we suffer from being unloved. We become victims of unhappy marriages through no faults of our own. But sometimes it is within our choice. We commit to men who care less about us in the hope that we can make them love us, and just like Leah, we spend the rest of our lives trying to win their love.
We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who love us–the people who think we matter. We waste so much time blinded by our pursuits; trying to make those people we love fall in love with notice us. We try to convince ourselves that if we cook one more dinner or buy one more gift or even bear a child with them, they will fall in love with us. While we are wasting all this time waiting, the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg for love in the streets!
It’s time to put an end to this. It’s time for us to let ourselves be loved. If he is not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he makes promises to you, and then doesn’t follow through on even the littlest of things, he will do same for big things. If he is okay with disappointing you, it is because he does not care about you. If he’s choosing not to make an effort that would put you at ease and resolve a recurring fight, then he doesn’t respect your feelings and needs.
Love and sacrifice always go together. For God so loved the world that He gave… You deserve a man who can make a sacrifice for you. You deserve a phone call. You deserve to be loved.
Putting Bread on the Table
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1Timothy 5:8
Throughout the biblical era, men have always been willing to pay the cost of what they love, including the hand of the woman they desire. Everyone knows that anything worth having has a price. And no one gets a ride for free, not in this lifetime.
Go for a man who takes care of his business. A man who truly loves you will move into your heart, not your house–a man who works hard to provide for your family’s basic needs. If he is committed to you, he will make sure you are protected-emotionally, physically and financially.
He will fight for your relationship to make you secure and he will go the extra mile to make sure the needs of his family are met. Don’t feel unfair for wanting a strong man in your life–look at what you are bringing to the table as A Proverbs 31 Lady.
A man does what he must–in spite of personal consequences, in spite of hindrances, threats and pressures. He won’t give up, even when you do.
The true measure of a man’s maturity is the security he provides to his spouse and family. When the storms of life threaten to sink a home, he anchors the family. When the winds of temptation threaten to wipe his family, he stands strong for them all. When the global crisis almost buries him into debt, he works extra hours to make sure his family never goes without food.
Of course, there will be times when your man just cannot do as much as you and your children require. Tying the knot to a natural born provider will be a huge advantage when the scales in your nuptial tip, as they will at different points in your journey. And when that time comes, you will be too glad to help because you have seen him rise and provide for his family even in the toughest of times.
The Proverbs 31 Lady knows her true worth. Before she connects with a man, she makes sure that the man is truly worthy of her life. She won’t just settle for any man who finds her–no, she takes her time to get to know a man before she gives herself to him. She is not made for just any man; she is made for a king. Only the King Lemuel’s of this world can appreciate her true worth.
Ladies do not just settle for any man. You want a man who recognises your worth (Proverbs 31:28) and one who has worth. Settle for a man made of strong, durable fabric. When the world around him is crumbling down and his sun seems like it will never rise again, does this man still believe? Go for a man who is so deeply rooted in God that even when his world disintegrates, he knows where to look.
His faith in God is his foundation; it gets him through the good and the bad, and it never falters. He believes in those that things many of us give up on when the world turns cold: hope, morals, kindness and good will. He has a religious support in his life and the fellowship refuels his engines. He’s god-fearing and proud of his strong beliefs. His moral compass is turned in a positive direction, and he refuses to accept failure. He helps others and chooses to live his life in a way he believes others should live theirs.
Don’t just go for a man who believes in God; go for one you are spiritually compatible with. Go for a man who holds dear the spiritual values you subscribe to.
His Flock, His Ties and Life Patterns
Everyone knows that birds of the same feather flock together, yet most women fail to see the connection between a man and his friends. He may be perfect when he is with you but when you look at his friends and don’t see feathers that resemble his–someone is not being honest.
A man’s pals tell you a lot about the person that you haven’t seen yet. They reveal things about the man’s character that might be hidden when he is on good behaviour. Everyone knows how to put their best foot forward. Don’t remain focused only on the best foot; check out the rest of his body as well!
A man and his family are cut from the same cloth. Know his family. If they usually sacrifice their first born offspring and you don’t share the same sentiments then you have a decision to make. How does he treat his mother? How does he relate to the women in his family? Take note and decide whether this is how you want to be treated. He may be treating you well now but when the dust settles and the ‘mushy mushy’ feelings evaporate, he will treat you like he treats the other women in his life.
It is also prudent you do a background check on the man before you invest on any relationship. Give yourself time and space to check out the man in your life. Time will always reveal whether or not he is made from the right material. Dating exists, not for mating but for collecting data–friendship, courtship and then marriage.
Test before you trust. A female eagle drops a stick from heights to see if the male eagle can catch it. This test is important to the female eagle because the male eagle will train baby eagles how to fly using this technique
If you see repeated cycles of drama in his personal kingdom then, you need to find out what the cause of the drama is. Please also check for broken relationships, problems in making commitments, job market and mood swings. At the end of the day, you want a stable, responsible man. You want a man who embraces responsibility not one who dodges it.
Feelings are a poor way of measuring reality ladies–feelings are not facts. When it comes to relationships, let your emotions subside before you make a decision. Do not let your heart decide the path you will take when it comes to relationships. The heart is deceptive above all things and beyond cure. (Jeremiah 17:9) Do not let your heart lead you, direct it instead. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Patience is essential when choosing a life partner. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life in regret. The opposite of wisdom is impatience–be wise!
His Vision for His Life
God decided Adam needed help once Adam got busy doing his assignment. A man doesn’t need help until he is busy doing what he was created and called to do. You want the man in your life to be guided by a sense of destiny and purpose–you don’t want a man who just allows life to happen around him. A man who is not certain of his mission can be a miserable person–and you’ll be miserable too if you don’t know where you want to go in life.
A man who has a vision is not intimidated by a woman whose mission statement is clear. He will be your biggest supporter because he wants you both to make it! It is even better if his vision is aligned to yours because when you success he succeeds. A man who cannot be supportive of your accomplishments because he is wallowing in his own sea of uncertainty is not a healthy partner to have and to hold forever.
Marriage is a pyramid between God, man and woman. You complete the perfect picture when you unite with a man whose eyes are fixed on God. So that as both of you walk towards God, you become closer and closer to each other.
You want a man who has firmly anchored his identity to Christ. Remember, we are looking for a man who will be the spiritual head in his home. His first instinct should be to want to protect you, redeem you, and provide for you. Your job is to decide if this is the man God wills for you to complement.
Does he have a healthy love and acceptance of himself? You don’t want to be taken in an emotional rollercoaster. The man who is pursuing you should have taken time to heal from past relationships and has made peace with himself before you court. How he cares for himself is how he will care for you–do not be fooled! A man’s relationship with God is essential in the way he relates with you. His love for himself will only be as strong as his love for God. It is not something that can be taught. You cannot be his saviour or his teacher in this aspect. That is just out of spiritual order. In his rightful place, he should be leading you to a richer relationship with Christ.
His Complementary Gifts
When I go shopping for a dress, I always consider the fabric, the fit, its match to the rest of my wardrobe, and the price I have to pay for the garment.
You want a man whose vision, talents and gifts complement yours. You should be able to see the two of you as an effective team capable of bringing blessing to the lives of those around you. Your futures should mesh when both of you synchronize your gifts. Something happens when two people whose gifts are complementary tie the knot. The kind of impact they make in the world is compared to no other.
Look at the power couple, Victoria and Joel Osteen. Their passion for the ministry and writing has made such an impact in the lives of millions. You cannot underestimate the value of spousal support in your undertakings. That is why knowing your purpose is so important because you can make sure your hearts beat for mutual causes.
Will the dress be a complementary addition to what I already have? If I find that I am going to have to buy shoes and matching accessories to go with a new dress, I leave it right on the rack. It is too expensive a proposition.
If the man you meet makes you feel like you need to reinvent yourself, something is wrong. Consider the relationship in terms of cost. Is this relationship expensive spiritually, emotionally, or physically? Your longing for a mate should never make you feel like you should forfeit who you are in the process. The man who is pursuing you should find you as a rare find, a priceless jewel.
Any relationship that causes you to feel unworthy, unlovely, un–acceptable, undesirable, or that you have to work for love, is too expensive! God has called the man to cover, protect, and provide not only materially for a woman, but emotionally and spiritually as well. You should be richer in mind, body and spirit because of your union with the man of your dreams. The man in your life should make rich deposits into your heart and spirit, not withdrawals.
His Pursuit for a Jewel
A hunter will always go for a kill–even if it means going out of his way to catch a prey. He does not wait at home for an antelope to bring itself.
No guessing. No hustling. No dead ends. Never help out a man because he is ‘shy’. A man who is interested in you will go to great heights to find you. You don’t have to place yourself strategically for him to ‘find you’. A man will do whatever he can to get what he truly wants. He will recognize a pearl of great price and will do everything in his power to gain such a treasure.
Note who finds who in the bible–the man finds a wife. Even Adam found Eve–Eve didn’t try to wake him up–it was God’s design for men to find women since the beginning of time. Women want to be pursued and make no mistake; men have been commissioned to do so by God. He instructs the man who wants a wife to get out there and look. Let the man you love get out there and accept the challenge to pursue marriage.
As a woman you don’t have to sit pretty on the side line waiting- you too have a part to play. You have the ability to steer a man towards marriage by esteeming it. You can nurture a man towards marriage by helping him see that a lot of what he wants can be found in marriage-even when he does not realise it.
If you are looking around you and you can’t seem to find a man to pursue you, do not grow weary. God has transported men and women across the world in order to put them together. At the right time, He will bring that man on the scene and he will find you. Men will do whatever they have to do to get what they truly want.
The man in your life should recognize you as the pearl of great price in his life and be willing to do whatever he must in order to gain your hand. If he is passive about gaining your affections, take it as a sign that he is not interested. Many a woman’s mother has suggested that it is a good idea to marry a man who loves you more than you love him. As cold as that sounds, it might be scriptural if you stop to think about it: “We love him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Until then, take the ultimate chill pill.
You don’t need a bunch of Toms, Dicks and Harrys in your life to make you feel all right about yourself. You need only one man–your man, the one God has selected, to select you. And trust me; the right man at the wrong time can be just as horrific as the wrong man at any time. So trust God’s timing on this. He is the ultimate matchmaker.
Relax, sit and allow yourself to be found. Again, –wait until the man voices his intentions. He should take the lead in establishing a relationship. You may have a hunch that he is the one, but God will use a man to set the tone of the relationship. Allow him the opportunity to woo you–this is your first act of submission. Jesus set the standard for all men to follow. They should love us first. And they should lead the relationship.
Alignment of Values
Never sacrifice your values for the sake of a relationship–it’s never really worth it. When your values go down, your value goes down with them.
If a man is making you compromise your faith and destabilize your walk, walk away. If he is leading you into sexual sin or causing you to be distracted from your commitment to Christ, the relationship is too expensive. Offending the Lover of your soul, who promises you eternal love, is too high a price to pay for a ride that has a limited run.
If you and your man can’t soar in the Spirit, walk away. When the force of your love for another will be tested by the pull of gravity of the world, your union will not be able to survive in tough times. So you decide what is worth more and what is costing you more between your life and your love.
The saddest part is that sometimes you may feel like when you give up a man, you will not be able to find another one like him. Other times you feel like the man you are dating is the best you can get. You are only able to accept what you believe you deserve. God Himself calculated the worth of your love and decided it was worth His life. He now pledges you His love for eternity. Yes, Jesus set the example for all others to follow when He paid a ransom for His bride.
His Strength in Weakness
At your weakest moments, his strength keeps you stable and inspires you to push through. He isn’t immune to pain or frustration, but he handles it well, and he knows how to pull himself out of the lowest of places. He’s the kind of man who doesn’t miss your call when he knows you need to get something off your chest, or better, just a friend to be there for you. Speaking of chests, his is always there for you to lean on, squeeze, and find comfort in when it feels like only a hug will do.
This man has both the physical and the emotional tools needed in his toolbox to repair many of the cracks and dents that will inevitably appear in any marriage.
Give up? Not this guy. He is the tools man with enough hope to cater for a village. In the future, if your relationship seems like it’s losing the sparks he will be there with his tools to fix things. This guy believes in God, and he believes that all things are possible if you believe. He always believes that there will be a brighter tomorrow. He is a fighter, and he fights for what is right for both of you. He will never give up on you or your marriage because he believes everything in this life is fixable. His faith gets him through the day and gets him through everything. When he believes in something, he goes into it with his whole might, and this always works in his favour. The best part about this guy is that he shares his good qualities and morals not just with you as his partner but with everybody else.
One of the most obvious qualities to look for in your future husband is commitment. No, I’m not just talking about commitment in your relationship. There is something so irresistible about a man who is committed to honesty, his relationships with friends and family, his job, and to his word. You can tell from the little things he does. He sticks to the promises he makes to people; he is committed to only dating you. He keeps his time when showing up on dates. Commitment is as much of an attitude as it is an action.
A committed man will love you, he will respect you, he will honour you, and he will be true to you. He is not going to be perfect. But if he is kind and thoughtful, you will be okay. If he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, chances are you will not go wrong and that you will be immensely happy.
Getting to know a man well does not mean you won’t settle with him if you find out there are freckles in his character. It only means you are entering a relationship with full knowledge of who the other person is. You won’t feel cheated when along the line he does something you don’t approve.
Know your man before you say ‘I do.’