Seven Things to Look for When Choosing a Husband

Couple Beginning the Long RoadHusband means to care for. It seems like this is the best place to begin whether you are a man or a woman. I may be overstating the obvious, but here goes: A woman should choose a husband who will care for her. There, I said it. I know I’m not being politically correct but this one truth can save years of heartache. Another definition of a husband is a prudent or frugal manager. I must say, that over the years I have met a few who have not managed well and their marriages were less than bliss.Less than Bliss But I’ve also met some extraordinary couples who “get it” and have exemplary marriages.
We’ll discuss Choosing a Wife in a future blog, but for now let’s see what women can learn from scripture about choosing a husband, and what men can learn about being a husband.
The apostle Paul defines the qualifications for “overseers” of the church (the bride of Christ) in 1Timothy 3:1-6. Although every husband does not aspire to be an “Elder” or “Deacon” in his local church, he must accept the role as “head” of his wife. Since God uses this analogy, it is reasonable for women to consider these attributes when choosing a husband. Every husband may not match the full biblical standard for deacon or elder, but if concessions are made, it is important that they are at least informed concessions.
Here is my paraphrase of this passage with the husband and his bride in mind:
1. If a man desires to be a Husband, he desires a good ministry. A husband must be above reproach, not living in conscious disregard for God’s Word. He must be living a standard higher than the world or society sets. When he sins, he owns his failure and repents quickly.
Flirting2. He must be a “one-woman-man”. He does not “look around” or flirt with other women. He does not have a track record of jumping from relationship to relationship. He has conducted himself honorably in past relationships and is conducting himself honorably in his relationship with you.
3. He must be self-restrained (not depending on you to be his conscience), moderate in opinions and indulgences (not an extremist). He must get along with others. He must not be addicted to alcohol or drugs, nor use them illegally or inappropriately. He knows his limits and his weaknesses regarding their use. No to Second Glass of wineHe keeps his temper under control. He deals with anger biblically. He is quick to seek the Lord, instead of reacting violently. He is gentle, considerate and sensitive to you and others. He does not deal with you harshly in word or action. He does not force you or intimidate you into doing things against your conscience or convictions. He is not greedy for money. He keeps a healthy perspective on money. He works hard to provide, but does not spend all his energy trying to become rich. He does not justify illegal or dishonest gain even if it is only a cashier giving him too much change at the grocery store. Greedy ManHe treats you like a lady. He is considerate of you “as the weaker vessel”. He treats you like a fine crystal goblet, not a 99 cent tumbler. He does not make every disagreement into an argument. He is able to disagree, and still maintain his Christian character. He does not need to “win” every argument. He does not justify himself when he fails but is able to admit when he is wrong, with grace. He is content. He is not consumed with the ungodly desire for more. He is not competing with his friends and neighbors to have the most or the best. He is not ruled by the lust of the eyes. He lives within his means. He does not live on credit. He is not deeply in debt or a slave to the lenders.
4&5. He rules his own house well. There is peace in his home. He is a godly and wise manager. He rules over his own passions. He influences others in his household to rule over their own passions. If he has children, he takes responsibility for their wellbeing. He lovingly leads and directs them. He trains them in the ways of the Lord. He lives as an example for them to follow. He does not provoke them to wrath. He does not lord it over them, but practices servant leadership. He is not so preoccupied with his job, his hobbies, or his ministry that his children are neglected.Man with Children
6. He is not a new convert. There is solid evidence that Jesus is Lord of his life. You would use many of these words to truthfully describe him: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. He loves Jesus more than anyone, and is committed to living for Jesus no matter what. He is not consumed with pride. He does not see himself above others. Humility is a distinguishing characteristic of his life. He does not act condescendingly toward other individuals, or groups of people.
7. He has a good testimony among those who know him. His boss and co-workers concur that his Christian character is genuine. He does not live a double life. He does not act differently when he is in another circle of friends. His family and relatives attest that the man you know him to be is the same man they know him to be.Stand up Man
When a wife chooses a husband, she is agreeing to come under his leadership for a lifetime. Since there is no way to know the future, the best way to anticipate the kind of husband a man will be is to evaluate what kind of man he is today. This should encourage men to be a “stand up” Christian man, and it should encourage women to never settle for anything less.

Any More Money, Honey?

Money Tug of WarIt is a well-documented statistic that the biggest cause of divorce in North America today is money fights and money problems. No surprise that our consumer mentality as Americans spills over into our marriages. The trend toward two-earner households over the past several decades has only served to divide what ought to be united. Couples use terms like “my money” and “your money” and develop self-centered plans to spend it. Many couples engage in protracted power struggles over their resources that result in debt, hurt feelings and empty bank accounts. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometime one or both spouses engage in “retail therapy” as they try to “medicate” their unhappiness or to satisfy a longing in their heart that “Stuff” will never fill. Jesus spoke of the desire for more like this: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12: 15 In other words, more stuff isn’t the answer. What we crave is unity: oneness with our God and oneness with our spouse.
Successful married couples view their income as “our money” as they share their goals and dreams and the future together.
So let’s start with the basics: Where does money come from? They say there are two things everyone should teach their children. Where babies come from and where money comes from. The answer is: Money comes from work. “Work is a sure-fire money-making scheme,” according to money guru Dave Ramsey. Early on in marriage, couples need to decide who is going to go out to work. It is OK to decide that both husband and wife will work, especially while getting started and establishing a home. Couple with BabyThroughout your marriage this decision can be re-evaluated as children are born, go off to school, and as they leave the nest. During different seasons of life, you may decide that one spouse should stay home to devote their time and energy to raising your children. That will be their work for the next X number of years. The most important thing is that the couple makes these decisions together
Then next thing we want to understand is that there are three things we should do with our money. A healthy balanced life includes all three: Saving, Spending and Giving. When couples agree upon how their money will be saved, spent and given, they agree upon their core values.  They say you can look at a person’s check book and learn what is important to them. Jesus said: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also Luke 12:34.
The Dreaded B Word
Money Scrabble TilesIf you’re feeling hopeless, like you can’t get a handle on your money it is probably because you’re disorganized. When we want to solve complex situations it is very helpful to write them down instead of just letting them swirl around in our mind. Plus, since our spouse isn’t a mind reader, a BUDGET will help us put all the facts on the table and agree on a plan we can work on together. If you want help establishing a budget, and a sound financial plan for your life and marriage, I highly recommend you sign up to take Financial Peace University together. Thousands of couples have attended with the intent to fix their finances, only to experience the added bonus of gaining valuable communication skills, which revolutionized every other aspect of their marriage. I’d say that’s worth the price of admission. Wouldn’t you?