They Do Exist.

What To Look For In A Man: A Good Man’s Advice

Editor’s Note: Scrap everything that’s on your “Man I Want To Marry” list, and listen to Tyler’s advice. We love it. Tyler Crowley lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife, three daughters, and his son. He is the director of worship at Hope Church and enjoys playing in a rock band, pho, film, songwriting and recording, and traveling. He tweets at @thetylercrowley and you can find him on Facebook too. – Lauren

After many conversations with young men and women, I felt compelled to write a letter to my daughters. Take this as a word from a husband and father who wants the best for my daughters – and for all good women.

My dears,

After 37 years of being a guy and hanging out with guys, and 17 years of being a married guy and watching other married guys: here is my best advice as to the qualities you should be looking for in a guy that you are dating. Now, I’m assuming you’re attracted to this guy. Attraction is important – that magnetic “spark” is a catalyst that ignites intimacy in a healthy relationship. Attraction just happens – it’s the one thing you don’t have to be intentional about. Once it happens, the challenge is to assess the character of the guy while you still have a relatively clear head. In that critical early stage, here are the things I hope you will look for:

Treats his parents and older generations with respect
Particularly his mom. Does he display some tenderness toward her? Is he patient with her questions and annoying “mom stuff”? Does he focus on the good in his family of origin? Does he seek counsel from his father or “father figure”? Does he show respect for those older and wiser than himself?

Maintains physical fitness
I’m not talking about a guy who’s all into his body for vanity’s sake, but someone who enjoys the discipline and benefits of being fit. I’ve found that guys who prioritize some physical discipline also tend to have discipline in other areas of their life. It’s a great marker for their future as workers, dads, and husbands.

He’s got a “band of brothers” – Christian men that are “in it” with him
Men are not meant to fly solo. You want him to have community with guys who are trying to be men of character. The guy that scares me is the one that doesn’t have a close network of respectable men around him. So, don’t resent his occasional “beer and cigars” night – he neds that support..

Works hard – doesn’t act like the world owes him anything
If he has a sense of entitlement, drop him like a hot potato. Your generation is maybe the most pampered and catered to in history. You may have to look hard to find the guy with a real work ethic who expects to have to earn everything good in life, but it’s worth the wait!

A real relationship with Jesus
You can tell a lot about a person’s relationship with Christ by how he prays. Is he comfortable praying in front of you? When he prays, does he sound like he’s talking to a real person with whom he is acquainted? Also look for someone who integrates the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘natural’. His faith should come up in everyday conversations and situations. He’s the same person on Friday night and Sunday morning.

He’s honest enough to say things that you may not want to hear
If he never disagrees with you or challenges you on any point, then he’s not being honest. You want a guy that values truth and integrity. That’s a core element of character, and character yields trust. When you admire a man sincerely, you can trust him even when you disagree.

A sense of humor – he can laugh at himself
Beware the guy who takes himself too seriously. That can be a sign of self-absorption. You want a guy who can find the humor in life – you will need those moments of laughter.

Manages money well so that he can be generous with it
Look for a guy who sees money as a means, not an end. You definitely want someone who is positioning himself to be able to earn a good living, and who understands the power of saving and exercises restraint in his spending. But the real win is when his heart behind all of that is to give generously and be useful in God’s Kingdom.

 

Finally, let me say that these are qualities to look for as indicators of character, not a checklist to relentlessly apply to every poor, unsuspecting guy! No man will possess every one of these qualities in full measure, but look for someone who is at least growing into these virtues. When you meet a guy you like, just make it a private exercise to observe his character in these areas.

My hope for you is that you find a man of character to whom you can entrust your deepest heart – that’s how we were meant to do this journey called “life”. Sometimes it will be great, and sometimes it will be hard as hell. You will deeply disappoint each other at times, but as you keep forgiving, keep loving, and keep honoring the vows you make to each other, you will find the deepest of all human relationships – where you are most deeply known and yet most deeply loved.

Always yours,

Dad


Want to join us & pass this along to other women in your life?
Follow Good Women Project on Twitter: @goodwomenproj
Be a fan on Facebook: facebook.com/goodwomenproject

Subscribe to our email newsletter for insider updates here or subscribe to the blog here. Or both.
Everyone on our team is volunteer, and we are funded 100% by you. If you'd like to donate, you can here.
We're also doing fun stuff on Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest!


23 Responses

  1. Jeremy Nguyen

    This is so sweet!^^

    March 8, 2012 at 5:24 am

  2. Tyler, great post! I love that you warn us girls not to look for someone who has these in full measure, but to see the potential in these men. AMAZING!
    thank you.
    Michelle

    March 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

  3. I wish I had read this years ago. It's a beautiful letter from a father. Thanks for writing!

    March 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

  4. Good indicators for us guys to check in ourselves, as well–not as a checklist for "how can I look better to attract a wife," but as a means to examine how we measure up to being the godly men Christ wants us to be.
    Thanks for the post.

    March 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

  5. symphony

    This was a beautiful post. Both practical and hopeful! :)

    March 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

  6. Lindsay

    Okay Good Men, you've been out there writing good stuff and I'm believing you to be real. I am determined to not give up and think there are no good men left. I am determined to have faith that you will pursue God and become them men you were created to be.
    Yet where are you? Why are my sisters and I looking around wondering where you're hiding? Why aren't you asking us out and wanting to get to know us? What are you waiting for?

    March 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    • Are you free, Friday night? ;)

      March 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

    • We're here; it's just that some of us never had the privilege of meeting you. We didn't attend a Christian college, or have another way to get to know you. Thank goodness for GWP, and the ability to at least share heart-to-heart and tear down the myths and misconceptions we may have had of each other.

      …and Tyler, excellent article! We appreciate and value look for similar godly characteristics in women.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    • Emily

      I completely understand where you're coming from Lindsay! Unless these two charming men can vouch for this poor city, there's a huge lack of guys like this in the Richmond area. I know many, many single girls, and there's no options for us. Orrr….. maybe I'm just looking in all the wrong places. ;)

      March 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    • Preach! I too would like to know where you all are hiding…
      And encourage you to be looking! Someone asked me recently why I don't date, and only half-jokingly I replied, "Because no one ever asks!"
      Please, come find us.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      • North-central Indiana (Elkhart) here; and hoping, longing (praying!) to meet a lovely, godly lady. I'm encouraged, and have really appreciated all the honest posts from the heart here on GWP.

        March 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    • Michael_MT

      Don't give up Lindsay!

      I've heard it said that a woman's heart should be so wrapped up in Jesus that a man has to pursue Him to find her.
      I'd say that works in reverse as well.

      One note: We are NOT at the bars.

      March 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

  7. Chandra

    Ya know, I think this is a good one for girls to work on as they wait for the one they are supposed to marry as well. Reverse it all and this is a great indicator for either gender to measure against and use to prepare for marriage. Well said! :)

    March 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  8. I found this extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing this! Many blessings!

    March 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

  9. Carmack fam

    Great insight! Thanks for sharing!

    March 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

  10. Thanks, everyone — glad you like the post!

    March 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

  11. this is so fantastic!!! thank you thank you thank you!

    March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

  12. Kristin

    I love this not only for its genuine spirit but for the practicality of it. The good men we're looking for are not those of fairy tales and they are attainable – so many men are able to live up to a list like this when you take the time to observe them.

    March 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

  13. Michael_MT

    An excellent article and a great tool for the men to examine ourselves by!

    I'd also like to throw in a two-part 'test' that I've given to a few of my 'band of brothers' when they were deciding whether or not to ask their (now) wives to marry them.

    #1) Do they love Jesus above all else?
    #2) Do they challenge you to love Jesus more?

    If the answer to either of these is no, then RUN.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  14. Johanne Wayne

    With the various advices that you have shown here, I have come to realize that there really are things that we ladies should be doing to get a mans heart. VZ 58

    March 13, 2012 at 2:42 am

  15. Rebecca

    What a wonderful article! I am so blessed to be given a man that posesses all of these wonderful qualities. I wish more girls would read this before they settle for something less then they should. Wait patiently on God and he will bring your Man.

    August 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  16. Pingback: The List | Relationship Resource Kit

  17. Pingback: The List | Relationship Resource Kit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>