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.
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.
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