Qualities of a Godly Mate
By Mark A. Parks
When one is asked what he or she desires in a mate, most of the things they mention are qualities pertaining to looks and personality. Hardly anything is mentioned pertaining to character and unfortunately, this is where a lot of mistakes are made when choosing the right marriage partner. This is proven by a recent study from the North American Mission Board concerning reasons for divorces among Christians. It clearly states “our romantic culture make shallow commitments pertaining to physical attractiveness, shallow infatuation and a charming personality.” According to Dr. Tom Whiteman, a Philadelphia psychologists and counselor, says Christians are no more immune to divorce than the general population. Dr Whiteman states, “In the christian population, the reasons for divorce are adultery, abuse (including substance, physical and verbal) and abandonment.” Clearly, these types of behavior show lack of character. When considering personality and character, the two are used interchangeably a lot. There is a great difference between the two. Personality is distinctive traits pertaining to one’s disposition that makes them socially appealing. Character is the moral, ethical qualities, and strengths of a person. Personality is displayed externally. Character stems from internally. Personality speaks of a person’s charm and outward mannerisms. Character speaks of the heart and a person’s integrity. People admire personality. God admires character.
When encountered with someone whose personality that does not fit our bill so to speak, we tend to reject him or her. Not that there is anything wrong with their personality, but they just don’t possess that certain charm or personality trait that attracts us. And so they are considered not our type. We don’t take the time to consider their character, which is what really matters. In the Book of Genesis, there is an interesting contrast to be considered between the selection of Rebekah as Isaac’s wife (ch 24) and Jacob’s choice of Rachel. Abraham decided to send his oldest servant to select a wife for his son Isaac but with certain guidelines he specified. The servant selected on the basis of the young woman’s character. She was a servant at heart and willing to give water to a stranger and his camels.
Jacob on the other hand, chose a wife for himself. The Bible says that he saw Rachel and loved her. But what did he love about her? It could not have been her character because he did not know her yet. Jacob fell in love with Rachel’s outer beauty. And it was purely her outer beauty that he preferred her to her sister Leah. Spite the rejection of Leah by Jacob; Leah was still favored by God. Leah bore twice as may children as Rachel and lived longer. As Dr. Bob Deffinbaugh on bible.org states, “what Genesis teaches us in practice, Proverbs teaches us in principle- -a man who would marry well will chose his wife more on the basis of her character.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is in vain but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30). Here are at least five quality character traits of a godly woman.
1. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Prov 31:26)
2. The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands (Prov 14:1)
3. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is as rottenness in his bones (Prov 12:4)
4. A gracious woman attains honor, and violent men attain riches (Prov 11:16).
5. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (Prov 31:11-12).
In regards to personality, it is an important factor especially when considering compatibility. No one wants to be with some one that they do not blend or get along with. However, conflicts can be turned in to complements. Sometimes false assumptions are made of persons because of their personality. For example, a man who has a meek countenance may be considered as being weak. Some women think that the ideal husband and spiritual leader is one of a real assertive or aggressive nature. Men with these types of personality traits are considered to be stronger. Nothing could be further from being accurate. Meekness is a godly characteristic because it is part of the fruit of the spirit. Although weakness and meekness may look similar outwardly, they are not the same. Weakness is due to negative circumstances such as lack of self-esteem and courage. But meekness is of a person’s choice. It is strength and courage under control, coupled with kindness. Anyone can act out of aggression when faced with adversity; it takes no strength to do that because it is a natural emotional response. But to maintain a mild temperament in the face of adversity, takes strength and self-control. Also, this is an indication that they are walking in the spirit and not in the flesh. A true, authentic, spirit filled, Christian woman who desires a true authentic spirit filled Christian man ought to find this quality very attractive.
Although the Book of Proverbs does not give much about the qualities of a godly husband, here are some qualities a godly woman should look for in a godly man.
1. A wise husband is kind and compassionate (12:10).
2. A wise husband is honest (29:24).
3. A wise husband is hard-working (12:11; 27:23-27).
4. A wise husband is truthful (12:17,19).
5. A wise husband exercises self-control (12:15; 16:32).
6. A wise husband is a man of integrity (19:1; 20:7).
7. A wise husband is faithful and reliable (17:17; 29:3).
Even more important a godly man and woman show their love for the word of God written: (a) By diligently reading it. A godly man’s heart is the library to hold the Word of God; it dwells richly in him (Col. 3:16).
(b) By frequently meditating on it: “It is my meditation all the day” (Psa 119:97). So we learn that our character is far more important than our outward beauty or personality. So when choosing a mate, let us not be fooled by just a pretty face or a nice personality but let us choose the way God would have us to choose, on the basis of a godly character. Let us continue to display more of a godly character through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so we may demonstrate it to the lost.