Nicole Starling’s “Husband Material” in this month’s the Briefing challenges Mark Driscoll’s call to young men to prepare for marriage by leaving the parental nest and setting up home before seeking a bride. She suggests that a man setting up home is not necessary and lists the following biblical character traits as a minimum for marriage material:
- A man who loves Jesus (1 Cor 7:39)
- A man who wants to do something worthy and God-glorifying with his life so that you could give yourself gladly to be his helper (Gen 2:18).
- A man who loves you (both in emotion and in action—Eph 5:25)
- A man you can respect (Eph 5:33)
- A man you can desire (Song 5:8).
- A man who has self-control (including control of his sexual desires -1 Thess 4:4)
- A man who loves and wants children, who understands how central they are to the purpose of marriage, and who is eager to play his part in teaching and disciplining and caring for them (Mal 2:15, Eph 6:4).
What do you think? Have I left out anything important?
It’s a great list. What Nicole didn’t point out is that Christian women don’t get that much choice because many Christian men generally still live like teenage boys (see Generation X men).
I feel that the list has a rather feminine and domestic slant, and that the term “A man who loves you” in particular needs further definition in order to clarify what masculine love looks like:
A man who is willing to suffer for Christ in tough places (Phil 1:29, 2 Cor 1:5-6) whilst shielding and protecting his family from the worst the world will throw at them for his standing up for Christ (Eph 5:25, 6:4 and 6:10-11)