I have 4 boys, 3 of whom are teenagers. So this means there is a good deal of talk about girls, dating, marriage and what not. When our oldest started thinking about girls a few years ago these discussions began in earnest. I decided to put together a guide to help them think about what to look for in a girl they wanted to date and eventually of course the girl they would like to marry. This is not our philosophy about dating. It’s just about girls. So here we go!
Qualities to Look for in a Girl to Date or Marry (mostly in order of importance):
This is a guide, not a set of rules. It contains mostly questions to start thinking about what to look for in a girl. The qualities represent something of an ideal set of circumstances. You must realize that nobody is perfect and you should never look for somebody perfect because there is no such person. We are all sinners in constant need of God’s grace as well as grace from one another. If you set your expectations too low, you will be disappointed. Likewise, if you set them too high you will be disappointed. Of course set your expectations reasonably high but be prepared to extend grace. Also realize that you yourself don’t meet the perfect ideal in a man. So you should expect grace to be shown to you too. The first section is non-negotiable, a girl must be committed in her relationship to Christ. Some of the questions in last two sections are somewhat more flexible and subjective. Some things might be more important to you than others and you might think of still others.
Non-negotiable Qualities (needs to be determined ASAP):
- She must be a genuine Christian.
- She must be a committed Christian. How do you know if she is?
- Does she knows the gospel well and she can articulate it?
- Is she consistently involved in a Biblical Church by participating and serving?
- Does she express humility and joy in her relationship with Christ?
- Does she read her Bible and pray regularly?
- Does she consistently seek to grow in her faith and obedience to Christ and God’s Word?
- Does she enjoy being with other Christians more than non-Christians?
- Does she show spiritual (Biblical) discernment and avoid worldly behavior?
- Does she enjoy Christian media, music, books and movies with God-honoring Biblical content?
Initial (but also long-term) Qualities (as you are getting to know her):
- Is she ‘forward’ or reserved? Does she show respect for male leadership? Does she let the man lead and initiate things without trying to undermine or manipulate him?
- Is she attractive not just on the outside but especially the inside?
- Does she dress modestly and not wear too much make-up? Does she make herself appear alluring in a sexual way? Does she appear and conduct herself like a ‘lady’?
- Is she guarded with her emotions and affections? Is she quick to express her emotions in a way that draws attention to herself? How quick is she to express affection with words (e.g. flattery) or physical gestures (e.g.hugging) especially publicly?
- Does she have a pleasant personality, one that is not too wild, giddy, pretentious or stuck up (arrogant)?
- Does she like to gossip? Does she know when to speak up and to remain silent? Does she show respect for others and act respectably herself? Does she exhibit integrity (does she have her act together)?
Long-term Qualities (once you get to know her more):
- Does she show respect for her parents? If she has no respect for her parents (particularly her dad), then chances are she will have no respect for you.
- Does she see her highest calling as being a wife and a mother, or a career person? Does she love kids?
- Is she kind, compassionate and understanding? Is she easily angered or frustrated? Is she patient with difficult people including yourself?
- Is she willing to forgive when wronged and to ask forgiveness when she is wrong?
- Does she tend to be encouraging to others or put them down?
- Is she selfish? Is she mostly concerned for herself, or does she think of others too?
- Does she show courage and strength of conviction for what is right and good and true? Does she tend to be wishy-washy about important matters?
- Does she have intelligence and good common sense? Does she show wisdom and discernment in practical matters? Is she smart or foolish in how she spends her money? Is she a compulsive buyer?
- Is she conservative politically and socially (e.g. abortion, same sex marriage, etc.)?
- Does she tend to be lazy or a diligent worker? Is she sloppy or careless?
- Is she flexible in matters that are not important and teachable in things that are? Does she express her opinions respectfully and respect the opinions of others including yours? Is she argumentative?
- Does she enjoy some of the same things you enjoy? How similar are your tastes?
- Does she have a good sense of humor and enjoy laughing? Is her humor compatible with yours?