“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
Men, when it comes to dating and attraction with women, “cute” is a fine starting point. I understand that God made men and women to be physically attracted to each other, and I would never encourage a brother to marry a gal he was not at least somewhat attracted to. But “hot” is not a good ending point either—kinda like “hell” isn’t a good ending point.
There is so much about a woman to know as a man contemplates whether or not to pursue her beyond friendship. A common mistake men make before asking a woman out is they make snap judgments about her based on looks and don’t take the time to observe her in action to get an idea of her character.
I’m not saying that you’ve got to see if this woman can pass a comprehensive character evaluation before you go out for a cup of coffee, but I am saying to spend some time in prayer and pay attention to how she speaks to her friends and carries herself around other guys. What drives her? Whom does she love? How does she talk about the people she loves? Things like this will reveal far more about her than her exterior will.
DOWN TO THE CORE
Just as I’ve told the ladies, it is crucial for men to know that character is the under girding of a woman, the nature of who she is. At her core, she must be a woman of character to get your attention.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s waist and chest size will fluctuate, her hair color will fade, and her interests, passions, and ideas will develop. She might change her mind a dozen times (possibly even in the same hour) and she will keep you guessing for a lifetime. (One of the many mysterious traits about our gender.)
What will remain consistent is her character. To be sure, she will mature and, by God’s grace strengthen, her character over time. But the essential qualities must be in place at the get-go.
A godly man will have complete confidence in her character before he says “I do.” I am not saying she must have reached perfection or even live up to your standards (which, by the way, may be completely unrealistic). I am saying you want to find a woman of godly character (read Proverbs 31).
Do you know the answers to these essential questions about her character:
1. IS SHE A WOMAN OF GOD?
If you clearly see evidence of Christ having regenerated her heart, ultimately it is him you have confidence in, not her. He has promised to complete the work in her and you can trust the Holy Spirit who lives in her to refine her heart.
2. WHO INFLUENCES HER LIFE THE MOST?
If it’s Oprah, the gal at the Clinique counter, or her tarot card reader, we may have a problem. A woman of character will surround herself with godly influences—her Bible, her church, and others who love Jesus. She will have friends who don’t know Christ, but she will be influencing them.
3. IS SHE SOFT?
I’m not talking hair, skin, or around the middle. I am also not talking weak, mousy, or a pushover. You want to observe her having a tender heart toward God and others—especially when she is wrong.
4. WHO KNOWS HER WELL?
I get it, the mysterious woman persona is intriguing, but she can’t be a mystery to everyone. If she is not known deeply by someone, chances are she’s hiding something—maybe pain, loneliness, sin, shame—but her character is shrouded. She needs to let the redeeming light of the gospel of Jesus shine in her darkness.
5. IS SHE TEACHABLE?
Humility transforms a woman’s heart. You want her to always be learning more about God first, as well as health, food, art, music, or whatever. A teachable woman will always be growing, changing, maturing, and interesting.
6. IS SHE RULED BY TRUTH OR BY EMOTION?
A woman of character will understand the balance between truth and feeling. She will not be an impenetrable stoic, nor will she be a drama queen. She may lean one way or the other but will ultimately let the truth of Christ control, define, and settle her.
7. IS SHE FEARFUL?
Fear of man can be debilitating in the life of a woman; fearing God is the path to life and freedom for a woman. Marry a woman who, as Peter describes, “[does] not fear anything that is frightening.” You will need her by your side, not cowering in the corner, when life gets tough.
8. IS SHE WISE WITH HER WORDS?
Women talk. It’s science. They have thousands more words to expend in a day than you do. Women of character use their words to build up, speaking love and honor. They do not gossip, tear down, or dishonor with their words. What words does she use that reveal her character?
“Cute” is a good start, but character is the measuring stick of a woman worthy of your time and pursuit. Be intentional about building your own character and diligent in your search to find a woman whose character resembles Christ’s.