When speaking to single people in the church I often hear them say, "I can't figure out women/men." When pressed to explain they usually answer, "I'm not sure what they want."
As we discuss the matter they say that they are looking for a Christian mate but uncertain about what these potential partners really want from them. Well, I've given this some thought and examined men and women in the Bible who found each other and here are some answers to the question, "What do Christian women or men really want?"
What Christian Women Want
I'll start with the women because it seems that men tend to be more confused on this issue than women. So brothers, in response to the question, "What do Christian women want?" I give you several possible answers from the Bible.
1. A Christian woman wants a man, not a boy.
The Bible says that a Christian woman is God's favor/blessing to a Christian man, "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives a favor from the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22).
A Christian woman has a lot to offer and is not about to waste it on a teenager in a man's body. There's a time to be a boy, and play with boy's things and toys, but a Christian woman is not a plaything!
Joseph, Mary's husband was such a man. He loved her and wanted to marry her, nothing special there. But when Mary conceived in a miraculous way by the Holy Spirit and Joseph was told to marry her despite his hurt and confusion; this is where we discover the real man in Joseph. He married her and accepted the child she carried in obedience to God. In addition to this, he left his hometown and business in order to hide in Egypt so he could protect the child. He even refrained from sexual intimacy with Mary while she carried the baby.
We know he loved her when they first became engaged, but the man in him continued to love and care for her despite the "baggage" that came with her new circumstances. He knew what better, worse, or different meant.
Any "boy" can take a wife, but it takes a man to take a wife along with all the things that a new wife brings into marriage. Christian women want a real man, not just a boy pretending to be a man.
2. Christian women want men who are both spiritual and manly.
David, Israel's second king, was a good example of this. He was a soldier, a leader, well trained in the ways of war and politics. He was very much grounded in this world as well as his place and role in it. Yet, the Bible says that he was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22).
- He was able and eager to worship God.
- He was willing to sacrifice for his faith.
- He was ready to change, admit fault, weep for others and humbled himself before God.
- He was a man's man but he maintained spiritual priorities.
- He could direct a war and a nation but was first to lead his people to worship and serve the Lord.
- He had tremendous spiritual insight even though he made terrible mistakes because of his human appetites and weaknesses.
A Christian woman wants a real man who is neither conflicted in his masculinity or ashamed of his faith and spirituality. She wants a person who can be both a man able to make his way in the world and a spiritual leader in his own home and the church. I suppose that women reading this mini-book could add several more qualities to this list, but let me mention just one more thing I believe Christian women want.
3. Christian women want men who will make them happy, not just make them laugh.
Humor is an attractive quality in men but it doesn't guarantee happiness. In Solomon's love poem "Song of Solomon" the Shulamite woman that Solomon is engaged to marry talks about the things that make a Godly woman happy, starting in chapter 1:
A purified character
2 May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine. 3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance, Your name is like purified oil; Therefore the maidens love you.
The young woman compares Solomon's character to the lovely fragrance of perfume that is experienced by others, not just herself. A man who is well thought of by others because of his integrity, goodness, kindness and love is a joy to his wife. A man whose character is continually purified from sin by God is a joy to his wife and a blessing to his community.
The ability to make a woman feel secure
5I am black butlovely,
Odaughters of Jerusalem,
Like thetents ofKedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not stare at me because I amswarthy,
For the sun has burned me.
In this verse the Shulamite woman feels insecure about the way she looks compared to the other women at the Royal Court. She's a country girl with a dark tan compared to the white skinned rich girls at the palace.
In chapter 2:1 she feels better about herself, using a term given to her by her beloved.
16 My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies.
In verse 2:16 she expresses the idea of possessiveness and assurance as her confidence grows.
10 I am my beloved's, And his desire is for me.
In chapter 7:10, after they are married she is absolutely secure in the fact that she is the only one he loves.
A man who can't or won't make the effort to make his wife feel secure - can't make her happy. Christian women want men who desire to make them happy, not just men who desire them. There is one sure way to know if someone truly loves you and is "in love" – they desire to make you happy before making themselves happy.
Some men spend a lot of time and money trying to be appealing using nice clothes, cologne or maintaining an expensive vehicle, when in reality they should spend a greater effort at being men of character, faith and commitment. In the end this is what Christian women are searching for. Perhaps young men are not finding the women they want because they themselves are not the men that attract these types of women.
What Christian Men Want
Of course, this discussion goes both ways. Men also want someone special and Christian women don't always get this either. For example:
1. Christian men want women who are really Christians.
One problem with many of today's Christian women is that you can't tell them apart from non-believing women. For example, they talk the same way, act and dress the same way, and go to all the same places as non-believers. Many think that unless they act and look like worldly women, they won't be attractive to men. These sisters need to realize that a Christian man wants a woman who wears Christ, not Christian Dior.
In the Bible we have the story of Rebekah. She was a wonderful example of a beautiful woman who received a man based on her purity and goodness, not on her looks.
When Abraham's servant was sent to look for a wife for Abraham's son, Isaac, he was told that the woman who would be of service to him, a stranger in a foreign land, would be the one.
Genesis 24 describes when Abraham's servant first encountered Rebekah:
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, and no man had had relations with her; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar." 18 She said, "Drink, my lord"; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking." 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels.
Note in this account that there is no mention of her clothes or her sense of style.
Her genuine spiritual nature and kindness, however, shine through. After she returned to meet and eventually marry Isaac, the Bible says that he immediately loved her.
Christian men know the difference between a woman acting like a Christian and a real Christian woman.
2. A Christian man wants a woman who knows how to be beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside.
Men are proud. As a matter of fact, according to surveys about what men want the #2 thing on their list is a woman whose looks they are proud of. You may not like this about men, and it may seem immature, but this is the way most men are.
The problem here however is that many women think that the way to produce this look is to continually concentrate on their exterior beauty. The secret here is that outer beauty begins on the inside and works its way out. Make-up and hairstyle only "highlight" the innate beauty that radiates from a Godly woman. Men want to "admire" their wives, and when they boast about them to other men they rarely talk about their make-up or figure.
Their boasting and pride usually centers on the ongoing spiritual qualities that the women God's blessed them with have - and how undeserving they are to have them. I'm saying this as a man who knows what men say when they talk about their girlfriends or wives. No matter what they look like (which is rarely mentioned) - they always talk about, boast about, and admire their woman's inner beauty.
The best example of this kind of admiration is the husband who talks about his beloved wife in Proverbs 31:10-31:
10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 "Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
I read this passage to my wife over 35 years ago on our wedding day because I saw in her then all of these things - and even to this day, all these things are true. The only difference is that over three decades later, our children say the same things about her as well.
One last thing about men and what they want:
3. Christian men want women who can help them become better men.
A man's life, physically and spiritually, is incomplete without an intimate relationship with a woman. It is interesting to note that the Bible calls Eve a "helpmeet" (Genesis 2:18).
The Hebrew word here translated into the word helpmeet or helper doesn't mean a "helper" like an assistant or an employee. The original word, "azar," meant helping someone in need. The same word is used to denote the idea of rescue, "Oh Lord be my helper" (Psalm 30:10). The idea is that Eve was created to come to Adam's rescue:
- To rescue him from loneliness.
- To complete his humanity.
- To help manage the creation.
- To create sexual union and procreate children.
- To share in the knowledge and joy of the Lord.
She enabled him to be a complete man. Men are still looking for this in women and Christian men in particular search for women who can help them fulfill their character in Christ.
The Bible is full of examples of such women:
- Ruth rescued Boaz from lonely old age.
- Abigail rescued David from a fiery temper and an immature pride.
- Rachel rescued Jacob from the solitude of his exile.
- Lise (my wife) rescued Michael from the wreckage of a wasted life.
Christian men need women who are strong enough in their own faith so they can build up what they are lacking in Christ. Any man who finds a woman who loves Christ more than she loves him has found a precious jewel that will indeed enrich his life.
You know, perhaps I may have given this book the wrong title. The title is, "What Christian Men and Women Want," I should have entitled it: "What God Wants Christian Men and Women to Want."
I say this because most men and women, Christian or not, don't usually know what they want, or want the wrong things. If you start wanting in a man or a woman what God wants you to want, your eyes will be opened up to possibilities you never knew were there.
And, if you start being the woman or man God wants you to be, then your heart will begin to open up to feelings and opportunities you never knew were there either. Remember, the only one who wants you to be alone and stay alone is Satan - so he can more easily attack you and seduce you into personal sin and worldliness.
It is God who said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." (Genesis 2:18). However, He wants you to want what is right and good for you in another person.
God bless you all (married and single) as you discover what Christian women and men want and what they have to offer.