“Why can’t I find a good man? It seems like all the good ones are already taken!”
It was late summer, and extending into early fall. Alean and I were repainting the exterior of our house.
One afternoon as I was high on a ladder, painting the soffits, a trio of women were relaxing in the coolness of the neighbor’s backyard pool. As I was tucked beneath the eaves, the ladies’ conversation echoed in the chamber where I worked. I could not have avoided it if I’d wanted to do so, but the reality is, I found their conversation fascinating.
One of the women was lamenting her inability to snag a good man, as though there were some unseen force actively preventing her from doing so. The conversation evolved into an exploration of the art of snagging a good man as though there had to be some elusive secret involved – some hidden combination of actions that would allow (or cause) it to happen.
Many years ago, I played and sang in a worship band alongside a young pianist who insisted that one day soon she was going to capture herself a husband. Ostensibly, frustrated by her inability to do so, she now has captured a wife instead.
Conversationalists experimenting with bad humor will occasionally joke that some young woman went off to college to get her MRS degree. What makes this humorous is not the play on the acronym, but that there is usually more than a hint of truth to it.
And let us not fool ourselves into believing this is exclusively a woman’s pursuit. The opening line to novelist Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice reads, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
When God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone,” (Genesis 2:18) he spoke a profound truth, and I am a personal testament to that truth. I do not do well alone. I never have. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from Yahweh.” Hallelujah!
Two Preliminary Items:
- Though, as noted above, this search for a mate flows both directions, and the Bible has much to say to men about choosing a wife, in this blog posting, I want to explore the longing expressed by the woman in my neighbor’s pool – “Where are all the good men?”
- I want to substitute “quality” for “good” in our quest. What is a quality man?
A Quality Man is a Changed Man
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV
When a man is a Christ-follower, everything changes. He puts off the old self and puts on the new self “which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10, ESV). This is a man for whom Philippians 2:3-4 is not just a memory verse, but a lifestyle. He pours good into you with no ulterior motive of taking anything from you.
Let’s just state bluntly that this eliminates any man who is:
- Violent and dangerous.
- A drunk.
- Addicted to drugs.
- Lazy and unwilling to work.
Jettison any fascination you might have with the “bad boy” image. Bad boys are not cute, and they are not the “quality man” you are waiting for.
A Quality Man is a Selfless Man
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4, ESV
The apostle Paul charged the believing men in Ephesus to love their wives in the same way that Christ loves the church, giving himself up for her, making her holy (Ephesians 5:25). A quality man is one who is deeply concerned with the spiritual well-being of his mate.
Jesus’ entire posture was that of a servant. “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27). If I am to love my wife following the pattern of Jesus, I can never rise above the role of being her servant.
A Quality Man is a Man of Integrity
Jesus taught that we need to not “swear on a stack of Bibles” as though that makes our word more sure.
The quality man is one of such integrity that he does not need to swear, to swear on the Bible, or to swear on a stack of Bibles. When he says he will do a thing, he will do it. When he says he will be in a place at a certain time, he will be there at that time. Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no” (Matthew 5:37).
This is not theoretical. Jesus is quite serious about this. He’s not talking about refusing to take an oath of truthfulness when called to witness in a court of law. He’s talking about being a person of such integrity that your word is your bond. You are one with whom a deal can be made on a handshake.
I canot recall what I was being asked to do, but I do recall the shocked look on someone’s face from 30 years ago when I refused to “promise” to do the task. “No, I won’t promise,” I told them. “I said I would do it and that is enough. I will do it.” They were struck speechless with their mouth hanging open.
Integrity should never be in question.
A Quality Man Pursues God/Godliness
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; – Psalm 37:23, ESV
Corporations spend years, and millions of dollars, crafting the perfect mission statement. The mission statement of my home congregation is succinct and profound, “Pursue Jesus. Practice Love.” That’s it. And I love it.
With those two pieces in place, Nothing more is required. We are in purposeful pursuit of the King, and we make the greatest commandment our mission. A quality man will make the purposeful pursuit of Jesus his primary mission.
Some Final Thoughts
It may be worthwhile to stop searching for a man in hopes of finding the right one. Looking again at Proverbs 18:22 (above), it speaks of the man who finds a wife. Rather than “finding” a husband, the better plan may be to “be found” by one, waiting on God to bring the two of you together, just as in Genesis 2, God brought Eve to Adam.
Pray now (and often) for God to be preparing such a man for you. Though he is not your husband (yet), pray for him now. Though you have yet to meet him, support and uplift him with your prayers and petitions.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV-1978