If we’re going to talk about boy/girl relationships, I’ll tell you a bit of my history.
I didn’t really date in high school. While I found plenty of boys that I liked and that I thought should be interested in me 😉 it was my freshman year of college before I actually started to date. The Christian college I attended had fairly strict rules, so most of my dates were on campus, and consisted of lots of talking, eating meals together, playing games and/or studying in common areas – or going to church services together, which was where my husband and I went on our first date!
Since I now have a daughter in high school, we get to have some fun conversations about boys. I encourage both of our girls to get to know guys as friends while they’re in high school, to use these years to learn what types of personalities work well together, and to begin to understand what attributes might be important to them in a future husband.
When it’s time to get serious about the type of guy they want to marry, there are a few qualities that are key. The neat thing is that this is not a theory I have to explain to our daughters or a lecture they have to sit and listen to me give. I get to point out these qualities in their dad – so he has a major role in helping define what the right guy is going to look like for them!
Here’s a list of nine traits to help them get started as they consider the type of man they want to marry.
1. He’s a Christian. Our girls already know the Bible verse (2 Corinthians 6:14) about not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers, so this needs to be the determining factor before their heart and emotions get involved with a young man.
2. He walks with God. More than just having a salvation testimony, I hope our daughters seek a man who has an authentic relationship with Christ, and who demonstrates that through his words and actions. For example, since going to a local church to worship God and minister with others has been important to our girls, the man they’re getting to know should have the same interests.
The rest of these traits should naturally flow from this one, but we’ll break them down anyway.
3. Character. He has a good moral reputation and is a man of integrity. This is one of the greatest things that my husband models for our girls. He is determined to always do what’s right in a situation to the best of his ability.
4. Kindness. It sounds like such a simple thing, but not every guy is going to be genuinely kind to others.
5. Hard worker. A guy’s work ethic is going to play a very important part in how life goes for their family. He doesn’t have to start out with a great job making lots of money, but he does need to be willing to work hard and to look for opportunities to improve himself. Watch out for laziness!
6. Sense of humor. Life is going to be serious enough; you need someone to laugh with as you go along!
7. Comfortable in his own skin. Not only do you want someone to laugh with, but you want a guy who can laugh at himself. He is who he is, and doesn’t “put on airs” to try to impress other people. A man like this will also be humble enough to ask for forgiveness when he’s done wrong.
8. Not self-centered. I remember one guy that I dated briefly in college. He spent most of the few dates we had talking about himself – specifically telling me what a great soccer player he was. I appreciate that he helped me to see one of the things I didn’t want in a husband, and I’ve already warned my girls about this kind of guy. 🙂
9. Honest. A lifetime relationship of marriage requires trust. Don’t just consider how he interacts with you, but watch how he deals with other people. Is he always looking for a short cut to get things done rather than doing the job thoroughly? Is he totally up front about all the details when he’s conducting business?
I remind my girls that they’re not perfect, and that there’s no perfect guy out there, either! You’re not likely going to find an 18-year-old who has matured in every one of these areas, but he can certainly have a heart that is bent toward God, and be pursuing a life that will glorify Him.
God can give our daughters the wisdom and discernment they need as they begin to develop dating relationships in the coming years. And as for me? I can be on my knees praying!!
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Such great guidelines! And such wisdom in pointing out CHARACTER qualities for your girls to focus on and not being “swept away” by some guy’s good looks! Wise lady!
Thank you! I’ve been blessed to learn from other wise ladies! 😉
Same here re: my dating history! My parents didn’t forbid it in high school; it just didn’t happen for me. 😛 It wasn’t until college that I really dated. I love this list for Annelise AND for Will, too! I’ll be in prayer with you!!!
(PS – you’re back in my reader feed! YAAAAY!)
Yay for being back in your feed reader!! Yes, I need to remember that as a mom of girls, there are some moms of boys out there who are teaching their sons what they need to look for in a wife – and I want to be training my daughters to be that right kind of girl!
I love the idea about pointing to your husband! I’m going to remember that for my girls; I should probably start now. 🙂
I have a similar dating story, too. I went out with a couple of guys before John, but he was my first boyfriend at age 25. And I married him! 🙂
How sweet!! I know that everyone has different experiences with dating, but I can look back now and say that I think I was spared some heartache (and drama 😉 by not dating a lot in my earlier teenage years. So far our 16-year-old hasn’t dated, and at this point, she seems to be content to wait until college to get serious about a guy.
John and I both hope that our children will follow in my footsteps because you’re right about not having so much heartache and pain about relationships that everyone (but you) know won’t work out in the end.
Thanks for the shout-out in your email this morning! That was neat! And I’m not on instagram, but I’ve been wondering if I should be.
I actually started on Instagram because we were considering letting our (at the time) 15-year-old join, and I wanted to know what it was all about. We did let her get on Instagram; it’s her only social media account at this point, and it’s worked out okay. I don’t follow a lot of people or post very often, but I do enjoy seeing the pictures other people post. It seems like a very civil form of social media. 🙂 Overall, commenters are supportive, and there’s a pretty good sense of community.