1. Choose a man who will treat you like a lady. I believe in equal work for equal pay and in treating women with respect. But I don’t believe you are equal to a man in every way. A good man will feel responsible for you. He will work hard to provide for you and to keep you happy and safe. Understand the burden he bears to be that man for you.
2. Choose a man who will make you a better woman. Choose a man who wants to see you grow in your faith and purpose. He wants the best for you and will bring out the best in you. He’ll believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. He wants you to be your best even if your best is better than his sometimes. He won’t envy your achievements. He’ll encourage you to try new things, even if you’re afraid.
3. Choose a man who’s willing to lead. A strong man is secure and will lead your family. He won’t be intimidated by a politically correct society. He will make tough choices that are unpopular sometimes, but he will forge a path for you and your family.
4. Choose a man who won’t apologize for being a man. We live in an uber-feminine culture that tries to feminize men. He understands he’s a man and he’s designed to be different. He can be sensitive, but he’s not a sissy and is proud of his masculinity. He’s not a neanderthal but a loving gentle man of strength.
5. Choose a man who’s not perfect. Everyone has flaws so choose a man who knows that. Choose someone who will take your counsel and be willing to admit when he’s wrong and make course corrections.
6. Choose a man who will apologize and accept an apology.
7. Choose a man who can make you laugh. Marriage is hard enough so choose someone who can make you laugh often and hard.
8. Choose a man who respects you. A good man will listen to your opinions and encourage you to express them. He’s not intimidated by your knowledge and strength. He admires them.
9. Choose a man who encourages you to spend time with people other than himself. He is confident enough to encourage you to have relationships with girlfriends and your family outside your marriage. He understands you need time to be you, time when you’re not “mom” or “wife.” He’s happy knowing you can relax and do things you enjoy.
10. Choose a man who will protect you. I believe every woman–whether she will admit it or not–wants to be protected. Choose a man who will stand up to others on your behalf. He’ll keep the details of your marriage and your bedroom private. He’ll check the doors before going to bed to make sure the house is secure for you and your children. And, he’ll call you when you’re out late–not to check up on you–but to make sure you’re safe.
11. Choose a man who will do the heavy lifting. He recognizes you’re not equal to him in physical strength and doesn’t expect you to be. He doesn’t want to see you strain under a heavy load, physically or emotionally.
12. Choose a man whose values line up with your own. Don’t waste time in a relationship with someone you know you’re not going to marry. If you know you’re incompatible, he isn’t a Christian, or he’s looking for a mother figure, move on. You won’t be able to change him. Walk away before you commit your heart, and it’s harder to let go.
13. Choose a man who asks, “What do you think?” He values your opinions and encourages you to express them.
14. Choose a man who makes you feel beautiful, no matter what your body looks like. Babies, age and gravity will take its toll on your body. He wants you to be healthy, and he’ll always rejoice in the wife of his youth.15. Choose a man who is respected by others. Listen to what other people say about him. Observe his behavior, his interaction with others. Pay as much attention to what others don’t say about him as to what they do say about him.
16. Choose a man who will allow you to tuck your cold feet under him when you go to bed in the wintertime. He is willing to share not only his heart with you but his body heat as well.
17. Choose a man who respects his mother.
18. Choose a man who wants you to behave like a lady. Guys are around other guys all day-at work, school. When he’s with you, he wants to be with his woman. He wants you to be feminine. He wants you to dress modestly when you’re in public and teach your daughters to respect themselves and do the same. He loves the quiet strength and confidence with which you carry yourself.
19. Choose a man who will respect your boundaries. A secure man won’t demand submission from you or try to force you into it. He’ll submit to God and allow God to work in your heart, independent of him. He’s interested in your spiritual growth, so he’ll butt out.
20. Choose a man who works hard. Whether he’s a truck driver or a CEO, choose someone who will work hard and take pride in providing an honest living for your family.
21. Choose a man who will love you when you’re unloveable. Some days will be hard. Some days will be long. He’ll love you on your bad days and when you’re grumpy. He’ll accept your apology and forgive you.
22. Choose a man who wants to take the kids sometimes to give you break. He realizes you work hard, and he wants to let you sleep in occasionally on a Saturday morning. He cares about your physical and emotional health and understands you need breaks for your well being.
23. Choose a man who wants to make your marriage the best it can be. He takes the vow “til death do us part” seriously and won’t settle for mediocrity. He doesn’t want to just exist in a relationship. He doesn’t want to “stay together for the kids.” He loves you and will do whatever it takes to keep your marriage healthy , a loving relationship that you both enjoy.
24. You’ll be his biggest cheerleader, so choose someone whose character is worth cheering. He won’t always make the right decisions. He recognizes his humanity, knows he’s not perfect, expects to fail and grows from it.
25. Choose a man who will ask forgiveness. An apology is not to be taken lightly. Asking forgiveness goes beyond the apology. Asking forgiveness puts him in a position of vulnerability. When he says “I’m sorry” no response is required. When he asks forgiveness, you have the option to say no. When he is wrong or has harmed you, you want him to be strong enough to go a step beyond an apology and ask for forgiveness.
26. Choose a man who will occasionally tell you dinner was great even when it wasn’t. Not a liar but someone who will take your feelings into consideration, realize you work hard, and loves you so much he’ll overlook overdone meatloaf.
27. Choose a man who loves God more than he loves you. His commitment to God will keep him committed to you.
What do you want your daughters to consider when choosing a mate?
This post originally appeared on the blog February 2017