For all your single or engaged guys out there, I am going to give you the advice I wish someone gave me when I was in your shoes. Here are the 5 things a single guy can do now to be good husband later that will set you up for success to be a great husband when you get around to tying the knot with your bride…
1. Cut Off Pornography From Your Life Once and For All.
80% of men between the ages of 18-30 view porn at least monthly. 30% of men of the same age range view it daily. Christian men watch porn as much as their non-religious counterparts. Yet a lot of times, there isn’t a lot of urgency to stop. The reasoning and rationale is that “When I get married, porn won’t be a problem because I will finally get to have sex.”
Think again gents. It doesn’t work like that on many levels. First off, if your view of sex is that self-centered, take a quick break from this post and head over to the Healthy Sex series to give you a better, more Biblically grounded view of what sex is.
Secondly, marriage will not solve your pornography problem. If anything, it will deepen your addiction and porn will become the secret mistress you run to when things are not going well with your wife. This will further deepen the rift between you and your wife. You will start to go to porn because it is easier than having to actually work through your relationship with your wife.
So take my advice: cut off the head of the snake and burn the body in the fire. Make war against pornography in your life now. Fortify your mind with Scripture. Put anti-porn software on your computer. Get a dumb phone instead of a smart phone. Get in to a support group. Do whatever it takes. Destroy it completely… or it will destroy you and your marriage.
*If you are in Gainesville, FL or the surrounding area, I know a few good support groups for men struggling with porn or sexual addiction. Email me and I can hook you up.
2. Know Your Calling.
Most people work to live. But God’s original design in the Garden was that we live to work. Now toiling in our work was part of the fall, but work itself was not. We are wired and created to work and find our deepest joy, purpose, and meaning in doing so. One of the greatest gifts you can give your future bride is having a calling and purpose. This does not mean you have to go into ministry per say, but everyone should have a sense of “This is what I was put on this planet to do!”
When a marriage is built around calling and purpose, it will last. When it is built solely around a relationship, eventually it will implode because a husband and a wife were not created to be each other’s purpose. John Mark Comer says, “No matter how smart or sexy or funny or interesting she is, if she doesn’t want to help you in Kingdom work, how will your marriage be about more than your marriage?”
God created Adam and Eve to work together and enjoy God and each other in the process of helping to bring life and beauty to humanity. This is the way we are created to live and be. And if you can nail that before getting married, you are in a sweet spot to succeed.
3. Cultivate a Strong Life of Prayer.
I know. This is the token Christian answer for, well, everything. But hear me out. When you actually become a man of prayer who is seeking God daily, confident in who he is in Christ, confident in his calling, and a strong spiritual leader, then you will have something of worth that will actually turn the head of the type of women you want to be your wife.
You know what one of the top things Christian women ask for when they are talking about a future husband? Someone who they can trust to lead them and their future family well. That type of man, however, is forged exclusively in prayer. (And the counter-intuitive thing is that when you stop trying to pursue a wife and instead start pursuing the Lord, it is wild how many guys find a wife in that process!)
Listen, we are not talking about your Biology exam that you can study the night before for here. Being a husband worth following does not happen instantaneously. Spiritual strength and fortitude is cultivated over time through a long devotion in the same direction, on your knees, and through the daily yielding to the Holy Spirit. If you try to run a marathon without training, you won’t finish. Period. Only those who take the time to train can actually do it. The same is true of men who want to be great husbands; when you put in the time with Jesus, you learn what it means to be great like Him… so practice being with Him now so you can be great like Him later!!
4. Know the Kind of Woman You Want Your Wife To Be.
I am not talking about what she is going to look like. You need to dig deeper than that. Spend some time reflecting on the attributes you want to see in your wife. Make a list. Pray over that list and pray specifically for your future wife. God will either give you what you ask for or will change your heart until your list lines up with His list. Either way, you are better off for it!
I also think this really plays into knowing your calling (see point 2) because a lot of what you are looking for should tie into that. For example, I have always felt the call to be a missionary, so when I was praying for and looking for a wife, it was a non-negotiable that she have that same call. I actually broke up with a girlfriend of 2+ years because she did not feel the same call to be a missionary that I had that I realized I had after we started dating. There were very specific things I was looking for in a woman that were wrapped around my call and what I felt my purpose in life was. After that break up, I was able to have a laser beam focus of who I was looking for when it came to my future marriage.
I think this is what a lot of guys miss: not having in mind what you are looking for in a wife is like trying to hit an invisible target. You will know what it looks like to miss the target but you will never really know what it means to hit the mark. This is a very frustrating place to be because you never feel like you are winning. You can also save yourself and the women you may date a lot of time, energy, and heartache by figuring this out before you date instead of a year in to dating when you find out you are not compatible. (Trust me, I know from personal experience on this one.)
5. Know What Kind of Man Your Future Wife Would Want To Be With And Become That Man.
Most guys want to be good husbands… they just don’t know what being a good husband looks like, and for a lot of reasons. One big one is they never had it modeled to them, which puts a lot of guys in a bind. If they want to get married someday, they are trying to be something they have never seen or known, which is almost impossible to do!
Knowing what it means to be a good husband and what the purpose of marriage is is absolutely critical to a healthy and fulfilling marriage relationship. Like I said before, having a schema and a target to hit makes all the difference in the world. So here’s what you need to do to gain a good understanding of what a solid husband looks like:
1. Devour Ephesians 5:21-33. This is an amazing passage of Scripture that highlights how a husband should live and love his wife. Paul gives amazing depictions of what a healthy and whole marriage looks like. Own this passage. Meditate on it. Ask questions about it. Read it until you start to really grasp the underlying concepts of what is being discussed here.
2. Grab a copy of The Samurai Husband to help you understand and dive deeper into the principles laid out in Ephesians 5:21-33. I wrote this book with this exact thought in mind. I want to give guys a Biblical standard to live up to and to teach them how to be the husband God has called them to be. (Click on the link above or the picture below to get your copy today!)
3. After reading Ephesians 5 and The Samurai Husband, make a list of what you think your future wife would want in a husband. Then ask yourself, “Am I that man?” If so, rock on! If not, pray for the Lord to let you become the man and husband you (and she) wants to be.
So take the time now to do the progressive work of becoming the man you want to be now. This way you can be ready, equipped, and prepared to be the husband you want to be when the time comes to put it into practice. These small deposits now will reap massive dividends when your marriage begins!!
Trust me, your wife will thank you for it!!