In ministering to single ladies, my wife and I inevitably hear about the very appropriate desire for a husband. Not surprisingly, the discussion turns to two extreme concepts regarding young men. Either a spiritual maturity level of the apostle Paul is expected, or, we hear, “but he has ‘potential.’”
Super Saint vs. Spiritual Zero
It’s unreasonable to expect a single man to have the maturity of someone twice his age. If the lady’s spiritually mature dad is her role model for a husband, then praise the Lord! But remember, the mature dad didn’t have that maturity when he was twenty!
On the other hand, a single lady shouldn’t settle for “potential!” Potential is the power of the gospel not the promise of a man who says “I will be different.” Certainly, we serve a great God and with His grace, any unsaved mass murderer has potential! But that doesn’t make getting into a relationship with “potential” a wise choice.
Look for a Foundation
When Janet and I meet with single ladies who cannot find an apostle (surprise) but are settling for “potential,” we start with probing foundational matters. “Is the man a believer?” “How do you know this?” “How is the man actively involved in growing and serving in his church?” If the answers to these questions are fuzzy or unknown, then there is not enough information to consider the man as a husband.
Look for a Learner
How does the young man respond when he is confronted with the Word and sees areas he needs to change? Does he become a lawyer and plead his case? Or does he bow to the Scripture and change (real change, not just talk)? If the answers to these questions are fuzzy or unknown, then there is not enough information to consider the man as a husband.
Look for Submission
That’s right! But not in the way you are probably thinking. Is the man submissive to the authorities in his life? If a single lady is in a relationship with a man who cannot be under authority, our advice to her is “RUN FAR AWAY! You do not want to be under the authority of a man who isn’t under authority himself!” If the answer to this authority question is fuzzy or unknown then there is not enough information to consider the man as a husband.
Look at His Path
The path the man is on cannot be discerned by talk or a date at the movies. The path he is walking can be seen over time and in the company of those who know him. Thus, observe his walk from a distance and by seeking wise counsel from his spiritual overseers. If he doesn’t have spiritual overseers who know the path he is on, then there’s a clue, right? If his track record is fuzzy or unknown then there is not enough information to consider the man as a husband.
Summer love is in the air! Remember there are no more apostles and only the Gospel has potential. Choose wisely.
Brent and Janet Aucoin