A father has the God-given authority to give his daughter away in marriage. I Corinthians 7:37-38, "Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better."
To every father reading this, I would encourage you to consider this one of your most serious obligations: finding the right mate for your daughter. I suggest the following guide be used to look for a good man. This should be shared with your daughter early and often in her life so both of your standards will be high.
1. Is He Saved?
II Corinthians 6:14 , "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
I Corinthians 7:39 , "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
2. Is He Sanctified?
I Thessalonians 4:3, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:"
To be sanctified means to be set apart. This is the process and work of God in us whereby He is constantly making us holier. A sanctified man will always be improving. He will never become complacent with his Christian life.
3. Is He Serving?
Philippians 2:3, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
Mark 10:45 , "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many:"
Look for a man who has a servant's heart. A man who lives for others will make a good husband. Avoid self-centered types.
4. Is He Spirit-filled?
Ephesians 5:18 , "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"
To be filled with the Spirit of God means to be emptied of self and given over to God's control. As a result of being Spirit-filled, "... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," Galatians 5:22.
God, by His Spirit, will teach a man to love like God loves. Your daughter will benefit all of her life from his unconditional love. The self-centered type will only think of himself. It is not possible to be filled with the Spirit and filled with self at the same time.
5. Is He Singing?
Ephesians 5:18-19, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" Watch him in church. Does he love to sing unto the Lord? Singing is an outward evidence of a spirit-filled man. Is his music old-fashioned? Is it conservative? Does he shun the music of the world? The world's music will harden his heart and cause his spirit to rebel.
6. Is He Soulwinning?
There is something fundamentally and foundationally wrong with the person who claims to be saved but does not care for lost souls. Does he know a gospel plan? Does he know how to share Christ? Does he at least make an effort to witness, pass out tracts, be a good testimony? A soulwinner is wise (Proverbs 11:30 ). Certainly it would be nice to have a wise son-in-law.
7. Is He Stable?
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, let your daughter marry an angry man!
Proverbs 22:24 , "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:"
Examine the spirit of the young man. If he becomes easily angry, frustrated, depressed, despondent, anxious or unstable - reject him! He is not grown up enough to marry your daughter.
Proverbs 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."
Proverbs 16:32, "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."
Be sure he is established emotionally.
8. Is He Security?
Is he a hard working, industrious man? Will he take care of your daughter all the days of his life? Will he be willing to work overtime or have an extra job so your daughter will not have to work outside the home?
I Timothy 5:8, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
He should be well established as a faithful, hard working man long before he is married. Security is one of a woman's most important needs.
II Thessalonians 3:10 , "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
Also see Proverbs 11:16. Does he retain riches?
I Timothy 5:4, "But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God."
Will he promise to take care of you in your old age? This is God's social security plan. Don't give your daughter to him if he will not. Jesus is preparing a place for His bride to live before He comes to get her (John 14:1-3). That is a good example for all young men to follow. They should have a place prepared before marriage.
9. Is He Sensible?
Does he have common sense? Can he figure things out by himself? Better to marry a "jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" than one who lacks common sense. Does he at least have financial sense, mechanical sense, carpentry sense, fathering instincts, discipline, character?
10. Is He Strong?
Physical strength is important - a man should be healthy. But to the serious Bible student, physical strength pales in comparison to spiritual strength.
I Timothy 4:8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
Ephesians 6:10 , "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
I John 2:14b, "... I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."
There is no mention in this guide about him being romantic. That comes after marriage, as does self control. There is no mention of looks and other shallow characteristics. Dads and daughters need to rise above that. Ignore the empty things that do not contribute to happy marriages.
There is no perfect man out there, but be sure the man your daughter marries is close to these guidelines. Seek a spiritual advisor's help if you have questions on this all important search.
Copyright © 2005
Permission granted to freely copy.
Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.