Wait on the LORD:
be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
This verse, more than any other, sustained me during my single years and kept me from making mistakes concerning my future and a husband.
This is a study on "finding" a good husband. This is not about my husband, although in my eyes he certainly is a good example of one. This is about what the Bible has to say on the subject of a good man.
Let's analyze this verse and you'll see why I think it so important to this topic. The first thing Psalm 27:14 tells us to do is to wait. The definition of waiting is: to stay or rest in expectation; to rest in expectation and patience; not to depart; to pay servile or submissive attendance; to look watchfully.
The Bible's advice is to "wait." Stay. Don't depart. Rest. Be patient. Waiting is hard, I know, but there is an important reason for it. It is what God wants us to do. He is not offering us His opinion, or making a suggestion here, God is issuing us an order: wait. Calm down, catch your breath, stop and think!
But "wait!" There is more. We are to wait on the Lord. All through the Psalms David reveals God's abiding protection for us: David refers to God as "my shield, shelter, my refuge and my defense, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my buckler, my high tower, my stay." Stay, as in waiting on the Lord? Yes, if we'll wait on the Lord, God will go before us and lead us in a clear path.
The trouble comes when we so often run ahead of God and then when we get in trouble we have to look back at Him for help. The farther ahead of God we get the longer it may take for Him to reach us. Will God ever leave us? No, for Hebrews 13:5b says, ": for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." God doesn't move from where He is supposed to be, we run on ahead and got out of His will and way.
Get ready. Here comes another command. What does God tell us to do while we are waiting? Be of good courage. Shoulders back, head up, stiff upper lip. Don't mope around. Cheer up. Be happy. I can't emphasize this enough. God has your life planned for you and His plans for you are perfect and just what you need. You should be encouraged by that. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts and His timing is not our timing. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Praise the Lord! That is GOOD NEWS!! Rejoice in it.
Waiting can also mean serving. Another definition is: to attend; to accompany with submission or respect. You can wait on the Lord by serving Him. You should do it in submission to Him and with respect for Him. Don't waste your time or your life worrying about or planning those things that should be left in God's hands. Get busy serving God and He may just reward you by hastening the process of finding a husband for you. What better place to meet your future mate than in service for the Lord.
Now to encourage us God gives us a promise to hold on to: and he shall strengthen thine heart.
God promises if you wait on Him, and be content while you are waiting, He will strengthen your heart. Your heart will need strengthening when you are in love. It is at this time that you cannot think straight. Your brains are mush! God says He will strengthen the one muscle of your body that needs it the most when you are in love, your heart. It will ache, it will feel like it may explode with excitement or stop due to anxiety. That's why He says He will strengthen it for you. He will uphold you. If you let Him He will give you the strength to make the right decisions and to think things through clearly and thoroughly.
Then what does God tell you to do. Wait. It's nerve-wracking, isn't it? He knows that you probably weren't listening the first time so He tells you again.
I beg you, don't be in a hurry to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Wait on the Lord, seek His counsel, and listen to His voice. Too many women listen to the wrong voice when it comes to this all-important issue. Do you honestly think God is going to answer you, five minutes after you ask Him, if you should marry the man you just met at the market ten minutes ago? Waiting can take years. So wait on the Lord.
Many young ladies, and it seems they are getting younger all the time, have asked me for advice on finding a good man, thus the title of this message. The number one question they have is: what is the "secret formula" for finding a husband. Let me say two things right off the bat.
First, there is a formula, but it is not a secret. The answer is found in the Bible. It is God's Holy Word and it is the guidebook for your life. We'll take a look at what it has to say in a moment.
Second, you shouldn't be "looking" for a man, you should be asking God to bring one to you, one of His choosing. The Bible in Proverbs 18:22, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." This is talking to the man not the woman. God has much to say to the man about the right kind of woman he is to marry. That is not part of this discussion. God's plan is not for the woman to look under every rock (for that is where it appears some men come from), hunt in the newspaper, search the internet, join a single's club, etc. God wants you to ask Him. He is your heavenly Father and He will not withhold what is good and right for you. (James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.)
Now, let's take a look at God's formula for a good man.
A good man is a SAVED man
(Psalm 32:2)Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
Everything God created was good. Read Genesis chapters 1 and 2. God also created man and He created him in His own image. But because of the fall, and sin, man is not good by nature. Man's goodness has nothing to do with his salvation for we know from Ephesians 2:8-9 that salvation is by faith and not by works. So don't misunderstand what I am about to say.
When a man accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour and He comes into his heart then a change will take place in him. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." When and if a person truly gets born again (John 3:3) then there will be a change in him. It may take time but there will be a evidence of a change. That is the outward evidence that a person is truly saved for only God knows the heart.
Therefore, the first quality of a good man is that he is saved, knows it and shows it. He will begin to look at himself and not like what he sees. He will make improvements in his life. He will want to please his Lord and Saviour.
A good man is a GOD-FEARING man
(Acts 10:1-2) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
A man that is saved will fear the Lord. Fear in this sense does not mean to be afraid of someone but rather to have a healthy respect for that person.
Cornelius was a lost man, under Roman rule, yet he had awe and reverence for God, which led him to seek out, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter, and get saved. Read his story in Acts chapter 10. Cornelius was a man of position. As a centurion he commanded 100 men in the Roman army. Yet he was humble enough that when Peter, a fisherman and a fisher of men, stood before him Cornelius "fell down at his feet, and worshipped him."
Cornelius was seeking the Lord. He knew about God (head knowledge) but he did not have a personal relationship (heart knowledge) with Him. A good man who fears the Lord will seek the Lord. A good man who fears the Lord will have a personal relationship with Him. When Cornelius heard the gospel he got saved and then immediately got baptized, not for salvation, but as an outward act to identify himself as a follower of Christ. A good man who fears the Lord will obey his commandments.
"In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience." (American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, 1828)
A good man is a STUDENT of the Scriptures
(2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.)
A good man will not only read his Bible every day but he will also study it. He will not take what others say as "gospel" but will search the Scriptures, like the Bereans did, to find out the truth. (Acts 17:11 - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.) A man who takes at face value whatever he is told the Bible says, without ever studying it on his own, is lazy.
God gives his flock pastors, to be their shepherds, but our final authority is still, "thus saith the Lord."
God speaks to each individual differently because each individual person has different needs. Each person goes through a different set of trials and circumstances during their walk with the Lord. The verses that the Lord gives me, which I find great comfort in, may not have the same meaning for someone else. We need to study those topics that are important for our individual spiritual growth.
"A man won't be a real man until he knows the Book." - Dr. Michael E. Todd
A good man LOVES GOD'S WORD
(Psalm 119:165) Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
A good man uses God's Word when trials and temptations come along. He can't do this unless he has committed God's Word to memory. Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." He won't memorize Scripture if He doesn't love God's Word. One thing I love about my husband is that he can back up what he says with a Bible verse.
A good man will talk about the things of God and his conversation will be directly affected by what's in his heart. Matthew 12:34, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
Does the man you are even remotely thinking of marrying know the cast in the latest TV show but doesn't know the familiar Bible characters? Can he give you all the statistics on his favorite sports team and players but not able to recite the books of the Bible in order? Does he know the tune or the words of the hottest album on the market but not know the tune or words to the old hymns of the faith? Is he up-to-date in his appearance and mode of dress and surprised that the Bible speaks against such things as earrings or body piercing, long hair, and tattoos for men? Does he look like a man or a woman?
What is his heart set on, the things above or on this earth? (Colossians 3:2) A good man loves God's Word even when it "chaps his hide."
A good man OBEYS GOD'S WORD
(Psalm 37:31) The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
God has done so much for us. The Bible tells us that He gave His only begotten Son and it is through Him that we have salvation. (John 3:16 and Acts 4:12) Jesus gave His very life's blood for us. (Matthew 26:28 - For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.)
There is no greater sacrifice that a man could make than to lay down his life for another. Therefore, perhaps the greatest thing we can do for God is to obey Him through His Word. Matthew 22:37-38 says, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
It is not enough for a man to read, to study and to quote Scripture. He must also obey what He reads in God's Word. The more a man reads and studies the Bible the more the Holy Spirit will reveal to him. It is what man does with that revelation that is important.
In addition to the Ten Commandments, the law which brings the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), plus the first and great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38), God gives us plenty of "marching orders."
Wait! Come! Go! Give! Do! Beware! God expects us to obey Him. Hudson Taylor, missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, said this: "God gives His Holy Spirit not to those who long for Him, not to those who pray for Him, not to those who desire to be filled always; He gives His Spirit to those who obey." Does the Holy Spirit abide in those who are saved? Yes! But it is up to us to allow Him to work in our lives and the best way for Him to work is to obey God.
Illustration: Fill a glass (your heart) to the brim with water (the Holy Spirit). Add rocks (your disobedience to God) one at a time. Watch the water spill out. Now take the rocks out and see how much of the Holy Spirit was missing in your life.
Sacrifice was a part of the Jews life in the Old Testament. Yet God tells us that our obedience means more to Him than our sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22 - And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.)
A good man is a man of PRAYER
(Psalm 77:2) In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
A good man will have a good prayer life. A good man will have an open line of communication with God. That means that he has to know what his sins are. You won't have to tell him. And he will constantly and consistently confess them to God. A good man will get things right with God first because God is most important in his life.
A good man will pray for his family, his wife or wife-to-be (even if he doesn't know who she is yet) and his children (even if he doesn't have any yet). If he is single then he is asking the Lord to send him a good helpmeet (Proverbs 18:22). If he is married then he is asking God to help him take care of the precious "ruby" he was given (Proverbs 31:10). If he doesn't have children he is asking God to give him a heritage (Psalm 127:3). If he has children then he is asking God for help in guiding their lives (Ephesians 6:4).
A good man prays for his pastor. If he does then he will not be tempted to criticize him. He will not wish to partake of "roast preacher" on Sundays.
A good man prays for others. He is not selfish, only thinking of himself and his own needs. He will try to help others if the Lord lays it upon his heart to do so. Spiritually, he will be a Good Samaritan.
Lastly, a good man will pray for himself. He will ask the Lord to direct his steps and to be in His will. (Genesis 24:27 - And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.) A good man will not make a move unless he hears from the Lord. This will include his choice for a future wife, which will be to your advantage, should you be that choice.
A good man WINS SOULS
(Daniel 12:3) And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
A good man will not be ashamed to let others know that he is a believer in Jesus Christ. He will want to share with others the good news about what God did for them. He will want to start with his family if he is the first one to get saved. If he is still single then he will tell his parents, brothers and sisters. If he is married he will start with his wife and children.
There are crowns and rewards waiting for us at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:13-14). One of the crowns that we will receive will be for soul-winning (1 Thessalonians 2:19). Of the five crowns that we can receive, the only one that I can think that we will receive more than one of, is the crown of rejoicing. For each precious soul that we bring to the Lord we will receive either a crown or at least a jewel to put in a crown.
My husband is perhaps the greatest soul-winner I know. He is consistently concerned for people's souls. He tries never to miss an opportunity to at least leave someone with a tract so they have some kind of gospel witness. He will walk out of the house without his wallet or his keys before he will leave the house without tracts in his pocket. I believe he will have many crowns to cast at Jesus feet someday.
A good man WORSHIPS God
(Genesis 24:26) And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
A good man attends church. That is a good place to worship God. At church he can be with other men who are like-minded in their beliefs. A man spends most of his time in the work force with ungodly people. Therefore one of the greatest times of spiritual refreshing for a man will be in church. A man needs to "recharge his spiritual batteries" every chance he can get.
Another good place to worship God is at the family altar. This is the time he spends in special prayer and Bible reading with his family. This he should do once a day. It is good for him and it is good for his wife and children. Not many men spend special time with their families these days and this is one of the best ways for a Christian man to do this. In our home we pray together at night before we go to bed. There are other times during the day, in the course of reading and studying the Bible, that one of us comes across something special, we call it a nugget (like a piece of gold), which we share with the other one. I especially enjoy these times as I've learned a lot from them, both about the Bible and also about my husband and how the Lord is working in his life.
A good man PROVIDES for himself and his family
(2 Thessalonians 3:10) For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
There are a few rare exceptions when a man is physically or mentally disabled and cannot do the simplest tasks for himself let alone for others. God knows and understands this but it is usually not the rule.
Even Paul, who was already an apostle and itinerant preacher worked whenever he could so as not to put the burden for his provisions on anyone else.
(Acts 18:1-4) "After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Wrought means worked. He worked during the week and preached on the weekend.
(1 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.
A good man does not smoke, drink or gamble away his or his wife's paycheck or savings. He does not take food out of the mouths of his children or clothes off their back in order to feed his own shameful habit. A good man will put the physical needs of his family before his own.
Most men disable themselves by sin. Drunks and drug addicts find it difficult to hold down a good job. They are more interested in providing for their habit than they are for their families.
A good man will not have addictive habits that will rob his employer of his time, rob his family of his money, or rob himself of his health and eventually his life. A good man will take of himself physically as well as spiritually.
A good man is INCOMPLETE
(Genesis 2:18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
God determined that man was not meant to live his life alone. When God created the world he made everything in pairs. His command to them was to be fruitful and multiply. When Noah took male and female with him on the ark it was to reproduce and repopulate the earth after the flood. Likewise, when God made created Adam and Eve their primary responsibility was to populate the earth. They couldn't do that without the benefit and pleasure of having sex. God intended for a man and a wife to enjoy themselves. The shame and sin comes when a man and woman enjoy the benefits outside of marriage.
(Genesis 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
A good man will love his wife as God intended him to. He will not put his family, especially his mother, above his wife. He will not side with his family or mother against his wife. He will not put his children above his wife. God's ordained order in the family is God as head, the husband under God's authority, the wife under her husband's authority and the children under the authority of their father and mother. Any deviation from this will cause chaos in the home.
Once a man leaves his family to marry, even if he has to live with his parents afterward, he is to put his wife above all others, except God. The Bible clearly admonishes him to do this. If he doesn't he is in disobedience to the Lord. Any children he may have are to come after his wife. God has a reason for this. A man's parents, in most cases, will die before he does, and his children, in most cases, will grow up, leave home and start families of their own. His wife, however, is his life's companion. He needs to treat her with respect and dignity.
A good man doesn't beat up his wife physically, emotionally or mentally. Any man who beats up a woman is not much of a man. He is a bully. A good man loves his wife according to the example of Christ and His bride, the church, for which He died.
A good man will LEAD his family
(Genesis 18:19) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
A good man will not let others take this responsibility from him. He will not let the preacher, Sunday School teacher, school teacher, music instructor or anybody else who has constant contact with his children take his rightful place in their lives. God is going to hold him accountable for the children he helped bring into this world. God help the man who cannot say that he raised his children in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
Fathering children is not something to be taken lightly. Psalm 127:3 tells us that, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Any man that has children and then does not take the responsibility of raising them or providing for them will have a lot to answer for at the judgment.
A good man SERVES the Lord
(Joshua 24:15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
There are many things to do in the Christian walk. They are many opportunities to serve the Lord. A good man will seek out those opportunities and take advantage of them. One of the best ways a man can serve the Lord is by being faithful in church and being an encouragement and a help to his pastor. The Lord rewards faithfulness in a person. If a man is faithful, his family will be faithful. If a man is not faithful, his family will not be faithful, especially if he is the leader in the home. A good man will take his family to church and not just send them.
A good man is a WISE man
(Ecclesiastes 7:25) I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:
A good man will definitely know the difference between good and evil. A good man will seek God's wisdom and not his own. A good man will also seek the advice of his pastor who may see things that he himself does not. Proverbs 11:14 - "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety."
A good man will try to avoid sin. Proverbs 1:10 - "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." A good man will not seek the companionship of fools or allow others to talk him into something that he knows is against God's law or His will.
A good man is HUMBLE
(John 3:30) He must increase, but I must decrease.
A good man will be humble. He will not seek the spotlight but gladly let others who are more talented, more creative, or more knowledgeable be out front. A good man will not get jealous when others are praised or rewarded even if he should have received that praise or reward.
A good man is not known by his talents or his abilities, or by his looks or his appearance, his wealth, his fame, or his fortune. A good man is known to God by his heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 - "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
There is one thing that I can for sure say about my husband. He is not perfect; he has his flaws. But thankfully they are only the human flaws that we all have. I cannot honestly think of one spiritual flaw that he has. He is a Godly man serving the Lord, he reads his Bible and studies the Scriptures, he is a man of prayer, he seeks the wisdom and counsel of the Lord, he is not great in the world's eyes but I know the Lord thinks highly of him, he is a soul-winner (perhaps the greatest I have ever known), he has purpose of heart and a vision for his life, our life together and the ministry God has entrusted to him.
As you can see, concerning a good man for a husband, the Bible is quite clear on what to ask the Lord for.
The first place to find a good man will be at church. Period. Don't be fooled. If he wasn't in church until you met him and then you had to beg, plead, bribe or convince him to come, chances are he won't be in church after you get married. Many men go to church until they get married. There is only one way to make sure your man will be in church after the honeymoon is over. Make sure he is in church before you ever begin a courtship.
If he isn't interested in church then he isn't saved. Are you willing to give him up? Do you love him more than God? Then you are in sin for the Bible says in Matthew 22:37-38, "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
Get the advice of your Pastor, his wife and your godly parents, if you have been blessed with some. They will see good things and bad things that you will not see. Not because they are trying to keep you an old-maid but because they have your best interests at heart.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 tells us, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
Good and evil are opposites, so are light and dark. Opposites, in the spiritual realm, cannot exist together. They will be at odds with each other.
If you've messed up and asked God for forgiveness then He has forgiveness you. Now forgive yourself. 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
A good man WAITS on God
(1 Thessalonians 5:21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
A good man will check out any girl that he is interested in first before he takes that final step toward marriage. Are you faithful? Are you growing spiritually or are you at the same level you were the day you got saved? Are you in God's will? Are you willing to be submissive? Do you have a meek and quiet spirit? Are you seeking the Lord for a mate? Are you worthy to be the wife of a good man?
Psalm 37:23, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."
Whose steps are YOU walking in, your own or the Lord's? Wait on the Lord and let Him bring you a GOOD MAN. I did and it was the best thing I ever did.
(Dedicated to the good man in my life,
my husband, Dr. Michael E. Todd)