When I was around sixteen, I read an article written by a grandfather about his granddaughter. She was a little baby and he was describing the man she would someday marry.  At one point in that description he was talking about sin and impurity and said, “If this is part of your past then God may forgive you and I will accept you as a brother in Christ, but you will never marry my granddaughter. She is too precious, too pure for that…”

My father read the article, looked me in the eye and said, “Just so you know, I love you more than life itself, but I don’t agree with one word of this.”

“Tasha,” he added later, “I want to tell you about the man that I want you to marry.” And then he went on to describe him:

  • He’s a good man, not because he always does good things, but because he knows the source of goodness is God himself.
  • He’s a sinner who has regrets and knows the road to redemption intimately.
  • I’m not as concerned with where he’s been as where he’s going.
  • I want to know that he understands forgiveness inside and out. That he understands grace from experience.
  • If he has given himself to another before you, and I pray he doesn’t, I want to see the scars and hear his story of repentance and restoration.

I remember my father lifting my chin and adding, “You are the most precious asset I have. And I want the very, very best for you. But the best for you isn’t someone who is ‘perfect’ because like it or not, you’re not ‘perfect’. I didn’t raise you to be perfect. I raised you to be Redeemed. You’re a sinner saved by grace and I want you to marry a sinner saved by grace.”

Then he leaned forward and whispered, “Besides, there aren’t any perfect ones out there, just imperfect ones who know it and imperfect ones who don’t know it. And I want you to have a husband who knows who he is, so when, in marriage, he sees who you are — he loves you even more.” 

Girls, don’t fall for the lie that you are waiting for someone who “does everything right”. Nobody does everything right and if it appears like he has there may be deep issues that show up further down the road.

You’re waiting for a man who knows grace. One who understands forgiveness. One that God brings in His way in His time. 

There is no excuse for sinful behavior, ever. But the truth is that we’re all guilty one way or another.  And if we choose what God can and cannot redeem by putting ourselves above others and ranking sin, we make ourselves god, and that is idolatry. 

I’m not suggesting, even for a moment, that physical sin is something to be overlooked or ignored or made light of. But I am saying that the heart is the most important thing to address. We should never judge someone based on their scars, but rather on whom they depend on for healing.  

how to judge a man

There are men out there who have remained faithful and who understand grace. I married one. But he wasn’t perfect. Not before me nor after. 

If I had insisted on a “perfect” guy, I would either be single or married to a liar.

God gives very clear outlines about the Christian walk. The simplest list is in Micah 6:8:

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

In light of that, the “ideal mate” is not a trophy husband who gives you bragging rights because his life looks the way you want it to but rather, one who truly knows the Father’s heart — one that acts justly and loves mercy and walks humbly with God alongside you.

An ideal Husband

Wait for a man who inspires you to know God more. Wait for a man who knows how to acknowledge sin and repent and turn from it. Wait for a man who is actively pursuing God above everything else in his life {including you!}.

And while you’re waiting? I would suggest getting to know grace and forgiveness intimately yourself. I would suggest getting to know who you are in Christ so that, in marriage, when you see who your husband is — you love him even more.

{For further consideration… read God’s Truth & Red Flags, and Watch out for Wolves!}