I mentor several young men right now. These are the women I tell my spiritual sons to avoid:
1. The unbeliever. The Bible is absolutely clear on this point: Christians should not marry unbelievers. Second Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB). Apart from your decision to follow Christ, marriage is the single most important decision you’ll ever make. Don’t blow it by ignoring the obvious. You need a wife who loves Jesus more than she loves you. Put spiritual maturity at the top of your list of qualities you want in a wife.
2. The material girl. One young friend was engaged to a girl from a rich family. He saved up money for months to buy a ring, but when he proposed, she told him he needed to buy a bigger diamond. She pushed her fiance to go into debt for a ring that fit her expectations. She wanted a Tiffany’s lifestyle on his Walmart budget. I warned my friend that he was stepping into serious trouble. Unless you want to live in debt for the rest of your life, do not marry a girl who has dollar signs in her eyes and eight credit cards in her Gucci purse.
3. The diva. Divas think the world revolves around them, and they don’t think twice about hurting somebody else to prove their point.Their words are harsh and their finger-snapping demands are unreasonable. Some of these women might end up in leadership positions at church, but don’t be fooled by their super-spiritual talk. If you don’t see Christlike humility in the woman you’re dating, back away from her and keep looking.
4. The Delilah. Remember Samson? He was anointed by God with superhuman strength, but he lost his power when a seductive woman figured out his secret and gave her man the world’s most famous haircut. Like Delilah, a woman who hasn’t yielded her sexuality to God will blind you with her charms and break your heart. If the “Christian” woman you met at church dresses provocatively, flirts with other guys, posts sexually inappropriate comments on Facebook, or tells you she’s okay with sex before marriage, get out of that relationship before she traps you.
5. The contentious woman. A young man told me recently that he was engaged to a girl who had had serious resentment in her heart because of past hurts. “Before I would propose, I told my fiancee she had to deal with this,” he explained. This guy realized unresolved bitterness can ruin a marriage. Proverbs 21:9 says, “It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” If the woman you are dating is seething with anger and unforgiveness, your life together will be ruined by arguing, door-slamming, and endless drama. Insist she get prayer and counseling.
6. The controller. <span class=”pullquote”>Marriage is a 50/50 partnership, and the only way it works is when both husband and wife practice mutual submission</span> (Ephesians 5:21). Just as some guys think they can run a marriage like a dictatorship, some women try to manipulate decisions to get their way. This is why premarital counseling is so important! You don’t want to wait until you’ve been married for two weeks to find out your wife wants to call all the shots.
7. The mama’s girl. It’s normal for a new wife to call her mom regularly for advice and support. It is not normal for her to talk to her mother five times a day about every detail of her marriage, including her sex life.That’s weird. Yet I’ve counseled guys whose wives allowed their mothers (or fathers) total control of their marriages. Genesis 2:24 says a man is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife. Parents should stay in the background of their children’s marriages. If your girlfriend hasn’t cut the apron strings, proceed with caution.
8. The addict. Many people in the church today struggle with various types of addictions—to alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medicines, or pornography—either because we don’t confront these sins from the pulpit or we don’t offer enough compassionate support to strugglers. Jesus can completely set a person free from these habits, but you don’t want to wait until you’re married to find out your wife isn’t sober. You may still be called to be married, but it is not wise to tie the knot until your girlfriend faces her issues head-on.
Your best rule to follow in choosing a wife is found in Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Look past the outward qualities that the world says are important, and look at the heart.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma magazine and the director of the Mordecai Project. Originally published by Charisma, 600 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32750. charismamag.com. Used by permission.