Chapter 6: Character & Integrity

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Now we get into the most important consideration — character. If you don’t remember anything else, remember that. Character is about the morality of that woman—how she treats other people. If a woman treats others well, you would say she has good character. If she consistently treats others poorly, you would say she has bad character.

Character is about morality. A person’s moral compass can be guided by their own standards, society’s standards, God’s standards or a mix of all three.

Morality is defined as conformity to the rules of right or virtuous conduct. In your case, you should be conforming to God’s rules of conduct exclusively.

Before we get into God’s standards of conduct I want to briefly talk about one of his main desires for us. In Romans 8:29, it’s said that our father wants us to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. Why is this? Because Christ is holy, God is holy and without holiness, no man can see God (Heb 12:14, 1 Peter 1:15).

It’s clear in scripture that God will not be tolerating sin in heaven, so what’s he doing now is reformatting our souls to have a permanent place in his kingdom (Titus 2:11-12). The main thing he wants to change is our character. This is the whole reason why Jesus had to die, because man was incapable of changing himself. Through belief in Christ Jesus and yielding to the Holy Spirit, we can allow this character transformation.

Jesus commands us to love one another as he loves us (John 13:34). Love is one of the most important commandments given, yet few know what love really is. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, God gives us a clear understanding of what he calls love:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7 NKJV)

After thoroughly studying these passages (and I encourage you to do the same), you get thirteen attributes of love. I’ve listed them below and briefly expounded on each:

  1. Love is patient and suffers long.
  2. Love is kind – benevolent, understands and sympathizes.
  3. Love is congratulating others for their achievements – not envious.
  4. Love is humble – not boastful, proud or disrespectful.
  5. Love is supportive, considerate and seeks to helps others – not self-centered.
  6. Love is courtesy and polite – not rude and ill-mannered (using truth recklessly).
  7. Love is slow to anger – not easily provoked.
  8. Love is forgiving – doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.
  9. Love is telling the truth – it doesn’t rejoice in lies and iniquity.
  10. Love is bears all things (covers another’s faults), doesn’t gossip about them.
  11. Love is trusting and gives a new start to those who have repented of sin.
  12. Love is hoping for the best for people rather than the worst.
  13. Love is loyal and endures all things (marriage till death, never gives up).

These attributes (and it’s not just limited to these verses) are what love is truly all about. These are what godly morals consist of. This is what good character looks like.

However, the world defines love as something totally different. Pick up any American dictionary and you get something like this:

Love is a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward another person. An intense emotional attachment or feeling for a person, place, or thing. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair. Romance, sexual passion, sexual intercourse.

Notice how the world’s definition of love is based on how they feel about someone. Feeling has nothing to do with God’s view of love.

There’s a popular book called the 5 love languages. In it, the author describes 5 “languages” or things you can do to “show love” to your spouse. They are: 1) words of affirmation, 2) acts of service, 3) giving gifts, 4) touch, and 5) quality time.

While this is an excellent book I would recommend to any couple, without the biblical foundation of God’s love in operation, these are just empty expressions.

  • Love is not speaking words of affirmation.
  • Love is not acts of service.
  • Love is not giving gifts.
  • Love is not touching.
  • Love is not spending quality time.
  • Love is not feeling.
  • Love is not emotion.
  • Love is not attraction.
  • Love is not sex.
  • Love is not fondness.
  • Love is patient with others.
  • Love is kind to others.
  • Love is happy for other’s success.
  • Love is humble.
  • Love is selfless.
  • Love is polite.
  • Love is slow to anger.
  • Love is forgiving.
  • Love is always telling the truth.
  • Love is covering the faults of others.
  • Love is trusting.
  • Love is hoping for the best for others.
  • Love is loyal and endures to the end.

Love is about how you treat people based on God’s standards. Love is expressing the moral character of God.

This proper understanding of love is crucial. Firstly, those 13 attributes (and more) should be your standard for loving others and what you grow to expect from others who claim to be children of God. Secondly, you’d better make sure that your future spouse holds the same views.

The misunderstanding of love is one of the reasons why marriages fail. People base their love on their feelings and/or their own morality rather than God. When this is the case, expectations are unmet, then comes the disappointment, then the offense, hurt, conflict, arguing and so forth. Both partners’ standard of love must be identical and based on God’s standard in order for the relationship to thrive.


If biblical love is about being honest (even if the truth may offend), a person who doesn’t hold that view will believe it’s justifiable to lie in certain circumstances to their partner. People with this attitude are ignorant of God’s law of conduct and the consequences:

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars–their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Rev 21:8)

Occasionally deceiving your partner is never justified and it has destructive results now and for the future for those who don’t repent. I knew a brother whose wife constantly lied to him. It eventually destroyed the marriage. One only damages their partner by lying to them. The proverbs tells us that lies are soon found out, but the truth lasts forever (Prov 12:19).


Humility is another attribute of love, but the opposite is expressed in pride, disrespect or dishonor. Honoring your spouse is treating them with equality but also respecting their role in the relationship.

Pride is usually the reason why most women don’t honor their husbands by following his leading and submitting to his authority. Prideful women will belittle, disobey and attempt to rule over their husbands.

On the bright side, if a woman comes into the marriage with the correct understanding of love, and with a desire to please God, while she may still struggle with honoring her husband through submission, the relationship will have less conflict because, at least, the woman is actively working with God to grow in her character.

Dealing with a woman who has no understanding or desire to respect her husband is the worst woman to marry. This kind of woman is rebellious and doesn’t respect God either. You will have all kinds of hell on your hands and it may end in divorce! Or worst, you may end up an emasculated eunuch unable to be used by God!

As I said before, Satan has deceived many men and women into believing that women should lead and men should follow. This is partially what the feminist movement is all about. This role switching in society is nothing but the sin of disorder and I talk about this more in this article about female pastors.

You must be on the look-out for women with true humility and those with hidden rebellion. These two things can only be spiritually discerned. You also must be a man who doesn’t walk in pride yourself, but in the strong humility of Jesus Christ.

Another expression of pride is not being able to admit failure, wrongdoing or sin. If you or your wife are unable to admit faults and transgression against one another, you may end up hurting each other so bad that you end in divorce or worse. Failure to apologize and repent does not help in the healing of the wound. And so what you will have is two people stabbing one another until one or the other can’t take it anymore; and they divorce, or worse.

Pride will also cut you off from God’s grace, because he only gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). We all need God’s grace to be saved (Eph 2:8-10).

Considering it all

I single out honesty and humility as some of the most important attributes of love because they really do determine what kind of marriage you will have and whether or not it will last or not.

You’ll also have to consider her patience, kindness, faithfulness, selflessness, politeness and forgiveness. What’s in a person’s heart can’t be hidden— it always comes out. This is why it’s important to be patient with that potential woman you have your eye on. Just wait a while. Just observe her behavior. Take note when she’s in public with you, when you’re alone with her, when she’s with close friends, when she’s with family and the church. Watch how she treats others and how she treats herself.

I often find that simply listening to a woman talk will give me insight into who she really is. Women tend to expose their souls through their mouths. When she speaks, this is the time to listen. She will expose her view on life, other people, and what she thinks of herself.

Simply having a conversation about what love really means is also a good idea. Beware, though, that some women know all the right answers but don’t really believe it’s possible to love like Christ loves. A woman who doesn’t believe this, will not love you like Christ.

Avoiding lust

What you must avoid, no matter how attractive you find her to be, is excessive lust and, especially, fornication. I said “excessive lust” because strong desire for your potential wife, which is a form of lust, on some level, is normal.

If you don’t strongly desire to have her, then you may not be attracted to her; and therefore you shouldn’t be pursuing her. However, if all you think about is sex with her, then you have a problem. The problem is either you, her, or you both. Some women dress and act in ways that promote excessive lust. And in the case of the latter, I would strongly caution against pursuing such a woman.

Excessive lust and sex will cloud your perception and block the Holy Spirit’s leading. You can’t properly evaluate a woman’s character when you’re having intense sexual fantasies about her. Lust and sex can exaggerate her strengths while minimizing and even overlooking her true character flaws.

Guard against excessive lust and fornication at all times.

The perfect woman

Now some of you will say, “Nobody’s perfect, it’s impossible to love like Jesus, why hold any woman to such a high standard?”

My answer is: God’s holds us all to that same high standard and it is impossible for a woman to love a man, or a man to love a woman like Jesus. But not without the power of God’s Spirit. This is why we’re told to walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live a holy life (Gal 5:16-24) and to love like Christ.

Another question you may have: “The woman I’m looking at has areas of weakness, but I still desire her, what should I do?”

My answer is: it’s about what you’re willing to deal with. Ask yourself, after an accurate assessment of her, “Am I willing to accept these flaws?” Is she a person whose actively seeking Christ and walking in the Spirit to overcome her sins?” If the answer is: Yes (and this should be your personal pursuit as well), then there will be minimal problems.

Be aware, though, that there are sins and issues in both of you that will not be exposed until after you get married. It’s not that either one of you was hiding something, it’s just that these are things God reveals over time. This is a normal part of the transformation. God doesn’t expose all the dirt in your soul all at once—you wouldn’t be able to handle it. What you’re accountable for is what he sheds light on now.

Think about the times people confronted you about sinful behavior in your life or when you were convicted after reading scripture. Those were the times God was exposing an area that he wanted you to surrender to him.

When we fail to act on God’s convictions, we slowly slide into rebellion and could end up in reprobation. All your future wife must show is a willingness to change and a belief that it is possible only through the Holy Spirit.

My final wisdom on this is don’t discard a woman just because she’s not perfect, many of us have issues, sins and character flaws that God is dealing with. When you find a woman who want’s holiness and to be conformed to the image of Christ, this is a woman of godly character.

For the women who don’t show a desire to repent and who could care less about God’s requirement for holiness, you need to leave them alone. Do not think you can change them. They may never have a change of heart after marriage, and in some instances, may not even be children of God even though they profess to be.

I don’t care how beautiful or how nice her personality is — don’t be unequally yoked. Don’t marry a woman that doesn’t hold the same core values you have. Your only duty to her is to tell her about her sinful condition and her need for the Savior; and then allow God to work.

In the hood there’s a saying that goes, “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife,” but God can, but only if she wants to change, and he doesn’t need your help to do it. So it’s best for you to step out the picture and let God do his work. There are too many men who are trying to save beautiful yet rebellious woman and being destroyed in the process.

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