While character is the most important attribute to consider in a woman, a close observation of her life can show you what your future life with her may look like. Our current life comes from the choices we’ve made, circumstances that may or may not be in our control and the people in our lives. An observation of her life starts as early as the first date and a closer look should be made the closer you get to considering courtship and marriage.
There are 8 areas you should to look at:
- Her PEOPLE: parents, family, children and friends
- Her WORK: job, career, work environment, work/life balance
- Her HOBBIES: habits and day-to-day activities
- Her DOMAIN: physical state of her home and car
- Her MONEY: financial situation and debt
- Her HEALTH: health condition
- Her BELIEFS: social and religious beliefs
- Her DIGITAL: who she is on the Internet
In these 8 areas you have to consider:
- Whether these things merge well with your life.
- Whether there are some things you will not accept.
- Whether you’re both willing to compromise in some areas.
Let’s look at a some of these areas in detail.
This is a big one. The people in her life will be the people in your life. Do you like these people? Do they like you? How much interaction will you have with these people?
We all know how we were raised has a great impact on our adulthood, so you have to consider her parents. Did she have both parents in her life? What kind of people are her parents? Did she have a healthy upbringing, was she “spoiled” or neglected? Is one or more of her parents domineering?
A woman that grew up being “spoiled” usually means she was given everything she wanted, seldom held accountable for her faults and expects to be rescued from every bad situation she causes—this kind of woman may expect the same thing from you.
In the case of neglect, it would mean that her parent may or may not have been present in the home, but mom or dad treated her as if she was suppose to raise herself. This kind of parenting can cause the woman to lack some basic life skills because she wasn’t taught. Or, the neglect may result in the woman being very independent. This kind of woman will find it hard to trust men or be led by her husband.
Another thing you have to consider is if the parent has become dependant on your future wife for health challenges and or older age. Mother or father in-law may have to live with you both—are you comfortable with that?
Or perhaps her parents are dead-beats, lazy, drug addicts and always asking for money. You have to consider how you will address these issues and whether or not they will continue to be in your lives.
The last parent type is the most difficult of all: the controlling/domineering mother or father. This kind of parent controls the child’s life and will attempt to control the marriage. Just think about your future wife’s mother sleeping between the two of you in your marriage bed—that’s a scary thought, but it’s figurative for how your marriage may be if these kinds of parents are not addressed.
Some parents have an inordinate, unhealthy attachment to their children. These kinds of relationships must be addressed before the marriage begins because the parent(s) could bring division between you two and ultimately destroy your marriage.
My advice for anyone who’s about to get married to a woman with a controlling parent (usually a mother) is to address the issue head on. Your future wife must understand that the parent has no control over her adult life and the parent must know that their behavior is wrong. Parents can love their children, but they have to let them go. The bible says:
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (Gen 2:23-24 NLT)
When a man and woman marry, they are to leave their father and mother and be joined to one another. For a wife to bring her mother along into her marriage is against nature and out of the order of God.
A woman who doesn’t want to leave her parent but allows them to control her life is not a woman who’s ready for a successful marriage. If you marry such a woman, you’ll have all kinds of problems on your hands. I wouldn’t marry a woman like this until this problem is resolved.
Family and Friends
The same standards and questions can be applied to family and friends. Essentially, her brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts and nephews will become your own. Do you get along with these people? Do you like them? How much interaction will you have with them? These are things you have to consider.
Single friends of the opposite sex is also a topic of discussion to have. Will this be something you will continue? It would look kind of strange for your wife to be hanging out with her single male friend while she’s married to you. This is why godly couples tend to only have friends with the opposite sex who are also married. This way they can hang out as a group and avoid the appearance of evil and greatly minimize any temptation the devil might bring between the opposite sexes.
You have to consider if you’re ready to build a relationship with a child or children from a previous relationship. In the case of children out of wedlock, the child’s father may be in the picture. This means he may be interacting with both the child and your new wife. Are you prepared to deal with this? Have you considered what the rules will be? These are things you have to consider and discuss with your wife-to-be. In the case of an adopted child or a younger relative she has custody of, you have to really think about if this is something you’re ready and willing to take on.
When there are children you may not get as much alone-time as you might want. Depending on the age of the child(ren), you will be responsible for disciplining, development and all that goes into rearing a children. You have to make the decision if you want to develop a relationship with your new wife while building a relationship with her children.
First of all, as the man of the house and provider, you should have a healthy attitude toward working. Without a means to sustain your family, shelter, clothing and food will be threatened so it’s important to have a positive attitude towards work with additional plans in place if work circumstances change.
What you do for a living affects your lifestyle tremendously. When evaluating the job/career of both you and your future spouse, you want to determine if it’s healthy and beneficial to the relationship. Some people have careers that keep them away from their families. Some people have jobs that stress them out. Some people’s income fluctuates because they’re self employed. Some people have stable careers and/or own businesses that are doing well and are projected to do very well in the future. It’s important to consider the work you both do and determine if it’s healthy, if it isn’t, then it’s important to consider a change.
Another side to work/life analysis is your future-spouse’s approach to work. Does she like to work? Is she a hard worker? Does she have a job now, and if not, why? Does she have a history of quitting jobs here and there? Job instability can be for a number of reasons, but if it’s because of laziness, this will be a problem.
A lazy wife is not a good wife. Does the idea of cooking, cleaning, washing and maintaining a home bother her? Even if you’re wealthy and have servants to manage your home, laziness is still a problem in a wife and it must be addressed. As we seen before at the beginning of this book, a wife was created to support her husband. Laziness will show itself in a lack of support for you.
However, I don’t think laziness is a deal-breaker. It just means that this is an area that she’ll need to repent and grow in. As said before, we’re all flawed and have things we need to work on. If her desire is to please God, this is an area that will change.
I would encourage all future husbands to demonstrate love, not only through paying the bills, but through service to their wives. This means bringing her favorite dish, helping her during that “time of the month”, helping her with the grocery bags and so forth. All these things show what service/support and hard work looks like, and I guarantee, if you have a godly woman, it will soon be returned. In other words, you’re work the laziness out of her.
What’s the physical state of her home and car? This is a small area but it’s important to consider for you tidy and organized men out there. A messy and disorderly home can be irritating for some men. Taking note of her home and car is a good way to peek into how your future home environment might look. However, I would never say that this should be a deal-breaker if you discover that she lives like a pig. It’s just better to know this beforehand rather than recovering from shock after entering a messy home one day.
During the dating/courting phase both of you will put on your best faces and this includes making sure your homes are as nice as possible before you visit one another. What I’ve found to be an indication of a woman who’s trying to hide her messiness is when you often visit and her home is in disarray, but you’ll hear stuff like, “I was just cleaning up…” Messy women tend to clean up at the last minute and only because company is coming over.
Tidy women are rarely caught with a messy home or car because tidy women stay tidy, it’s just a way of life for them. They can’t leave a room in a mess for a second without doing something about it. But for other women, this doesn’t bother them so much, yet they know they should be more organized and cleaner.
I mention this because living styles can clash and it’s best to know how each person lives in order to prepare yourself for it. I would say, as you will become the head of the house, if you like your home a certain way, this should be communicated and discussed with your wife early in the marriage, and as an obedient and submissive wife, she would make every effort to keep the home the way you want it.
You can also apply this to décor and home furniture layout as well. Some men and women can be very particular about these things and so they need to be discussed.
Money is one of the biggest reasons marriages break up. It happens due to not being able to maintain the living style one is accustomed to, or the stress of unpaid bills, bill collectors, threats of eviction and so forth. Some people can’t bare these circumstances and so they leave. In your case, you and your wife will be sticking together no matter what because you took a vow before each other and your God–“for better and for worse.”
However, it’s important to look at how each other spends money and how each other views money to avoid financial issues down the line. First of all, you have to determine if there are any debts and how these will be paid off. Her student loan debt becomes your debt. Your debts become her debts. Together your now have combined debt. How will you pay it off? What’s your plan? If this is the case, a big wedding is pretty foolish, perhaps tying the knot at the Town Hall is a wiser decision.
You also have to look at when you spend money. Are the bills paid before you spend money on recreational activities, clothes, dining out, giving and so forth? Can you really afford these things on top of your bills? The accumulation of these payouts before bills are paid are what lead to financial crises.
Sometimes it’s not mismanagement, but a lack of cash flow from self-employment and new entrepreneurship ventures. These are all things you have to discuss and plan for beforehand to start out on the right foot.
Paying bills on time and saving isn’t the only thing you need to be thinking about. Investing to generate wealth should also be a future goal as well. Living paycheck to paycheck is not living and will have serious consequences if the job fails or your body fails.
Beliefs tend to control character, life and how people treat one another. This is extremely important area to examine. As a man of God, your goal is to discover if your most important beliefs align with your future wife’s.
Discovering some of the following is a good start:
- who she believes God is
- what she believes God requires of her
- what she believes holiness is
- what she believes love is
- what she believes man’s purpose is
- what she believes man’s nature is
- what she believes God’s plan for man is
As said earlier, you can’t change a woman, so don’t force correct answers and don’t accept vague ones, just trust the Holy Spirit to reveal if your woman agrees with the truth of God’s word and your beliefs.
If she doesn’t have a strong belief system, that’s a problem in itself. This means she’s hasn’t really thought about the most important things in life and she isn’t spiritually minded. This leaves room for her to be taught if she’ll willing to be. As a man of God, you’ll be responsible for teaching your wife and children the Word of God.
If she has beliefs that are contrary to scripture, then you need to ask, “why?” Sometimes people are deceived and all they need is a wakeup call removing the veil from their eyes with the Word of Truth.
Other times, a person has been given over to lies because they don’t love the truth and so they adamantly resist it. A woman who doesn’t love truth is a woman you need to let go. There’s no need in trying to reason with her. She may have made her mind up and if you marry her, you’ll have all kinds of trouble. The Holy Spirit loves you, and in something as important as a wife, he will reveal to you what she believes.