Mission, then marriage

Finding and pursuing a godly mission tends to make finding and pursuing a godly woman easier and more successful. When you make finding a wife your mission, you are less likely to find a wife, or a mission.

I don’t have any silver bullets for young Christian men on the search for a godly wife. It’s rough out there. But I will tell you that it’s unwise to pursue a wife before you have some clarity on your mission.

Proverbs 24:27 says, “Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house.”

You need to do some work on your “field” before you take a wife to build your house.

Stated concisely: chase excellence, not women.

God has given you gifts. How can you use them to give him glory and expand his kingdom? What vocation is a good use of your gifts? Lawyer? Entrepreneur? Coder? Bricklayer? What skills and disciplines do you need to develop in order to excel in that vocation?

Pursue them with singleness of mind.

Adam had a mission. He needed a helper. God brought Eve to him. The creation pattern reveals a great deal about God’s design. It’s natural for a woman to want a man on mission. She wants a man who is going somewhere.

The upshot for you is that it’s much easier to “find” a godly wife when you have “prepared your field.” A man on mission is simply more attractive. Consider: If a man tells another man that he is dating a new girl, one of the first questions will be, “What does she look like?” If a woman tells another woman that she is dating a new guy, one of the first questions will be, “What does he do?”

Looks do matter for ladies—but the mission matters big-time.

This is why nice guys finish last, while jerks get the girl. The former thinks he should make the woman his mission. He puts her on a pedestal—which means he demotes his mission in favor of her. The jerk doesn’t. He’s attractive, not because he abuses her, but because he has an independent drive that supersedes her. He has a mission, and she’s either with it or not. He ain’t changing.

Subconsciously, no woman wants the burden and stress of being a man’s center. At a deep level, she knows it would make them both miserable. And because she knows herself, she cannot help despising a man who would settle for such a mediocre vision. She wants to help him work toward something greater than both of them; not watch passively as he works for something no bigger than herself.

The takeaway isn’t to be a jerk. Men should be kind and humble—but absolutely driven. Nothing can get in the way of the mission.

This not only attracts potential spouses, but works as a filtering system:

“Marrying me means joining my mission. If you won’t join, then this won’t work.”

Before I started officially dating Emily, I told her: “I like you. I want to get to know you. But you need to know I feel a call to the ministry. I’ll be hated, probably poor and away from home a lot. If that’s a problem, this won’t work.”

That was 20 years ago. I stayed on mission. I got the girl.

To reiterate, figuring out your mission isn’t a “silver bullet” for the finding-a-wife problem. But it’s a place to start.