A detailed timeline and how to guide on the process of finding a wife

This is going to be a monster post. Read at your leisure. Send it to other Christian men if you think it’s useful.

edit: Updated 6/2016.

What to look for in a prospective Christian wife

In general, there have already been posts such as Dalrock’s post 1 and post 2 on what to look for, and my own list of many questions I use to challenge a woman to talk about her faith and preferences. There are also non-Christian lists about what to look for if you’re interested in seeing many different takes, not all of which are charitable toward women so take them with a grain of salt as a Christian. Bold and determined and thumotic come to mind. These lists, while nice, are incomplete on the process. Alan Roebuck’s A Father’s advice to his son on becoming a man part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 are solid on advice to become a man. However, they don’t adequately cover the search and process of finding, vetting, and ultimately leading a wife in marriage.

Overview

This post is going to be more actionable about how I do this process rather than about what specific questions and things you look for. I currently am in a relationship with a godly woman, and we’re headed toward marriage. I’m going to lay out, with examples, my process and what worked well for me. I will also follow up this post with additional posts with more examples on communication with my input and her input in order to give both sides of the story on things.

One of the biggest needs of Christian men looking to find a Christian woman to marry is how to make it all happen. This is because father-son interaction and teaching them about masculinity is pretty much a dying or lost art for many men. Christian men in particular tend to wander and flounder around this life wondering why life is just happening to them. They have no clue what to do.

Much of the Church and pastors do not do a very good job of explaining how this all should happen. My current pastor has wondered aloud in church about why there are so many godly ladies waiting to be married. While I cannot sympathize given that most of the Church is feminized, I recognize that there are some Christian women who have been faithful to God’s word. My brothers in Christ and I commend you. Nevertheless, if the Church wants godly masculine men to step up to the plate it needs to give men authority and power to allow them to develop into godly leaders that also want to establish and lead families.

This can only be done by teaching and discipleship with men to other men on how to be men. In particular, men have not been taught how to properly interact with women and be men around them. They have not been taught about how women prefer masculine men to nice guys. They have not been taught how to establish successful relationships.

This post aims to fill that need.

Table of Contents

There are six phases that a man should be aware of in learning how to deal with relationship with women.

  1. Pre-introductory phase — before you meet and talk to her
  2. Introductory phase — approximately 0-7 days
  3. Transitional phase — approximately 7-21+ days
  4. Intentional relationship phase — approximately 21+ days to 6-12 months
  5. Engagement — approximately 3-6 months post intentional relationship phase (or depending on your denomination)
  6. Marriage

These phases are not Biblical except engagement and marriage, so let’s not get into arguments about them. However, they’re useful to understand the process of developing a relationship in this messed-up modern cultural Christian dating. In general, boyfriend and girlfriend will “fit” into somewhere between phases 2-4. As you read through this post you will see why I structured the phases this way because there are certain things you want to do in each of these phases to facilitate relationship growth while learning about the other person’s expectations and guarding your own hearts against hurt.

Let’s get started.

1. Pre-introductory phase — before you meet and talk to her

First, it is important to understand your identity in Christ. If you need a refresher here is the introduction, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6. In particular, this will help root your identity perfectly in Christ which will abolish the negative attitudes and views about yourself leading you to the peace and joy in Christ. It will also disabuse you of the performance mindset where you feel you have to perform to win a woman’s respect. There’s nothing you could ever do to make a woman be attracted to you or like you more. Rather, she is attracted to who you are as a man masculine: hard working, confident, strong, direct, leader, bold, honest, dominant, assertive, unwavering, backbone, courageous, and calm under pressure.

Second, before you introduce yourself to a potential woman that you may want to marry, you should be doing hard work behind the scenes. For Christian men this includes understanding yourself thoroughly. For example, my 5 step process to maturity in relationships has some categories that I would come to firm opinions on before you even talk to women. Here’s the short list:

  • Know what God says about relationships
  • Know your priorities: dreams and 5 year goals
  • Know your standards for women
  • Know your standards/boundaries in a relationship
  • Know how to assertively communicate

If you don’t know the answer to these, you don’t know what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you are looking for, then when you talk to a woman she will wonder what you’re looking for beyond a pretty face or body. Women like men who know what they want. You don’t have to be a perfect man to ask women out, but you should be a man who knows what he wants. This gives purpose and vision to your life, and women are attracted to that.

Third, take care of your physical body:

  • Sleep well to be at the top of your mental game
  • Train hard — lift heavy weights
  • Eat good food for good nutrition
  • Groom yourself well and find a style of clothes that work for you.
  • Find hobbies that you enjoy such as sports or music

Aside from knowing yourself it is important to take care of yourself. Free Northerner’s Omega’s guide is one such resource. Women like muscles despite what they say about them. It makes them feel Protected and secure. Women love muscles up until it becomes bodybuilder freaky and even then some women still like that. Women are attracted to physical appearance just as men are. If there’s one thing physical thing you should be do right off the bat that will drastically improve your chances with women it is lift heavy weights, gain muscle, and lose fat.

If you didn’t notice, this section covered the three facets that Jesus discusses when loving God — heart, soul, and strength. Your identity in Christ is nourishment for your soul, knowing your heart and it’s dreams and goals gives you direction, and training your physical body disciplines you to apply your strength well.

From what I have seen, this one of the most difficult parts for most men because of the inertia associated with this phase. Most men have been wallowing in mediocrity for 5-10 years or more depending on their age because they have had no direction in life thus far. It’s very hard to break out of such a phase. Even if you aren’t interested in women it is important to break out of this phase to become the man that God wants you to be. Namely, you may not need to know what God says about marriage relationships, but you definitely need to know your own dreams, goals, and how to assertively communicate as a Christian man of God.

This phase takes the longest time in my opinion. If you start from a bad place such as extremely overweight or extremely skinny and not that knowledgeable about God’s Word and prayer it may take time to understand and start to grow. This does not prevent you from talking to women, but they may not be attracted to you at first. You should talk to women during these times to get a feel of how they interact with you and to develop your social skills.

Places to look

Online dating. I am not traditionally attractive (see: tall, dark, and handsome), so online dating did not work well for me. I met a few women and went out on a few dates, but generally speaking this is a poor place to look unless you are look traditionally attractive in photos and you have good paper stats (see: are tall, preferably > 6’0″). Running my own business, having a doctorate, having interesting hobbies, serving and leading in church, and playing music for worship simply cannot make up for a lack of looks online. You need interest to make it work. That’s simply how it is now. The vast majority of Christian women online are looking for some version of Mr Handsome Jesus Christ. No big deal. If you are traditionally attractive then go for it. Otherwise, save your time and effort and skip it.

Churches and hobbies. Meeting women through my hobbies or churches worked a bit better, but it depends vastly on your particular area you are in. If you are in a small church or niche activity this simply won’t work as well unless you volunteer in places where there are a lot of young Christian women. Your best bet is probably some type of middle to larger Church with a few thousand people, or attending events that Churches put on for young adults from many congregations. Your percentage will rise if you are involved with traditional communities so take this into account. Chad has seen some success with this, but he had to make it happen.

Leveraging social circles. What worked the best for me was leveraging my social networks as much as possible. My particular strategies that bore the most fruit was if I made friends with married women or women in a relationship and asked them if they knew anyone single Christian women who were along some of my selection criteria. I did ask some single men and single women. However, single men and single women can backfire because they may feel slighted. Asking family can work as well since they hopefully have friends who have children. In the end, this was the strategy that worked for me as I asked two [woman] friends who knew my current girlfriend when I talked to them about some of my selection criteria.

In the end, I think it’s really a numbers game to find someone who is a Christian who is also attracted to you as you are to them. There’s so much fluff such as the tyranny of choice — or rather the illusion of choice — that most Christian women and men are attempting to hold out for the perfect spouse. This strategy will ultimately leave many unmarried and unhappy. The reality is that if you want until you are perfect to get married or you look for the perfect spouse then you will never get married. The Father works through our imperfections, so it is important to realize that we are looking for someone to grow with rather than a finished product.

2. Introductory phase — approximately 0-7 days

Generally speaking, this is more of a get-to-know you type of phase. If you have just gotten to know a woman and you’re not a traditionally attractive man then you will have you work cut out for you. However, this is where all of preparation on knowing your identity in Christ, knowing your heart, and disciplining your body from the phase prior will come back to assist you in spades.

First contact. There’s no such thing as a special line. What matters most is good body language if you’re doing it in person. If it’s done through electronic communication, piquing her interest by making a bold but inoffensive statement about her profile or intridocucing interesting about yourself is usually the best.

Here are some of the tips on in-person presentation:

  • Keep your body language relaxed. Don’t fidget or move around. Hands out of pockets hanging by your side.
  • Stand tall
  • Keep direct eye contact but don’t stare. Continue to hold eye contact until she responds. This may take upwards of 5-10 seconds for saying it, and 5-10 seconds for her to respond.
  • Smile genuinely.
  • Breath slowly through your nose into your stomach to stay calm.

If you look good, you feel good, and you’re confident then whatever comes out of your mouth is fine. If it isn’t then tell it like it is: “well, that was awkward.” Trying to pretend something awkward or funny didn’t happen just makes it more awkward, but stating with humor about the situation completely disarms it. If you don’t make a big deal out of it then she won’t either. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.

It’s helpful to understand that a ‘rejection’ is simply not a big deal. Ultimately, you want to be with someone who also wants to be with you. Hence, if they say they don’t want to be with you for whatever reason that’s fine. You simply know one more person that isn’t a good fit for you. What have you got to lose?

Building an initial relationship and attraction. I’ve discussed the mechanics of attraction before in A Christian understanding of attraction, understanding attraction, and other different articles, but suffice to say I’ve parsed down what elicits attraction to simply masculinity, protector and provider. Women are attracted to masculinity, protectors, and providers. Here is a list of masculine traits that is useful to keep in mind.

  • Masculinity – hard working, confident, strong, direct, leader, bold, honest, dominant, assertive, unwavering, backbone, courageous, and calm under pressure.

These traits cannot be exemplified in a try-hard manner. One upping another man does not get you brownie points. Overtly trying to impress her doesn’t work. Rather, it is how you go about your life that is going to attract her to you. For example, grandstanding about something you can do is going to come off arrogant which is a turn off. It’s fun and mysterious if she’s surprised by it coming up naturally rather than you taking the initiative to brag about it. Women understand the right mindset: you’re the man but you don’t need to prove your worth or show off your talent.

Anything that makes you stand out from everyone is good. Generally speaking, attraction can be broken down into relational talking (or comfort) versus differential talking (or breaking rapport). I will break these down into easier to understand concepts since it took me a while to understand them.

Relational — relational talking is basically connecting with another human being. In general, this type of talking emphasizes similarities and understanding. This should be used with both men and women to build a relationship. This is the type of communication that women use with each other all of the time. For example, when they tell a story about their lives the other woman will tell a similar story about what happen to them.

This is the foundation of conversation and good listening. You listen to them and understand what they are talking about whether a situation, feelings, or thoughts on a particular topic. Then you help them explore their feelings and thoughts more or you relate your own experiences that are similar. These help bond you two together as human beings tend to connect well with other humans that are similar to them. Typically, relational talking involves quite boring topics such as events, weather, careers, hobbies, and other droll situations. Avoid these. Also, avoid controversial topics like politics. Instead, divert conversation to common interests.

Although relational conversation does not typically build attraction, it can be used to build attraction if you use it correctly to stand out from the rest of your fellow men. For example, if you are on the topic of hobbies and you have a particularly interesting or exciting hobby such as skydiving that can serve to further interest a woman. Likewise, if you have a hobby that women like such as dancing that is good. If you have a hobby that could become a career that can also be interesting as well, although avoid talking about money.

One thing that helps bond Christians together is talking about your testimony or how God is working in your life. I have a fairly interesting testimony where God intervened in my life, and that is something that really stood out to my current girlfriend. Relationally, it is important to connect not just on a personal level but spiritually as Christians, and this is the first place you can begin doing that.

Differential — differential talking is what distinguishes you from “a friend” to “a man.” Even if she thinks you’re an attractive man she may not want a relationship with you for whatever reason, but it gets your foot in the door with most women since most women are starved for masculinity in this feminized culture and church.

It is important to build up a relational connection first before you engage in establishing yourself as a man otherwise it comes off wrong. The reason for this is because relational conversation emphasizes similarities while differential talking emphasizes differences. If you emphasize differences right off the bat you tend to look like a huge jerk that is solely looking to be confrontational. While some women are attracted to this, those are not the type of women you are looking to attract. Christian women who are feminine will typically be put off.

I talked before in the socialization of men and women about how men talk with each other.

  1. The tendency of women’s socialization is to agree with each other and validate each other. In other words, relational conversation.
  2. The tendency of men’s socialization is to be critical, challenging, ribbing, teasing, and mock insulting of each other. In other words, differential conversation.

Basically, differential conversation is aimed at showing her that you are not there to validate all of her thoughts and feelings. You are your own man capable of forming his own opinions and having a backbone to stand up for them. This generates respect for you in her eyes.

This is the importance of leading the conversations where you want them to go. If she is leading the conversation then she will usually only pick topics that relate to her and her world which means that you get sucked into talking about her. Obviously, you can tease her about things about her which will help to break that cycle, but this isn’t the most efficient use of conversation time.

Instead, it is better to have a game plan going into a conversation about things that you are enthusiastic or passionate about and ask her opinion about them. Then give your opinion disagreeing with her as necessary or shift to particular nuances. Not only do you get to lead the conversation which pulls them in, but it also allows a woman to see what you are passionate about. Women like having fun and if you are excited about what you are talking about they will get excited as well.

For instance, I am fairly well educated in training and nutrition, and it’s something I’m passionate about. It’s only natural that these topics come up especially since I started solely asking women out who train and eat well. I may tease her for not knowing about something or a particular food she likes if I don’t like that food. About 7 years prior I always wondered why I attracted vegetarians and vegans, but now I know it was I stood my ground on loving meat and teased them relentlessly about how they should be eating real food and not rabbit food.

The way I tend to “view” things is that what I do and how I think is always the right way. Then I can tease everyone else — particularly women — about their silly, weird, imperfect, flawed, boring, laughable, and amusing way of doing things.

Compliments. When meeting someone new you shouldn’t give them a generic compliment like “you are beautiful.” Most women hear stuff like this all the time. In fact, you shouldn’t even talk about their looks at all.

If you decide to give a compliment, a good compliment will tend to focus on qualities that that you notice about her, especially qualities that many people don’t notice or will likely never tell her about. For example, if she cooked for the church group and her cooking was good you should compliment her about it, but also make an educated assumption about how she became good.

It is also important when giving a compliment to bring in an “I” statement about what you specifically think about it. For example, they should start with “I” and not “you” because asserting that “I” want something is masculine whereas “you” is solely descriptive and doesn’t tell a woman anything about what you enjoyed or liked about them. The key is to be direct about your desires.

  • Wow [name], your cooking is amazing. I appreciate you taking the time to cook for us. You must have put in a lot of hard work to perfect this recipe.

This is somewhat of a generic compliment, but it serves the points. It also gives her a spring board topic to talk about something that she is [hopefully] passionate about it. Maybe it’s family recipe. Maybe it’s her recipe that she just threw together. Maybe it’s a store recipe and you can laugh about it. There’s lots of interesting things that can come from fun assumptions.

Personally, I don’t give out compliments in the beginning. It’s not worth it most of the time because you don’t know a woman that well so a compliment isn’t truly genuine, and she will get them all the time. It doesn’t make you stand out, and if you don’t stand out to her and act like other people you get grouped in with all of those “other guys” which will kill your chances. In general, compliments are only appreciated after a woman already likes you.

Asking her out on a date. If you have built up a solid amount of rapport and  intrigued her with your manhood then you should display your interest. With my current girlfriend I did it at about the 7 day mark. However, this can be done generally at any time within the 0-7 day mark. Generally speaking, friends first relationships don’t work well.

If we’re in a social setting sometimes I wait to see how she acts with other people to get a read on her personality first. I’m looking to see how she treats other people, especially those that do nothing for her. Likewise, I’m looking for her attitude toward God and people in general and her heart to serve. This gives me some insight on if we’re compatible even before I talk to her or ask her out. Many women have disqualified themselves prior to me even talking to them because they don’t treat others well even though they are a “Christian.”

When asking out I like variations that go like this.

  • Hey [name], I have enjoyed our conversations on [topic]. I am interested in getting to know you better. Let’s go out on a date.
  • Hey [name], you seem like an cool person because [trait or topic]. I am interested in getting to know you better. Let’s go out on a date.

I like these lines because they have a couple of components to them:

  1. First, say their name to make it personal. This is a touch that some people don’t do, so it makes it have a personal touch starting out.
  2. Second, briefly describe something that intrigued you or that you enjoyed (not her beauty). This emphasizes the connection between you two.
  3. Third, express your interest using an “I” statement to be bold and direct about your intentions. After expressing the connection you differentiate yourself by asking her out.
  4. Finally, make a statement about where you want the relationship to head. I am firmly opposed to making it a question such as “will you go out on a date?” because it creates a bigger pressure by emphasizing “her” (in you form). A statement that she responds to about to the both of you is less pressure on her.

As you can see, the final part on asking her out follows allowing the same lines of relational and differential talking combined into short statements that express your intentions. It’s an easy way to remember how to talk to women as a man because the asking out summarizes the steps: make it personal, emphasize the relationship, state your interest, and tell her where you want the relationship to go.

Remember the tips on presentation:

  • Keep your body language relaxed. Don’t fidget or move around. Hands out of pockets hanging by your side.
  • Stand tall
  • Keep direct eye contact but don’t stare. Continue to hold eye contact until she responds. This may take upwards of 5-10 seconds for saying it, and 5-10 seconds for her to respond.
  • Smile genuinely.
  • Breath slowly through your nose into your stomach to stay calm.

3. Transitional phase — approximately 7-21+ days

The transitional phase generally encompasses a few dates where you get to know each other better to see if you actually want to be a relationship with this woman and if she wants to be in a relationship with you.

Dates. Regarding dates you should do what you want. Obviously, there are things that you should generally avoid doing such as going to the movies, going to dinner, and things of this nature. The reason for this is because they are typical and not very helpful for her finding out about what you are like and what she is like. The movies being a bad idea is obvious as you pretty much don’t talk the whole movie so you’re not getting to know the person well. I don’t like food and drinks either because it’s sit down. There’s nothing that wrong about sit down, but it tends to favor men who are extremely adept at the art of conversation which the vast majority of men reading this are not including myself. Hence, if you have trouble having topics come to your mind quickly and easily or can stumble over your words or get flustered when conversing with someone who you are interested in for 30+ minutes then it’s not a good idea to place yourself in a situation that is generally a net negative for you.

I am personally an activities man, and I find that fits my dates a lot better. This allows you to lead and/or teach the activity if you have some expertise at it which shows your leadership. Also, it allows you to move around from place to place and talk about different things while getting to know each other which is less pressure than sit down. These are some of the places that I’ve used on dates as well as some other interesting ideas:

  • Doing a Bible study. Duh, you’re a Christian and going to be the head of your household in marriage.
  • Dancing. If you can dance and lead it this is a must. Women love dancing.
  • Bowling
  • Mini golf or frisbee golf
  • Rock climbing (indoors usually)
  • [Insert your sport or hobby here]
  • Board game night. Can go well with double dates.
  • Going to the zoo or aquarium if available (more city based)
  • Going fruit picking or other outdoor activities (more country based)
  • Taking a walk in the park or at a nature center. Nature is awesome to discuss
  • Hiking (generally, women won’t go alone so this may be better for when you know each other a bit better)
  • A night in such as her cooking dinner (again, women won’t usually do this as a first date but later dates it’s good). Plus, you get to experience her cooking if you like it or not. If you can cook and want to cook then you can impress her instead.

Do something you want to do because you can control the variables that go into it. Don’t ask her what she wants to do as she wants you to lead the interaction so she can enjoy it. You plan out all of the logistics including time, place, what you want her to wear, and everything like that. Women like being taken care of and don’t like the pressure of date decisions. You may not like doing the work involved with this, but if you plan to marry a woman you’ll have to be as organized in marriage anyway.

Topics of discussion. Generally, over this phase I mix in both electronic communication with the dates as I stated in some previous posts. Specifically, in those first few weeks I lead a discussion on Scripture and theology, the sociological interaction of the Church and culture, and the Church and feminism. This allows you to evaluate if you are spiritual match with the particular woman that you are with. Do not be afraid to teach or explain things if you disagree with her. Most women do not understand the true nature of authority especially before the fall in the Bible, so it is important to go through these discussions and find out what she believes.

This may be difficult if she is/was entrenched in feminist beliefs. In these cases, it may be necessary to terminate the relationship if she is entrenched with feminist beliefs in regard to the right understanding of relationship roles and responsibilities of the husband and wife in the Scriptures.

This is where the list of questions compiled about vetting prospective spouses should be used. Posts such as Dalrock’s post 1 and post 2 on what to look for, and my own list of many questions I use to challenge a woman to talk about her faith and preferences. Additionally, if you find yourself with a seemingly good prospect you can use the NY times 36 questions to fall in love. This list of questions asks personal things, so be ready to expound. If a woman is interested in you she generally should be more than willing to discuss these topics with you because she wants to know more about you.

Vision and vetting. This is also the time where you should discuss — without too much detail as to leave some intrigue — your vision for your life and your family in terms of God, goals, career, and things of that nature. You also want to find out about her passions and goals and see if you are compatible with each other. This is the big importance of knowing what you are looking for as well which I elaborated on in what I look for in evaluating a potential wife. The short summary is that I evaluate if she is a good fit for me based on my essentials:

  • Evidence of a relationship with God
  • Evidence of godly earthly relationships in reference to God
  • Evidence of cultivated godly femininity
  • Evidence of chastity in attitude and deed
  • Evidence of attraction/chemistry
  • Evidence of a willingness for family prioritization

With my current woman I used questions from Dalrock’s post 1 and post 2 on what to look for, my own list of many questions, and the 36 questions to fall in love explicitly to get to know her better. She later told me that I was unlike an man she’d ever met simply because I was proactive about discussing spiritual topics as well as getting to know her better. Again, this is part of masculinity being assertive, confident, and intentional about getting to know a woman better.

Discussion on sex. The latter part of this phase around the 14-21 mark I bring up the discussion on libido to start an introduction of discussing marriage, sex, and desire with her. I discussed this in Discussing sex and virginity with a potential spouse is important.

In general, as man who is going to be leading the relationship and how it progresses I typically do not go straight for the heart of the issue. When discussing matters about sex I usually start with what Scripture says about sex and have the discussion there. My usual “go to” question to start bringing it up is if she has a high or low libido then turn it specifically to 1 Corinthians 7 where it talks about the ONLY reason that Christians should marry in the New Testament:

1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Corinthians 7 is probably the easiest passage to discuss because it has a lot on not just sex but reasons why and why not Christians should get married. Obviously, some of the others you can talk about are Genesis 1-3 and Song of Songs.

I won’t go any more in depth in regard to the topic of sex until the relationship progresses further. However, it is important for me to know a woman’s views on sex prior to establishing a more intentional relationship with her. I’m not going to ask 2-3 months down the line and find out that we have incompatible views. This can also go into the next phase if you are uncomfortable bringing it up within 2-3 weeks.

Overall, these few weeks you should get a general idea if you want to take this relationship to the next level. This leads me into…

4. Intentional relationship phase — approximately 21+ days to 6-12 months

For the most part I hate labels such as girlfriend and boyfriend since they aren’t Biblical. This led me to having a conversation with my woman about dating and labels which I blogged about later.

Specifically, I am willing to accept the label of boyfriend if she is aware of and takes responsibility for “protecting her own heart.” I will likewise “protect my own heart” as well. Relationships prior to engagement dissolve fairly frequently in this day and age. We may find out more about each other in the next “stage” of relationship that we cannot deal with or incompatibilities in spiritual matters, personality, or how we want to do things in marriage. Hence, the relationship may end, and someone may be hurt if they don’t protect themselves.

I find that this discussion is fairly well received if you have led the relationship up to this point. She will be interested and attracted to getting to know you better since you are basically one-of-a-kind among Christian men. After having that discussion with her I asked to be my girlfriend and that was that.

Discussion topics. In this phase of the relationship you should continue leading the relationship in more defined manner. In particular, specific topics regarding marriage and relationships should be explored more in depth. This is where you can start using some of the more personal relationship questions from Dalrock’s post 1 and post 2 on what to look for, and my own list of many questions.

Since this is a relationship that is headed toward marriage it will be important to discuss boundaries and expectations of each other. One of my expectations of my current girlfriend is that she always tries to look good for me. If she is getting fat I will let her know to lose weight as kindly as possible (speak the Truth in Love). This is where you masculine traits will really start to shine. Because these are uncomfortable topics it’s very easy to willingly brush topics under the rug. Do not do that. If you have an issue with something your woman is doing then bring it up with her albeit in a kind manner.

Over this period you should begin to discuss more intimate topics regarding children, how to raise your children, divorce, cultural and political issues, and things of that nature. Specifically, an important factor to discuss is family upbringing. We don’t realize how much family plays a role in shaping our views about the opposite sex spouse. Hence, how you were raise and how she was raised and how they affect your expectations on what you want in a spouse is very important.

This is also the time I start discussing sex more in depth and inquire into a woman’s sexual past. Since sex is a large part of marriage, I will not marry a woman who will not discuss her past sexual history and how she views sex in regard to God and marriage. It’s simply too important in our sexualized culture to ignore this important facet of marriage.

Likewise, I would discuss April’s How can you know if you’re ready to be a godly wife with your girlfriend. This is a very good way to know more about your girlfriend in the context of whether she is ready for marriage or if there are things to work on. If the relationship is still going strong, you want to discuss important topics such as finances, careers and jobs, how the family will look like with a stay at home mom or otherwise, how to raise the children, and other things like this.

Assertive communication. It is important to know how to assertively communicate without being passive, passive-aggressive, or over aggressive. The reason for this is to acknowledge the free will of the other person and let them make their own decisions. They are free to respond any way that they want to, and you need to be ready for the possibility of bad responses.

For example, if I know something is bothering my girlfriend I bring it up and ask her to tell me about it. At first she didn’t because it was an uncomfortable topic for her. However, she eventually did. How I responded would determine if she was more willing to bring such topics up the next time. Thus, my response on discussing topics that bother her are typically to thank her first for bringing up the issue because I want to communicate effectively with her. Then we talk about the issue.

I try to never argue. Good leaders never argue. Rather, they facilitate the discussion to bring forth the concerns of those under them so they feel understood and heard. Then you are able to assess and evaluate the issue if it needs to be fixed. Sometimes in relating to women we need to understand that it’s not about the nail. They just want you to hold them and tell them it’s going to be OK: to be their emotional rock to weather out their storm.

Assertive communication generally always brings to the forefront your own concerns without accusing the other person of anything. This is very difficult to do at first, but as you become stronger and more confident in who you are you can state your boundaries or concerns just as letting them know what happened.

For instance, when I was discussing a topic with my girlfriend one time my mother popped into the conversation by agreeing with her, and they made a show of it.Later I brought it up to her that the way it was expressed was disrespectful to me, that I expected her support me and not publicly disrespect me in front of others. My girlfriend at the time had no idea that she had done anything wrong in that case, and I don’t blame her as she has never had to understand that particular situation before. However, if I had let things slide without correcting her then it typically it eventually gets worse. In our culture it’s easy to make fun of or disrespect men and not even know you’re doing it.

These types of situations are where your mettle is really tested. You must be proactive in addressing them. Each opportunity and uncomfortable situation is a way to help you both learn and grow together. If you do not take advantage of these situations and act on them you will eventually devolve into a dysfunctional relationship.

Church, family and friends. This is the prime time to get to know family and friends. I don’t have much more to say about this because it’s obvious how important this is in the relationship.

In regard to family or friends not like you as I’ve had this experience it is important to realize that if you are an attractive man your woman will be spending a lot of time with you. People in general fear what they do not know. Thus, they may not like you from hearing things from the grape vine or they don’t like that you are taking valuable time away from their own relationships with your woman. It is important in these cases to not get upset or offended over this. Transcend your circumstances. If you are a masculine man then it simply requires time being around them and for them to get to know you and know what you stand for. Even the most stalwart family members will be won over if you continually offer them an olive branch to continue to get to know you better and care about their interests.

Bible studies and prayer are not required by the Scriptures. However, they are good for the relationship. Personally, I like Bible studies together, but I’m not particular keen on prayer together. However, I will pray with her sometimes. It’s “Christian culture” that says you have to have Bible studies and pray with your wife. However, it’s not in the Scriptures. You should resist feeling bad if you don’t do things as long as you are both spiritually healthy. You and your girlfriend should have your own separate walk with Jesus by reading the Scriptures, prayer, meditation, and fasting. The fact that you do it together is a bonus, but it does not replace your spiritual walk. This is the same as Church not being a substitute for your spiritual walk. If you let Church become your spiritual walk then you become a Sunday-only Christian.

This are the main things to look out for, but it is simply cultivating the relationship that you started in the prior phases and building on it. When you have decided to marry her you should talk to your friends and hopefully mentors if you have one about these things so you can get some godly opinions on if they see any blind spots. Then you can ask her father for permission to marry her.

5. Engagement — approximately 3-6 months post intentional relationship phase (or depending on your denomination)

Engagement rings. Go with a ruby not a diamond. It’s Biblical.

When you enter into engagement you should have a plan. This plan means that after you get engaged and have a part or whatever you want to do, you should immediately set a date and start planning for the wedding.

The reason behind this is that you do not want to be stuck in engagement limbo where there is a high degree of intimacy where you want to marry each other but there’s no goal at the end. This can often lead you to put yourselves into compromising positions.

Additionally, you should have some say in the wedding so it doesn’t become a bridezilla affair. Personally, I don’t really care what my wedding looks like, but I will set some budgetary limitations on it. There’s not a good financial reason to spend basically a car or house payment on one single day. However, that said there is a big reason to celebrate! The Father and Jesus love weddings: Jesus’ first miracle act was a wedding (Cana), and the first thing that happened after God created Eve from Adam was a wedding (Genesis 3).

Re-discussing important topics. While you should have discussed dreams and goals in the prior phase, now would be a good time to go over them especially with a pending marriage. In my opinion, finances, career and jobs, whether your wife should stay home with the kids, and all other important topics like these should have already been discussed. However, sometimes life changes so you may need to make some adjustments with more prayer and agreement on what needs to be done in the situation. Although I value coming to agreement, I have the final decision as the man in the relationship as I am tasked with the authority to head the relationship from God.

The vast majority of the legwork on these things should have been done in the intentional phase as you were getting to know each other to decide if you wanted to get married. Now would just be the time to reaffirm what you know, and confirm the details of the plans that you have made for the marriage.

Family and friends. Family and friends may give advice and suggestions, but you should not allow them to interfere with your decisions and your relationship. This will help set the tone for you two become one and independent as one.

It is often the case that family and friends are very happy for you and they want the best for you. However, what ends up happening sometimes is that because they want the best for you, they think that what they think is the best for you is the best for you instead of you deciding what is the best for you. In other words, they think they know what is good for you when only you can make that determination for yourself. If your family and friends are reasonable you can simply tell them thank you for the suggestions and you’ll take it under advisement as you can make good decisions yourselves. If they don’t then you may need to be more blunt about it.

6. Marriage

This is not the end but solely a step on the way.

The man who you are before marriage is the man who you should continue to be after marriage. Namely, the godly masculine man should stay the godly masculine man. This also applies to your wife, and to the children you raise.

Ultimately, the goal is to be blessed with a family and to raise them up in God and to become one in your marriage. Becoming one and having a family requires a lot of work. You can’t coast or become complacent. Growth requires that you are challenged or uncomfortable and you take steps to overcome it.

It is easy for both the husband and the wife to forget this. Husbands become complacent, get fat and slovenly, sit around, and fail to lead. Likewise, wives too become complacent, get fat and slovenly, sit around, and may nag or try to control their husbands. It is easy to fall and give into sin nature rather than growth the relationship. Do not let this happen to you.

If you have slacked off the best time to start unslacking was years ago, but the second best time is today. Get off your butt and get back into your relationship with God in the Scriptures, prayer, meditation, and fasting. Discipline yourself to working out, eat right, excelling in your career, leading by example in the home, being Don Juan with your wife, and being an excellent father.

Conclusions

I certainly have not hit on all of the factors that go into a successful relationship; however, I have covered the vast majority of them through this write up. I didn’t add much Scripture into this particular posts; however, most of the posts I linked to have the Scriptures in them if you want to review whether what I talk about is Biblical.

  1. Pre-introductory phase — before you meet and talk to her
  2. Introductory phase — approximately 0-7 days
  3. Transitional phase — approximately 7-21+ days
  4. Intentional relationship phase — approximately 21+ days to 6-12 months
  5. Engagement — approximately 3-6 months post intentional relationship phase (or depending on your denomination)
  6. Marriage

All of these are the different phases for which I do certain things during certain times in order to facilitate a successful godly relationship. In particular, even if you decide not use these phases in your relationships, you should understand the general concepts behind why I discuss certain things at certain times and the whole picture in regard to placing the building blocks successfully on top of each other. Be blessed in using this to cultivate godly relationships. If you are uncomfortable with anything check the Scriptures and pray about it in order to understand why you should or shouldn’t.

For reference: I am approximately 5-6 months into my current relationship, and I have experienced phases 1-4 multiple times while I worked on this model. My current woman knows most of my plans for 5-6.

As always, comments and critique are welcome. If I missed any particular things to add which I am sure I did then let me know.

Send it to other Christian men if you think it’s useful.

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This entry was posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle, Learning godly behavior, Masculinity and women, Mission Framework and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to A detailed timeline and how to guide on the process of finding a wife

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    A lot of good stuff here DS.

    I’d like to share an AWESOME thing that a man has done with me before, that I thought about when I read this part of the post:

    For instance, I am fairly well educated in training and nutrition, and it’s something I’m passionate about. It’s only natural that these topics come up especially since I started solely asking women out who train and eat well. I may tease her for not knowing about something or a particular food she likes if I don’t like that food. About 7 years prior I always wondered why I attracted vegetarians and vegans, but now I know it was I stood my ground on loving meat and teased them relentlessly about how they should be eating real food and not rabbit food.

    This man and I were casually talking while stopping at an ice cream parlor, and we got to talking about caramel. He mentioned that he likes caramel, and I was like “eww, I don’t like caramel.” He just grinned (somewhat mischievously, hehe) and said “Ah well, nobody’s perfect.” LOL! It was absolutely wonderful. 🙂 [ I followed suit (while giggling, unable to keep a straight face) upon learning that he doesn’t like cherries when he told me I could have his if I wanted it, but that’s beside the point, lol ]

    Just trying to offer some support for that part of the post with an example that others could quite easily do themselves.

  2. Looking Glass says:

    You weren’t kidding on “long”. 🙂

  3. thedeti says:

    “Even my current pastor has wondered aloud in church about why there are so many godly ladies waiting to be married.”

    I’m sorry. I had to stop here.

    You know what I’m going to ask.

    WHERE?! Where are all these “so many godly ladies waiting to be married”? As far as I can tell, there are only about 5 of them, and they all comment or run blogs in and around the manosphere.

  4. @ deti

    WHERE?! Where are all these “so many godly ladies waiting to be married”? As far as I can tell, there are only about 5 of them, and they all comment or run blogs in and around the manosphere.

    I knew you would ask that, haha.

    There’s some in my church from what I can tell at least. However, they are also mired with the qualities of no one teaching them to be feminine, be beautiful, and how to prepare for being a wife if they want to be married. In that respect women are in a similar place since their mothers have not taught them about being a wife.

    But it is indeed only a few. Generally older than 25-30 at that when women start to get more serious about being married.

  5. @ FBNF

    This man and I were casually talking while stopping at an ice cream parlor, and we got to talking about caramel. He mentioned that he likes caramel, and I was like “eww, I don’t like caramel.” He just grinned (somewhat mischievously, hehe) and said “Ah well, nobody’s perfect.” LOL! It was absolutely wonderful. 🙂 [ I followed suit (while giggling, unable to keep a straight face) upon learning that he doesn’t like cherries when he told me I could have his if I wanted it, but that’s beside the point, lol ]

    Yep, that’s another good example.

    Basically, the teasing in these instances can be done with a straight face before bursting out laughing, or it can totally over the top with a grin. Just gotta get used to doing it with women all the time.

    The way I tend to “view” things that puts me in the right frame of mind is that what I do is always correct and the right way. Then I can mock criticize everyone else — particularly women — about their silly, weird, un-perfect, flawed, boring, laughable, and amusing way of doing things.

  6. feeriker says:

    You know what I’m going to ask.

    WHERE?! Where are all these “so many godly ladies waiting to be married”? As far as I can tell, there are only about 5 of them, and they all comment or run blogs in and around the manosphere.

    I’d’ve been tempted to stand up in the middle of the service and ask that question out loud, verbatim, of said pastor, and rather forcefully at that.

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  8. donalgraeme says:

    The way I tend to “view” things that puts me in the right frame of mind is that what I do is always correct and the right way. Then I can mock criticize everyone else — particularly women — about their silly, weird, un-perfect, flawed, boring, laughable, and amusing way of doing things.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  9. CHero says:

    This makes me nervous but this gives me a clear direction. I know I’m still on Step One and I’ve got a lotta work ahead of me.

  10. @ CHero

    Glad it will help.

    Don’t neglect going out and talking to women even if you are not asking them out. You need to practice social skills if you don’t have a job that requires it.

  11. Srkjfone says:

    I reblogged it on my page 🙂

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  14. Gordon says:

    Funny to know that I’m in a relationship for about as long as you, since I’ve been reading this blog almost from the start (I’m a lurker, don’t always comment)

    I would like more in-depth discussion on the conversation about sexual past. It is something I’ve been thinking to do with my girlfriend, but still haven’t created the opportunity / went that path directly. We talked about how the world’s purpose of sex is different from God’s purpose of sex, and we’ve already fought together against temptation; We’ve also talked about relationship history (we’re both low-count relationships), but not sexual history.

    Being a virgin man myself, I would like to explain how I got here (basically, a little effort, a little luck and a lot of mercy from God) and expose my past battles, as well as knowing the same from her.

    I’m struggling with bringing that topic up and not sounding too awkward or too demanding of her.

  15. @ Gordon

    What have you talked about her with already? How has she responded? Are you the ‘head’ or ‘leader’ in the relationship and do you bring up discussions?

    I can give you some advice, but it helps to know the background behind it. I’ve detailed a lot about what I do, but the process may still seem a bit nebulous to some in terms of actual topics I bring up.

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  19. bedroomgold says:

    I am surrounded by godly women who are seeking to become wives. My friends keep looking around and wondering where are the godly men who are seeking to become husbands.

    I also question the idea that a person must learn or be taught to be a man. You are male and you are a man. Let me say it again: you ARE a man. Just like a rock doesn’t have to learn to be a rock, or become a better rock, it is a rock. Now, granite is different than basalt, which is different than sandstone, which is different than diamond. I get that.

    My mother taught me to be a feminine person and a godly wife. And I still struggled with this issue.

    Also, very shallow to point to physical characteristics as being those things that attract women. You need a better inspiration. May I point you to Brian Kammerzelt? Blog post: (10K words) : http://www.critiquebycreating.com/2011/04/the-most-eligible-christian-bachelor/ Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBzQNr8KDkI

    I’d like to think more like Brian Kammerzelt.

  20. bedroomgold says:

    And as far as talking about sex, one tactic is to start the discussion when you’re in the car, with a fairly long drive ahead of you. That way, at least one of you has to keep his hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

  21. @ bedroomgold

    I am surrounded by godly women who are seeking to become wives. My friends keep looking around and wondering where are the godly men who are seeking to become husbands.

    I also question the idea that a person must learn or be taught to be a man. You are male and you are a man. Let me say it again: you ARE a man. Just like a rock doesn’t have to learn to be a rock, or become a better rock, it is a rock. Now, granite is different than basalt, which is different than sandstone, which is different than diamond. I get that.

    These two paragraphs contradict.

    If men don’t need to be taught how to be men then why are your single friends still looking? They should be able to find their own man since men will naturally develop into one.

    I will agree that men need to embrace who they are as men as a first step, but that needs to be taught especially when just being a man is demonized by society and even the Church.

    My mother taught me to be a feminine person and a godly wife. And I still struggled with this issue.

    Exactly. Titus 2 among other passages TEACHES both men and women and the young and old to embrace their sex-specific God given roles and responsibilities. This is what developing into a masculine man and feminine woman is.

    Also, very shallow to point to physical characteristics as being those things that attract women. You need a better inspiration.

    1. Physical beauty and being handsome are not shallow. Period. God created these to be attractive, so calling them shadow is akin to insulting God’s creation.

    2. Women are attracted to physical characteristics including: height, muscles with low body fat (e.g. abs, V-taper, backs, legs, chest, arms), handsome face, and lots of other things.

    That’s just how it is. If you deny that women like these things then you’re only lying to yourself thinking the world should be one way when it is simply what it is.

    Now, a handsome man is not the ONLY thing that women are looking for. Other attractors include the aforementioned personality/masculinity, status/fame, athleticism and talent, and money.

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  31. Hank Flanders says:

    Deep Strength, those are good points in regards to your response to bedroomgold’s post, as her post was quite contradictory, and she apparently didn’t care enough to try to defend it. However, she did mention a blogger with whom I’m not familiar, and I was wondering if anyone in the manosphere had reviewed his writings to your knowledge. He makes some good points in his post, as well as some bad ones, but it was interesting to hear his perspective, since most “singleness” posts tend to be from women.

  32. Hank Flanders says:

    Great, thanks!

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  35. Just Some Guy says:

    I’ll be forwarding this to a good Christian friend of mine. This will be good for him. It’s even good for me, though I’m already married.

  36. @ Just Some Guy

    It even still helps me, as it’s a good reorienting refresher.

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