The general consensus seems to be that many Christian men will have difficulty finding a true Christian wife in today’s cultural milieu. In this post, I’m going to try to detail all of the different things I did to prepare for a wife (many of which are in the book) but also some of the ones that aren’t. I’m also going to include some others that people have observed over time as well.
All of these are going to be in the Spirit of complete obedience to God such as no premarital sex, no questionable moral behaviors, and so on.
This post is also not the place to comment on the difficulty of such scenarios, how many men or women can actually carrying these things out, or why they are needed. That can be the topic for another post.
No one is claiming you must do these things to be a Christian. Many of these things that you would normally do as a Christian and some optional ones that are wise are typically helpful in being attractive to the opposite sex which can help you get into a relationship and eventually get married.
Commenters are welcome to contribute things they did that they believed helped them find and marry a good wife. I will add them to the OP.
To summarize attractiveness, things that women generally consciously or subconsciously look to evaluate whether they want to date and/or marry a man are:
- PSALM (power, status, athleticism, looks, money)
- Biblically, PSALM is typically expressed in terms of headship/leadership, Protector, and Provider (Gen 1-3, Eph 5, 1 Pet 3, Tit 2, etc.).
- Masculine traits — typically expressed through headship/leadership
As for the reasons why God created attraction to exist for marriage, I detail that in my thesis of A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage Part 3.
One analogy that I often use of a house, attraction tends to get your foot in the door but character and virtue tend to sustain and maintain the relationships. Thus, I am going to split the advice into various categories that focus on attraction and relationship although some overlap with both (e.g. leadership).
In this context, attraction tends to be what the outside of the house looks like and attracts while the interior is what makes the home a stable and quality relationship. There’s only so much you can do with a shabby exterior as no one will come to find out the quality of the home, but often a shabby exterior hides some rotting infrastructure underneath (e.g. nice guy syndrome). The inside should ideally reflect the outside too, so we’ll keep that in mind going through the various points.
I’m going to break these down into the various categories of the OYS that RP Christians uses as it’s fairly useful in terms of being wholeheartedly devoted to God in every area of life (e.g. love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength): Spiritual, physical, mental/emotional.
Secondly, as we discussed in What makes a Christian marriage successful?, there seems to be a several things that seem to make a Christian marriage successful from the Scriptures:
In effect, God’s commands of marriage as an earthly institution first with Adam and then as a helper with Eve (from Genesis 1-3) are to:
1. Take dominion over all the earth
2. Multiply and fill the earth
3. Cultivate and tend to the garden
4. Obey God
5. Eve as a helper
So what are men attracted to? Men are generally attracted to physical beauty (e.g. .6-.8 waist to hip ratio), healthy bodies, beauty, etc which tend to indicate that she is fertile and has a good capacity to bear children — thus fulfilling God’s command to multiply and fill the earth. Femininity is generally nurturing and kind, much like a good helper would be.
So what are women attracted to? Women are generally attracted to PSALM – power, status, athleticism, looks (muscle, etc.), and money and similar things. Power and status? Those tend to correlate with taking dominion. Athleticism and looks/muscle? Those tend to be correlated with protecting and caring for things like the garden and her and her children. Money? Provisioning for her and her children. Masculine traits are helpful for improving all of these to varying degrees.
To circle back around…
These obviously look familiar to Cameron’s and Jack’s assessment of godly successful marriages.
1. Marriage is open and/or enthusiastic about having children. Check. Be fruitful and multiply.
2. The woman wants to be a wife and mother instead of a careerist. Check. Helper to her man (wife) and be fruitful and multiply (mother).
3. Evident sexual attraction. Check. Obviously, a man fulfilling God’s mandate to take dominion, protect and provide for himself (and by extension a wife and children) and obey God (e.g. not put his wife on a pedestal — or in Heartiste’s rule ‘you shall make your mission, not women, your priority’) is going to be attractive to women. Likewise, a woman that is generally beautiful and feminine will tend to best fulfill the be fruitful and multiply and helper commands and duties respectively.
It’s there all along. We just didn’t want to dig through Genesis 1-3 to understand fulfilling God’s purpose for marriage
Overall, a specific situation must take into account both being a man that God intended from creation and also selecting a wife with the right priorities and character traits. Sigma has a more extensive breakdown here.
One must also remember that Vetting is for identifying red flags from past behavior; future behavior needs Biblical solutions. Vetting by itself does nothing. You want to look at the specific character traits and how she acts under pressure or in tough situations to assess her virtue and ability to cling to God or to see if she runs from God (and eventually you likely in divorce).
Why do these?
- I think it is a fairly established fact that men tend to want to marry a wife they find attractive, and that women want to marry a man they find attractive.
- Secondly, attraction gives influence. In general, people are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt if you’re attractive. This can be leveraged many different ways including setting a good example. For instance, one personal trainer could be fat and another trainer could be muscular and ripped. People would be more willing to listen and believe the advice of the muscular and ripped one. One practices what he preaches and one doesn’t.
- Third, the combination of attraction and influence is very useful for leadership of a wife, family, and in the Church where most people care less about attraction than even the world. It gives you more opportunities to influence others for the gospel and discipleship.
One does not have to do these to have a wife or get married, but the statistical probabilities mean that it is much less likely if you aren’t. I believe that most men would like to give themselves the best chance as possible not just to find an attractive (to them) wife but also one that is godly. The more women that you are attractive to, the easier it will be to find one that is not only attractive but serious about following God as well. The latter should be the priority, but of course sometimes Christians ignore that in favor of attractive unbelievers which is why Paul had to tell the Corinthians not to marry unbelievers.
- Be all in or all out on God — Once you make this commitment, it changes a lot. I used to make fun and tease vegetarians all the time during college when I found out, and I was clueless then to why some of them started to like me but it makes sense now. Women like men with a backbone and who are not afraid to put out an opinion and stick on it. Likewise, I’ve found once I was all in for God and put a lot of effort into studying and applying my faith my backbone in difficult situations has become a lot stronger which has been helpful not only with women but spurring my brothers in Christ on.
- Walk out God’s plan for your life and study God’s marital roles and responsibilities and start to apply them to your life when single — God says the husband is to be head of the wife, so he’s supposed to be the leader with authority. Jesus didn’t need permission from the authorities (Pharisees) to do His mission for God. How can you act as a leader of one first? That goes for all parts of your life: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental. Being a leader starts with you and your mission for God. Lead by example.
- Have an evangelism and discipleship focus — being comfortable talking about your faith with non-Christians and Christians is extremely helpful for leadership. It also helps to push away fear of things like asking women out. Asking out a woman is a temporary thing compared to evangelizing which involves something that affects the rest of their life and eternity. Likewise, being discipled and discipling gives you the correct framework to understand the roles of husband and a wife (Christ:Church/disciples::Husband:wives – Eph 5). Jesus Himself was adept in both roles (God -> Christ -> Man -> Woman – 1 Cor 11).
- Study the Scriptures in depth, develop your prayer life, practice other spiritual disciplines — Get a commentary. Understand exegesis and hermeneutics and how to apply them. A husband is be the head of the wife for the purpose of sanctification (Eph 5). Even if you never lead a Bible study, you need to be the spiritual head of a marriage. You can’t be a spiritual head if you don’t know what God says. This is one of the things where you need to lead by example.
- Get involved in a Church — try to pick one that mostly aligns with what you believe whether Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox and that fights actively against feminism and the culture milieu. Yeah, easier said than done, but they are out there. Involve yourself in the community to love and serve others. The highest quality prospects that you will have will come from a Church community, and it’s also true that men who tend to have the highest prospects will be involved in and/or leading ministries of various sorts (e.g. power, status in the Church). The goal is to serve God, but there are those side benefits of this that will likely help you find a wife.
- Consider taking on leadership positions in the Church — Obviously, do them because you want to serve God. However, whether it’s something smaller like leading a small group or Bible study or other things like playing in the Church worship team if you have the talent these things can obviously stand out women.
Overall, most serious Christian women I’ve met are looking for a spiritual leader (e.g. Eph 5) so it makes within the context of women’s hypergamy sense to lead by example through cultivate a strong spiritual life. Thus, you can lead your wife in spiritual matters like evangelism, discipleship, study of the Bible, prayer, etc.
- Lift weights to gain muscle — We’ve covered this before on how much muscle and bodyfat: Women’s attraction to men’s musculature and Time frames for body recomposition. Generally speaking, the more muscular and fit you are, the easier it is to come off as attractive to women and go on dates and sustain relationships with women who you also deem as attractive. To quote Mark Rippetoe — “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” This is low hanging fruit and if you’re not doing it then you’re not serious about finding a wife to me.
- Physical hobbies — Martial arts is typically a good one to learn to trigger the protector hypergamy vibe with women, but typically any physical type of sport works as well. If you have the time and effort you can generally excel which can also be attractive. Choose one that you intrinsically enjoy hopefully.
- Groom effectively — This tends to mostly be about eliminating unattractive traits (e.g. messy hair, facial hair, body odor, etc.), but if it’s done well enough it can be a net plus as well.
- Fashion sense — This is pretty obvious. As you start to get more muscular wear fitted clothes. Anyone can tell the difference between a fitted suit and a non-fitted one and how sharp and impressive someone looks in each. The same is true with any of the rest of your clothes.
- Learn to hold yourself well — make and hold eye contact, choose open body postures over closed body postures, don’t rush your movements, move confidently and with a purpose, work on your voice cadence and tone, etc. Practicing public speaking (e.g. toastmasters) can help out a lot with things like these. These things also go well with evangelism and discipleship.
Overall, increasing your musculature and overall appearance helps make good first impressions and first impressions matter a lot.
- Get a job or volunteer somewhere that puts you out there interacting with everyone — if you’re any way like me who scores 99% introvert on Big 5 or Myer’s Briggs and was scared of talking to strangers and taking phone calls then a service job where you actually have to talk to anyone and everyone can help with this. I took one in high school and college and had one for a brief stint after college which helped develop my social skills. This seems to be a growing problem with Millenials and any generation after them. Crappy social skills. These can be developed.
- Read Great Books for Men (GBFM) — Sort of being facetious with the title of the point, but self-education on all different topics is a good idea in general. It allows you to talk about many different things with many different people.
- Be an expert on life — What I mean by this is learn and know how to do everything in life if at all possible. Be handy around the house. Know how to do finances, invest, and set a budget. Know how to fix a car and take care of various issues. The more things you know how to do and are an expert in, the easier it is to trigger a woman’s hypergamy to look up to you and respect you. That’s the basis of attraction.
- Develop Anti-fragility — this is a concept where one does not avoid stress or risk taking behaviors but embrace them. Popularized by the book, but fairly common throughout various endeavors without a name. Cold showers, exercise, and other things like this are anti-fragile behaviors that increase mental resilience and ability to hand stressful situations. Reframing the mind and emotions so that negative ones aren’t things to shy away from but embracing failure to help you learn and grow. This not only helps with speaking with women but everything else in life.
- Be slow to anger and other negative emotions and be self controlled in all circumstances — these things are especially important for developing good leadership acumen in your relationships including ones with a potential girlfriend. If you easily lose control of your emotions then it’s easy to get blown to and fro by them and sabotage any good that you have previously done. People tend to dwell on negative impressions.
- Learn to tease women — this should be pretty obvious, but if you practice and learn to get good at it then it can be helpful not only for generating attraction but also diffusing socially awkward situations or challenges or tests from women.
- Develop a sense of humor — fairly self evident. People like to laugh and have fun. If you’re more “fun” to be around especially through humor then it’s easier to navigate social spaces.
Education and income
- Mate selection for modernity goes over dozens of studies that look at how hypergamy in women means they tend to prefer men who have more education and more income than them. STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is always a good prospect, especially since men tend to intrinsically enjoy STEM more than women. Professional jobs or trade jobs are solid on the money front as well. Obviously don’t pick one just because you want to earn a lot or have a wife and family, but being able to have money to steward for God and give for charity are good things as well.
- “Follow me” leadership — as has been stated over and over on here and in the book, Jesus says follow me to the disciples and His Church (e.g. gospels, Eph 5, Rev 2-3). This is the model that Jesus uses. Jesus does this with His disciples by leading by example: He was doing ministry when He invited the disciples, then he taught them as He did ministry. Then He had them try it out (e.g. Jesus sends out the 70). Then He had them do it full time in the Great Commission. As Jesus delegated and had expectations of His disciples and Church, so too a man must have an idea of where his potential wife and helper (e.g. Genesis 1-3) fits in within his marriage. He must communicate expectations and hold her to them.
- Make sure you are training your girlfriend or wife — A husband’s role is to be a leader and one of the responsibilities to is love your wife for the purpose of sanctification (Eph 5). How can you teach, correct, admonish, and train her in righteousness as necessary? Look for opportunities. Similarly, how can you dwell with her in the knowledge as co-heirs in Christ if you don’t know her? Find out what makes her tick. Her strengths and weaknesses, her likes and dislikes, her spiritual gifts. Is she a good fit for you and your leadership style? Does she have room to grow? Is she teachable? Does she respond well to you?
- Make sure she has her own walk with God and is growing in that without you — This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do things like studying the BIble, praying, or other things like this with her. What it does mean is that she should be committed to learning and growing more Christ-like before you are there and while you are there. Make sure she isn’t a cultural or social Christian who is going through the motions either. See how she treats her family, friends, and even those she doesn’t know. Look at her character and virtue.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some, and I will be updating this list as more come to mind.