Estimated reading time: 7 minutes:)
As promised, we are now in the ‘green flag’ half of this red flags/green flags series, and I am stoked to write about the good stuff now!
Rewind to March 2022.
I had been single for a year and a half, and I found myself in a strange season of saying ‘no.’ Over the span of a few months, I’d been pursued by several different guys, but none of them felt right. It was frustrating, going to God and getting the same answer time and time again. “No.” “Not this one.” “Wait.”
I hated it. I had to initiate a lot of tough conversations, I lost close friendships, and it straight-up sucked haha. I considered lowering my standards because I was told they were unrealistic. I thought I’d never find the “right” person.
But I knew the man God wanted for me would not compromise my standards. I knew the waiting would be worth it. I knew my standards were not ridiculous or unrealistic ~ they were just high enough I’d have to trust God with a relationship instead of taking it into my own hands.
So I kept saying no. And I waited.
After a year and half of falling in love with Jesus and Jesus alone, one of the biggest lessons God taught me was what to look for in a godly man. In the way God loved me, I learned what I shouldn’t put up with, what I should value in a man, and what standards I should never compromise on.
I touched on a few of these standards in the 8 Red Flags in Christian Men article I posted a few weeks ago, but I wanted to touch on a few more today.
These are just my personal convictions, but if you’re looking for the qualities of a truly godly man ~ read the bible! God’s words should always be our first resource:)
Anyway, let’s dive in: here’s what I believe are some of the biggest green flags to look for in Christian guys…
✅ 1 ~ He Listens to Understand, Not to Respond
If a man cares about you, he’s going to want to fix your problems, which is not a bad thing! But sometimes a girl just needs to be listened to ~ like truly listened to. And understanding that comes with maturity and awareness.
It’s easy to listen to respond. Thinking of how we relate to our SO’s problems comes natural, and I know sharing personal stories or what you think is the answer to their problem comes from a place of love.
But truly listening to understand requires humility and denial of self.
It is not easy. At times, it requires that we hold our tongues. At times it requires that we shelf a story from our childhood similar to theirs.
This green flag goes for both genders, but I featured it here because I see a lot of guys struggle with wanting to fix their SO’s problems. Instead of listening to their girlfriend’s heart to understand their situation, they strive to fix their problems by offering advice or giving them a course of action. This isn’t wrong! It just might not be what your SO needs in that moment.
Learning to be sensitive to another person’s needs comes with maturity. And it’s a green flag, at least for me, when I see evidence of this maturity in a guy who listens to understand ~ not to respond.
✅ 2 ~ He Builds Clear, Black-&-White Boundaries With You
Boundaries, especially physical ones, should be crystal clear when you enter a relationship. A guy who is willing to not only discuss those boundaries with you, but hammer out a clear set of expectations, is a keeper.
I’ve seen it too many times: neither person in a relationship discusses boundaries, and by the time it’s brought up, you’ve already crossed a line you didn’t intend on crossing.
Discussing those boundaries early on is awkward, yes. Probably uncomfortable. But a godly man won’t shy away from the awkward conversations. He’ll take charge and talk about those tough topics, because he knows how important they are. He’ll even be the first person to bring them up.
Your boundaries should be black and white, practical, and clear. Don’t leave any room for misinterpretation or confusion. Draw a line in the sand you know you’re stepping over if you cross it.
Your boundaries should also be more detailed than “don’t have sex before marriage.” There are a lot of non-sex activities that should also probably be avoided in a dating relationship, and setting those expectations at the beginning is crucial. A good guy will want to do this with you!
Boundaries aren’t always physical. There are healthy emotional boundaries that can be set as well. For instance, a boundary I reserve for marriage is that neither of us joke about or threaten divorce at any time. If you don’t consider divorce an option, it shouldn’t be brought up at all ~ even if it’s a joke.
Another emotional boundary is to never talk badly about your SO behind their back. Even if you’re frustrated with them, it is never okay to complain or gossip about them to others**. It is so important you go to your SO first, instead of letting the hurt fester and worsen from neglect.
** Of course, seeking wisdom on a conflict between you and your SO from a trusted friend or mentor is different.
Emotional boundaries look different for different couples, but it’s still important to address them and draw clear lines you don’t want to cross.
✅ 3 ~ He Asks How He Can Support You
When you enter a relationship, you become teammates with your person, and supporting your SO is a huge honor!
The problem is: a lot of guys will want to support you. But they don’t know how. And they’ll never ask.
A guy who asks for practical steps on how he can support you is someone who truly cares.
A godly man will not only want to support you, but ask how he can, and take action from your response.
Ladies, make sure you give specifics. I mean, don’t be ridiculously overbearing by listing out a ton of petty expectations ~ but give him practical ways he can support you. And thank him for thinking of your needs!
This is something I need to work on myself ~ I’ve been doing things alone for so long, I forget Nathan is my teammate and he wants to support me just as much as I want to support him. Giving him a practical answer when he asks is hard, but it’s such a better response than “I’m good, I got this” (when I really, in fact, do not “got this” 😂).
✅ 4 ~ He Apologizes & Admits When He’s Wrong
This one is so important.
Humility is a rare attribute among guys and girls alike. Finding someone who not only apologizes for their mistakes, but recognizes when they goofed up, is difficult.
When considering a guy, ask yourself: if I bring up something that bothers me, will he apologize and take action? Or will he get defensive and refuse to take the blame?
The victim mindset is rooted in immaturity and low self-awareness. But a man who is humble enough to admit his faults is a rare gem.
And ladies, the struggle to humble oneself and apologize is not a gendered issue. It is a human issue. I’m sure you struggle with it just as much as anyone else (I know I do!).
Make Psalm 139:23-24 your prayer: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Admit when you are wrong, ask for forgiveness from those you hurt, and try to do better next time.
It’s not easy, but you can’t hold that standard to anyone else if you don’t hold it to yourself.
✅ 5 ~ He’s Not Afraid to be Vulnerable
In our culture, men are told to man up, present a steely, indifferent expression, and weather the storm. Mental health is swept under the rug. Crying is seen as “weak.” And expressing feelings or having empathy is considered “feminine.”
Guys, hear me loud and clear: empathy is not girly or weak. It is a godly trait. God is the most empathetic person I know ~ and it takes nothing away from his power, might, or strength.
It is tragic how the world defines masculinity these days, and I could go on and on about this! I get so fired up. But my main point is:
A godly man will understand being vulnerable is not weak, it is strong.
Showing your emotions is not wimpy. Your emotions are a gift from God ~ a reflection of God’s own image ~ and suppressing them only damages God’s design. Empathy is not girly, it is loving. And a man who is willing to be vulnerable and weak understands his strength comes from Christ alone ~ not from anything he can do in his own power.
✅ 6 ~ He Stewards His Resources Well
This one might seem financial on the surface, but it goes so much deeper than what a guy does with his money.
Every good thing we have is a gift from God. And it’s our responsibility to steward each gift well. How a man does that is very telling of his character.
What does a guy do with his body? Does he glorify God by eating healthy, getting exercise, and going to God when physical desires grow strong? Or does he succumb to physical temptations of all kinds: laziness, gluttony, and lust?
How does he steward his opportunities?
A godly man will work hard, even when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable. If you see a guy working hard at his job, it’s often indication for how hard he works in every other area of his life: relationships, self, his relationship with God, etc.
How does he handle finances? Does he seek financial wisdom and put away savings? How does he spend his money? Does he give?
No one stewards they resources perfectly, and I don’t want this section to sound naggy or demanding. Again, this “green flag” can be applied to both genders, and stewarding your resources well is a lesson to be learned by both guys and girls.
But dating is the time you decide whether you want to marry this person, so paying close attention to how they steward their resources is important! If they don’t spend money wisely now, they probably won’t later. If they don’t treat their body as a temple now, they probably won’t later, either.
✅ 7 ~ He’s Conscientious of What He Puts Into His Body
A godly man will be conscientious and careful about what he allows himself to be exposed to. Here are a few examples:
Music: a godly man will not allow himself to listen to music that damages his relationship with God or his perception of others.
TV: the right guy won’t watch shows/movies that tempt him to lust.
Food: a godly man will want to take care of his body well, which means eating healthy as best he can.
Internet & Social Media: a godly man will understand what he looks at can have negative consequences, and guard himself from accessing or stumbling across porn sites or anything like it. This also means unfollowing any Instagram account with women who tempt him to lust.
** Note: when I say a godly man will be conscientious about the kind of music, TV, or social media he ingests, I do not mean he shouldn’t listen to secular music, shouldn’t listen to music with curse words, or never watch any movie rated MA or above. What I mean is, a godly man will be able to distinguish when something is damaging his relationship with God or with others, and pull himself away from that thing. It is not so black and white as a movie rating or an explicit tag on a song.
✅ 8 ~ He Wants You
This one seems simple, but it is not.
It is easy to be deceived into thinking a guy wants you when he doesn’t really, in fact, want you. He might want your body. He might want your status. He might want your accomplishments. He might want you to turn into his ideal person.
He might think you are a piece of clay to be molded. And this is true, you are a piece of clay in the hand of a potter. But that potter is not a boyfriend. He is Jesus. And Jesus alone can mold you into who he wants you to be.
You will know you’ve found the right person when he just wants you ~ the way God made you, all your stretch marks and long-healed scars included.
He will be no less proud of you when you make a mistake. He will love you no less on the days you don’t wear makeup or wear a cute outfit. He will try to love you the way Jesus does. And he won’t be perfect, he’ll never love you that well ~ but he will try. And he won’t stop trying.
An important question to ask as a woman is this: who are you?
I don’t include this section to make women feel entitled to find a man who loves all her flaws. You are not your sin. A godly man shouldn’t love your sins, because that is not who you are.
But he should love your personality, your character, and the body God gave you. He should love you.
My biggest piece of advice:
It can be tempting to read this blog and daydream about what you’re future knight-in-shining-armor will be like. I know, it’s exciting thinking about all the things you find attractive and important in a guy.
Ladies, if you want a guy who checks all these boxes, start by checking all these boxes yourself.
Become the person a potential boyfriend would be attracted to. Practice humility and listen to understand (instead of to respond) when you’re talking with your friends. Don’t shy away from hard conversations. Apologize when you’re wrong. Develop self-awareness. Ask how you can support your loved ones. Steward your resources well, and take care of your mind and body.
You will never find the “perfect” guy. But a perfect God is in control of your life, including the relationship parts. You can trust he will provide what you need.
That’s all I have for today, but I’ll be back next week with 8 green flags to look for in Christian women, so stay tuned!
Jesus loves you ~ and his love is better than any romance you could find this side of heaven. Never forget it!! Caio 👋