Lots of Christian women, if they admit it or not, would love to marry an alpha male. When we look at the animal kingdom, the alpha is the individual with the highest rank in his particular community. Often he will be the male who is the strongest and best fighter as well as the most attractive and powerful. Many of us women, if we were honest, when confronted with a group of men will feel the strongest chemistry towards the guy who is the most physically attractive, charismatic, well-built, personable, confident, successful and popular. But we are not animals and the Bible ranks men completely differently to the animal kingdom or to the world for that matter. Thus the Bible’s view of a real man is countercultural and even counterbiological! Many happily married Christian women will tell you that when they first met their husband they felt no chemistry towards him at all. He was not an alpha-male by the worlds standards. They thankfully gave him a chance and in time found him to be more of a real man than many of the apparent alpha-males in their lives. Then the chemistry and attraction came! So how can we recognize one of these real men and how can we make sure we don’t miss an amazing catch because of our worldly ways? How can we make sure we give the right guys a chance?
1. A real man may not be physically strong but will be a man after God’s own heart
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ (Acts 13:22)
A real man may not spend hours in the gym or on the football field. He may even have asthma or a disability and can’t play sports. However, he has a deep love for God. He loves reading God’s word and mediating on it, seeking God’s face in prayer as well as worshipping and praising Him. The joy of the Lord is his strength.
2. A real man may not be good looking or charismatic but he fears the Lord
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
(Note: The above verse is clearly written about a woman but I would say equally applies to a man!)
A real man may not be charismatic, charming or be eloquent of speech. He may not be the life of the party, be good-looking or have great hair. However, he has a deep fear and reverence for the Lord. He takes God’s teachings seriously and studies the Bible diligently so that he may not sin against God. As a result, he is careful to treat women as precious sisters and daughters of God in all purity. He won’t lead girls on, emotionally stir up their love and then reject them. He honors his elders and shows submissiveness to godly authority. He won’t leave a small church to go to a bigger church just because there are more women. He is the type of man who would take his job as head of his household and financial provider seriously too. Furthermore, he would fight the temptation to idolize you and put you on a pedestal because he doesn’t want to let you take the Lord’s place.
3. A real man may not have worldly success but he seeks God’s kingdom first
And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:19-21)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
A real man might not have a fantastic job or have much wealth. He might not have any great financial ambitions either. However, he desires to put God’s work, God’s people and God Himself first in his life. He loves evangelizing and fellowshipping with other believers. He greatly enjoys serving the needs of his church. He tries hard to make sure that his priorities match up with God’s priorities and he is willing to make sacrifices whenever necessary. As a husband he would take his role of provider seriously but he would not make worldly success his idol.
4. A real man may not be self-confident but his confidence is in the Lord
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12)
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)
A real man may not exude confidence. He might even seem a little shy or awkward at times. However, he is confident in the Lord. He knows that for any area he is lacking in, the Lord is able to compensate. He recognizes that God’s power is made perfect in his weakness and thus he is even thankful for his weaknesses. He does not trust in his own wisdom but trusts in the Lord’s wisdom. In addition, he knows he is not a good person and is only saved by Christ dying for his sins and so does not trust in his own righteousness but rather in Christ’s righteousness. His deep faith in the Lord permeates who he is and his humbleness is evident to all who know him well.
5. A real man may not be good at fighting with his fists but he will courageously defend the faith
Dear friends, although I was eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write to you and urge you to continue your vigorous defense of the faith that was passed down to the saints once and for all. (Jude 1:3)
A real man may have never got into a physical fight in his life. If he did, he might sorely lose. He might have even been physically bullied at school. However, when it comes to defending God’s truth, he is bold! If he hears people teaching false doctrine, he will lovingly challenge them. If he witnesses biblically immoral behavior in the church or injustice he won’t keep silent. If he sees people disrespecting Jesus, he will stand up for Him.
6. A real man may not be popular but he embraces suffering
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. (Luke 6:22)
Then He [Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)
A real man might not receive texts, phone calls and event invites all day long from his large quantity of friends. He might have been the kid at school who never got invited to the parties. However, he is willing to suffer for Christ. He chooses to deny his own desires and own will so as to follow God’s desires and will. He won’t shy away from opportunities to serve God that might make him unpopular. He won’t turn his back on Christ if persecution comes.
7. A real man may not be the boss at work but he is a spiritual leader.
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3v1-7)
A real man may not have the education, intelligence, ambition or desire to become the boss of a company. He might be closer to the bottom of the ladder than the top. However, by God’s grace he has become a spiritual leader. He may not be an elder/overseer but shares some of their qualities. He lives an upright life and is self-controlled, hard working, sober-minded, well mannered, hospitable and loyal to his friends. Moreover, he disciples other men and is able to lead you if you get married and also bring up your children well. He would not tolerate rude behaviour in you or your children and would lovingly correct it. He is not a pushover or a doormat, but a man you can respect.
Just as a virtuous woman is a rare and precious find, so is a real man. What makes him the man he has become is not evident from the outside so he is not always easy to spot. It might take time to see his true colours. He may even seem like a dweeb or boring to us before we really get to know him well.
Many of us women are so concerned with instant chemistry that if we met such a godly man we would not even think to give him a chance. Many of us would love to find our Boaz but if we met a man like Boaz, we might write him off for being too old or not charismatic enough. In fact, if a man with the character of Jesus Christ Himself asked us for a coffee we might turn him down for being too short or not good looking enough. You may say to me “but chemistry is important, you can’t marry someone without chemistry”. To that I would wholeheartedly agree and would not encourage two people to get married without chemistry! But God seems to have shaped us women in such a way that when we come to deeply respect and admire a man, the chemistry and attraction will also often eventually come. Many very happily married women can confirm this to be true and so to overlook men because of an initial lack of chemistry is really utter foolishness if we actually do want to get married to a godly man!
May God help us women who desire marriage to give men a chance and not be too quick to write guys off who are not in our worldly estimation alpha-male enough. May our Lord also help us to encourage the men in our lives to grow in godliness and not worry about conforming to the world’s standards of what it means to be a man. [Rowina Seidler]