The “Ideal” Man
It wasn’t that long ago when a female member of my congregation sat before me in my office, single, frustrated, and teary-eyed. Once she briefed me on what had prompted her visit, I realized her idea of a happy future centered on marriage—and as soon as possible.
After listening to her reasons for feeling the way she did, I asked her: “What type of man are you looking for?” Thirty minutes later, she’d completed her description—a breed of man that doesn’t exist except in some imaginations. Since that time, I’ve asked many women the same question I asked the young woman in my office, with similar responses. Some visualize the ideal man as a strong, healthy, well-dressed, good-looking, aggressive, successful, dependable, and responsible businessman. Others picture someone adventurous, exciting, romantic, and artistic. Either way, he’s interested in all things and excels at most. He loves only one woman but charms them all. He’s an attentive listener who’s in touch with his feelings. And most excellent of all, he’s a super-spiritual leader in his life and home.
Have you ever met anyone who fits this description? If not, take heart, my friend … no one has.
This meeting prompted a deeper look into God’s Word and led me to ask myself: Who is the “ideal” man? What kind of characteristics does he exhibit? For starters, the ideal man is not a perfect man by any means. Rather, he’s a maturing man, a striving man, a studying man—but most of all he’s a man who seeks the Father with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). He’s not arrived at his goal but is on his way to becoming the husband his wife is longing for and the father his children need. He’s a man on the most exciting journey of his life. He’s learning to be a balanced, Christ-centered man—the total man God created him to be.
In the devotions that follow, I will describe for you seven characteristics of the total, spiritual man and how understanding these characteristics and adopting them into your life will help you become the man of God, husband, and father you were always meant to be.