An Introduction from Leslie Ludy:
A number of years ago, our Christian publishing company arranged for Eric and me to be guests on a “Christian” radio show to promote one of our books on purity. But as soon as I got on the phone, I knew something wasn’t right. The two radio hosts were not Christians at all — in fact, they completely ridiculed Christian honor and purity. They made me the brunt of their crude, perverted jokes. After about sixty seconds, we hung up on them — promptly placing a call to our publisher to tell them they needed to do a better job of finding appropriate outlets for promoting a Christian book on purity!
Even though I talked with those men for less than a minute, I was reminded how far our culture has fallen when it comes to esteeming purity and feminine mystery. Once upon a time men admired women of discretion, modesty, character, and purity. But today, those qualities are ridiculed and despised. In fact, the more opposite a woman is from those things, the more desirable our society says she is. In today’s world, it’s easy to become confused about what truly makes a woman attractive to a man, and take our cues from culture instead of from the Word of God.
But to a truly godly, Christ-centered man, the brash, bold, sensual version of femininity is the opposite of beautiful. Godly men are attracted to completely different qualities — qualities that exude from a Christ-centered life. While magazines and movies encourage us to flaunt and flirt in order to gain male approval, godly men are longing for women who will choose an entirely different path. I have spoken with many Christ-centered single men in recent years who have shared with me the attributes they find most beautiful in a single, godly woman.
For this article, I asked one such man to share some of the things that he finds most beautiful in a godly woman. It’s a refreshingly different perspective from what you’ll hear on the radio or see in the checkout stands at the grocery store! If you are single and God’s purpose for you is marriage, someday it will be these qualities — not the sensual secrets of Hollywood — that will draw a godly man’s heart to you!
Remember: It’s important that you don’t try to develop all these qualities overnight, or in your own strength. And even more importantly, your motive shouldn’t be winning a godly guy’s heart. Rather, as you build your life around Jesus Christ, He will gently begin to work these qualities within your life and cultivate His beauty within you. As these things are developed in your life, let it be first and foremost for His glory, not for your own gain. As you yield to His refining work in your soul, you will glow with a loveliness that the sensuality of our culture and the allure of Hollywood can never replicate.
12 Traits of True Beauty
A Warrior Poet’s Perspective:
A Woman Who Delights in the Word of God
It is beautiful to see a woman who not only knows the Word, but delights in it as the Psalmist did — a woman who is diligent to spend time studying, learning, memorizing, meditating, and growing in intimacy with Jesus through the Truth of Scripture.
A Woman Who Points Eyes to Jesus
It is beautiful to encounter a godly woman who continually encourages me — by how she lives and what she says — to love Jesus more.
A Woman Who Lets the Man Lead
I have seen too many marriages where the wife usurps her husband and tries to take the lead. And whether she nags, nitpicks, or belittles, she doesn’t allow her husband to be a man. While men are not more important than women, God has built men to face difficulty and hardship and to lead. It is beautiful to see a woman who genuinely supports and encourages a man in his role as a godly leader.
A Woman Who is Always Learning
One of the principles I live by is that I have not arrived; I traverse along an endless frontier (as Eric Ludy would say). In every area of my life (e.g. godliness, masculinity, being a future husband and father, holiness, my intellect, practical skills, etc.), I want to learn, grow, become more proficient, and mature as the years go by. Similarly, I am blessed when I see a woman who isn’t content with where she is at, but endeavors to continually press along the endless frontier God has set before her.
A Woman Who Suffers Well
I recently talked with a friend who called a girl’s father to ask permission to pursue a relationship with her. When I asked what attribute attracted him to this young lady, my friend responded, “She handles suffering well.” Over the last several years, this young woman has had to deal with a lot of physical pain, and my friend has only seen her love for and dependence upon Christ increase. Never once has she complained or been anxious. It caused me to realize that I too would love to find a woman who can face trial, difficulty, and suffering with joy and a godly disposition.
A Woman Who Laughs
Though Eeyore is often a favorite character from the famous tales of Winnie the Pooh, his personality is less than desirable in a spouse. Rather than self-focused melancholy, I find it beautiful when a woman knows how to laugh, smile, and endure difficult moments with a joyful expectancy in the faithfulness of God.
A Woman Who Lives on Purpose
One desire I have for marriage is that my wife and I would be surrendered vessels for God to spill His life, love, truth, and Gospel through to meet the needs of the world around us. Yet I’ve seen too many young ladies who have no purpose in life. They are content to sit idle and allow life to slip by, hoping for the day a man will sweep them off their feet and carry them off into the sunset — almost as if their existence doesn’t begin until that moment. But singleness can be a tremendous opportunity to be used by God, to be industrious, creative, and poured out. Throughout Christian history, countless single women served the poor, taught children, shared the Gospel, became missionaries, or wrote letters to encourage others in ministry. As a single man, it is captivating to see a godly woman not concerned with a future marriage but living with purpose and being used as an instrument of the Gospel and God’s love to the world around her.
A Woman Who Encourages
The role God has called me to in life is not easy — it’s paved with hardship, difficulty, trials, long days, and sleepless nights — it’s a bold mission and not for the fainthearted. I’ve found that ministry and missions are often thankless jobs and there have been many days I wished I had a wife whom I could talk to, share my struggles and hardships with, and receive a word of encouragement from.
A Woman Who Gives Joyfully
I believe marriage is designed to be built upon a foundation of servanthood. Neither husband nor wife should live for themselves. They should seek to serve, minister, bless, and wash each other’s feet, desiring to give instead of striving to get. It is beautiful to see a woman who joyfully serves instead of selfishly takes.
A Woman With a Heroine’s Heart
Amy Carmichael, Catherine Booth, Gladys Aylward, and Corrie ten Boom all had one thing in common: a heroic and courageous willingness to stand for, fight for, and rescue the weak, the destitute, and needy of this world. They were willing to go into dark places and be light — putting their lives on the line when necessary to see the Kingdom of God come to earth. I pray my future wife has the desire to be built into such a woman of God.
A Woman Who Radiates Christ
I’ve talked with several young men throughout the years about godly femininity, and one conclusion we’ve come to is that godliness is attractive. A woman whose sole focus is Christ — who will love Jesus far more than she’ll ever love me, who loves children and has a desire to be a godly wife and mother, who desires to serve and be used by her King, and who uses clothing to point to Christ rather than her own body — is beautiful and attractive. Godly men are not attracted to females who live or think like the world, who use clothing to showcase their bodies, and who flaunt, flirt, and attempt to gain a guy’s attention. Godly men are attracted to a woman who is ladylike, virtuous, humble, who dresses with modest purity, who lives according to God’s Word and counter to the culture, and who reflects the radiance of Christ in her daily living.
A Proverbs 31 Woman
Proverbs 31 gives insight into other attributes a godly man desires in his future wife: virtuous, trustworthy, guarding of her tongue (doesn’t gossip), full of wisdom, industrious, fearless, generous, lives with excellence, fears God, cares for the poor and needy, is honorable, joyful, diligent, and a woman of prayer — all of these qualities are beautiful and desirable to a godly man.
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You’ll notice that physical appearance didn’t make the list. While I’d love for my future spouse to be beautiful, I’m more interested in the consistency of her character and heart than an appearance that will fade and change with time.
In truth, it’s a bit difficult in a short article to describe all I desire my future wife to be, but let me give you a suggestion for further reflection and study. I’m an avid Ludy admirer, and even as a guy, I have read nearly all of Leslie Ludy’s books. When Set-Apart Femininity came out, I quickly grabbed a copy and spent the next several days devouring its content. I was captivated by Leslie’s description of a godly woman. As I finished the book, I closed its cover and whispered, “There she is … I just read a description of what I want my future wife to be.” If you are looking for an expanded explanation of what a godly man wants in a woman, I highly encourage you to read Leslie Ludy’s Set-Apart Femininity and study Proverbs 31!
Please don’t take this list, run off, and try to become all these things in your own strength — hoping to fashion yourself into a godly man’s dream. A man of God is not interested in a self-produced woman but in a God-built lady. It is only as you build your life around Jesus Christ that He will grow and produce these characteristics in you. Trees don’t strive and struggle to produce fruit; rather, fruit is the natural result of being a healthy tree. So too, these “fruits” will be brought forth and become evident in your life only as you abide and live surrendered to Jesus Christ. Pursue Him and trust that He will build these things within you.