Recently, my husband, John Hagee, surveyed the women of our church and asked the question, "What do women want in a man?" Character traits such as faithfulness, honesty, respect and good communication all figured prominently in their responses. So did romance, a good sense of humor and an ability to be a good provider.
But of the top 10 qualities expressed by the women in our congregation, godliness ranked highest as the primary character trait women desired in a man. Actually, godliness is the sum total of all the top 10 desires women want most in a man.
Perhaps you would agree with what we found. If you do, my first question for you is, "Do you know how to recognize a godly man?"
When I considered the traits that women desired most, immediately I began to think of some of the heroes of the Bible, men in Scripture whom we identify as truly godly. But have you ever wondered what it might be like to be married to one of them?
Husbands of the Bible
Noah, the Scriptures say, was a "just and righteous man, blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked [in habitual fellowship] with God" (Gen. 6:9, The Amplified Bible). Now, for a moment, imagine what it would be like to be married to him.
He comes home one afternoon with architectural plans in his hands and tells you he has had a visitation from the Lord Himself. The great I AM has commanded him to do something he has never done before--with no budget and no true understanding of its purpose.
Furthermore, he says God is going to destroy all living creatures on the earth with water from the skies—a phenomenon not yet witnessed by any human being. So, he quits his job and begins his assignment.
Then Noah tells you that after his building project is completed, you and he and the children will take a long cruise. However, he doesn't know exactly where or for how long. And there is one more catch—you must help him gather and care for those who will travel with your family, something about "two by two."
You will have a thankless job, but he feels very strongly that he should obey the wishes of the Lord, for Jehovah God has promised to provide. Would you willingly work by his side?
Abraham was commanded by God to leave a very comfortable home and depart from his family and his country. God loves Abraham so much that He makes a special covenant with him (see Gen. 17:1-8).
He comes to you and recounts his visit with God. He persuades you to leave the dream house you just built and all that is important to you. He assures you that Yahweh has promised to bless him with descendents that will be too many to count.
Oh, and it gets better! While on your trip to "God only knows where," Abraham convinces you to act as his sister for his protection. Even though this request from Abraham will put you in imminent danger, you finally agree.
Time passes, and the journey, which has been tough, finds you older now. You have given this man some of the best years of your life. You have a weak moment and determine that at your present age, you probably won't produce an heir for your husband.
Therefore, you suggest—only once, I might add—that he go into your handmaiden and produce a child with her. Without hesitation he agrees—a little too quickly, if you ask me.
To add insult to injury, your favorite handmaiden, now heavy with your husband's child, is flaunting her favored status. Would you leave your home and go with this man?
Moses was a man so loved of God that God chose him to lead His people out of bondage. Moses is the man to whom God entrusted His law. What would it be like married to Moses?
Moses is gone days at a time on spiritual mountain retreats without you. When he is home, he is overwhelmed with his task of leading millions of people somewhere, to arrive sometime.
It seems to you that you are hopelessly stuck in the desert. Moses spends most of his time in counseling sessions, trying to solve the chosen people's problems. He brings their problems home with him every night. Would you support this man and his ministry?
David was a man after God's own heart, a leader among men, a great warrior--but also an adulterer and a murderer and a failure as a father. What would it have been like to be married to him?
All these men have something in common: They were flawed individuals chosen by God to do His will. In order to accomplish their purposes, these men had to have very supportive and godly women by their sides.
Like these men, we are all flawed creatures. But there is a remarkable difference: The blood of a faultless Lamb covers us.
These men lived under the Law; we live under the grace and mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is His mercy that keeps us from getting what we deserve and His grace that gives us what we do not deserve.
Titus 2:11-12 says: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (NIV).
With this understanding of God's generous outpouring of grace and mercy toward us, I want you to be excited about what the Lord can do in your husband and in your marriage.
What women want in a man may not be as easily attained as we might think. In fact, what women want may not be what God wants them to have.
But He can equip you with what you need in order to be the woman, wife and mother He intended you to be. He can turn your marriage into something that resembles heaven on Earth and your husband into a godly reflection of Himself.
Men After God's Heart
A godly man must have the mind and heart of God. He must be God's hands and see as He sees. When a godly man sees the hurting and those bound by the ravages of sin, he thinks as God thinks, in terms of love and compassion for the loveless.
On one of our many trips to Israel, John and I were privileged to witness such compassion expressed through godly men. While on our flight to the Holy Land, two of the ministry partners with whom we were traveling shared their testimony with us.
They had accepted Christ while watching my husband on television. They told us of the homosexual lifestyle they had turned away from and the new joy they'd found. Thrilled with their new life, they were now on the trip of a lifetime.
Sadly, because of their past lifestyle, one of them was suffering from AIDS. They were concerned what others on the trip might think, but my husband assured them that all would be fine.
After much prayer, the young man gave my husband permission to tell the others in our group that he was ill and needed their prayers and assistance. I remember my husband asked the Lord to prepare the group for the news regarding our young friend. He prayed, "Father, give them Your ears as they hear this news, and keep them from fear as they respond to this child of God with Your loving heart."
The next morning during our time of devotion, we told the group of our young friend's need for healing from this dreaded disease. With tears in their eyes, members of the group came up to him one by one and knelt around him as, together, we agreed in prayer for his healing.
But the most profound moment for me took place at the Garden Tomb. We had a time of worship and then released the people to enter the empty tomb.
One by one they went in. My husband and I were watching these precious pilgrims experience a very solemn moment when something beautiful happened. The young man with AIDS was sitting several yards from the tomb because the large stones of the Garden made it difficult to maneuver his wheelchair.
Two of the men from our group went to him and placed their arms under his body. He anchored his frail arms around their shoulders as they carried him toward the tomb.
The people who were gathered around the doorway made a path for the three men to enter the dark mausoleum. All was quiet as they bowed their heads and prayed. The three men walked out of the tomb with tears flowing down their faces.
My husband and I felt privileged to see a demonstration of the heart of the living God arising out of that empty tomb.
The godly man sees the scarred hands of his Savior when he reaches out with his own hands to his wife, his children, or a stranger in good deeds and kindness.
Finally, a godly man must learn to say no to the world. The world does not recognize the righteousness of the God whom we serve.
The world charms its victims with the "feel good" philosophy of our day. The world teaches that there is no right or wrong; it's all relative. The world entices with pleasure and rejects self-sacrifice.
The Word of God says that the man who says no to the world and yes to God is happy, fortunate, and to be envied because he fears, reveres, and worships the Lord (see Ps.1). A godly man will walk in the path God has set before him according to the commandments He has given.
Godly Husbands Need Godly Wives
Anne Reed, who is considered an expert in the field of pastoral counseling, serves alongside my husband and me at our church. She states that women often think they know what they want, but they are unwilling to allow God to develop in a man the qualities and attributes that will make him the true desire of their heart.
Godliness in a man is sometimes contingent upon the woman's allowing God to take over. Reed asserts that although manipulation of a man may be labeled cute or funny, God says this is witchcraft. Manipulation and control are Satan's way of inserting himself into the relationship.
Reed challenges women to cooperate with God in developing qualities in their husbands and to remember that God gave His Spirit to each of us. She counsels them to draw on His gifts of wisdom, understanding, good judgment and strength, and to trust that He will give counsel for correction.
Reed deems it important to remind women that there is absolutely no passage in the Bible where we are given the mandate or authority to take on the Holy Spirit's role. You are to be only what God requires of you. Becoming your husband's Holy Spirit is not a requirement--indeed, it is blasphemy for you to assume that role.
As you pray for the man in your life, remember that a godly husband deserves a godly wife. You must have a fervent commitment to the Lord.
You must learn to hear the voice of God and live according to His plan. This will bring you blessings untold and a soul satisfaction that will be incomparable to anything else.
As a woman, you must refuse the roles society has laid out for you and, like your husband, say no to the world's distractions. With God's help you can become the godly woman your husband needs and help him become the man God destined him to be.
Diana Hagee is the co-author with her husband, John, of What Every Man Wants in a Woman; What Every Woman Wants in a Man, published by Charisma House, from which this article is adapted.