What Do Men Really Want in a Wife?

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian | 12.13.12
Twitter: @MaryKassian



“What do you want in a wife?” I questioned a variety of the guys wandering the halls at my church one Sunday. Their answers were as varied as their ages.

  1. The seven-year-old: “Girls? Ew . . . but wait—can she make chocolate chip cookies like my mom?”
  2. The thirteen-year-old: “She has to be hot. But in, like, a nice way, ya know?”
  3. The eighteen-year-old: “My future wife . . . hmmm . . . same beliefs, beautiful, funny, sweet, smart—but not a know-it-all, great personality, and I like long hair!”
  4. The twenty-four-year-old: “Integrity, adventurous, trustworthy, and fun. The kind of woman that I would want my daughters to grow up to be.”
  5. The thirty-one-year-old: “I’m looking for a partner, a woman who will share in my passion for life, ministry, and children. Obviously, she would have to be committed to raising a family—that is huge for me.”

They’re Looking for Good Mom-Material

According to Pew Research Center, the men of the Millennial Generation (those born after 1980 and into early 2000) are looking to marry a girl who will make a good mother. When asked to rank education, income, housekeeping skills, sexual intimacy, caring personality, family, and motherhood, ninety-three % of Millennial men picked “a good mother” as number one.

If you think about it, that’s kind of amazing. More than any generation before it, Millennials grew up in dysfunctional, single-parent, or absentee-parent homes. They were raised under the banner of feminism, spoon-fed the mantra that women can do it all and be everything to everyone, and yet these men chose motherhood as their top priority in a wife over career, education, or even looks. It seems the twenty-something crowd of single men are looking for a woman who is not only willing to have children, but also who is committed to raising them.

Cooing at Babies?

But when I shared the research with a single twenty-three-year-old gal, she responded, “Um, that’s great . . . But what does that mean for me?” And she has a point. For a woman chasing after God, desiring to one day be married, how does this information affect her? Should it?

Should she start cooing at every baby that is carried past the singles department? (But really, how can you resist squishy fat cheeks and belly laughs?!) Should she casually mention her ovaries or ticking clock in conversation? Does she stop talking about her career aspirations or personal dreams or ministry involvement and just talk about the importance of motherhood on her dates? (Now that’s a scary thought. Imagine the poor guy!)

The “What does that mean for me?” is a fair question. And I don’t think the fact that guys nowadays are looking for good mom-material should change the way a single, Christian girl approaches things. It’s admirable and affirming that guys seem to be valuing more biblical assets in choosing a wife. But as God-fearing, single females, your primary responsibility is to Christ, not men or the social trends in wife-picking.

Keep Aiming for Godliness

As women of God, we are to reflect Christ to the world in the way He chose us to—through our redeemed femininity. And that can be lived out in lives of married and single women alike. Take Proverbs 31 for example. A woman of God, wholly feminine and fully redeemed:

  1. She is trustworthy – “The heart of her husband trusts in her.” (v. 11)
  2. She builds others up  “She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.” (v. 12)
  3. She is a hard worker – “She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.” (vv. 13–14)
  4. She maintains the right priorities – “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (v. 27)
  5. She is kind, compassionate, and self-giving – “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” (v. 20)
  6. She nurtures those in her sphere of influence – “She rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and portions for her maidens.” (v. 15)
  7. She makes wise decisions – “She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. . . . She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.” (vv. 16, 18)
  8. She has a positive attitude – “She smiles at the future.” (v. 25)
  9. She exhibits godly character – “Strength and dignity are her clothing.” (v. 25)
  10. She shares God’s wisdom and ways with others – “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (v. 26)
  11. She values God’s design for women and the institution of marriage—and it shows in all her actions – “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (vv. 28–29)
  12. She follows hard after God – “A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (v. 30)

These qualities—that have nothing to do with discussions of a ticking biological clock—are not specific to motherhood. They are qualities that can be pursued by every woman. Yet the women who possess these qualities will inevitably make good mothers. And it’s these timeless qualities of womanhood that will be noticed by interested, God-fearing marriageable males.

So for you single gals who have a desire to be married and have a family, your focus isn’t all that different from us married ones. Your focus shouldn’t be how to become what a man is looking for in a wife. Instead, you just need to “stay the course” and remain focused on becoming a more godly woman.


  1. Very true! I am a young married woman, but the spiritual qualities that I need to work are the same as a single girl. Godly character is the key to make any relationship flourish. Thanks for the great post!
    posted by Kristen
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:38 am
  2. What are the men in their 40's looking for??
    posted by RW
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:56 am
  3. Thanks for the post today. I too was hoping for what men a little past 20 something were looking for, not because I'm single but to see if I was on track with my husband of 30 years!! It's awkward to talk about things like this with him! However, I will be forwarding this to my daughter who is 20. She has a beau but it will be a nice reminder of what God says a woman's heart should look like.
    posted by Barbara C
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 9:52 am
  4. I love this! Man, it really takes the weight off and causes us to rest in Christ!
    posted by BryAna
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 10:41 am
  5. Thank you! Even as a married woman, this is encouraging. Especially since motherhood can be so challenging at times.
    But more than that, I appreciate the description of the Proverbs 31 woman. This is something I plan to share with my daughters.
    posted by Sherry
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:20 am
  6. What a blessing, Mary! I have been pondering lately how to "train young women to be keepers of the home"..something that seems to be so lacking in society. I think you answered it perfectly. If they are being discipled and growing in Christ, these qualities should be arising. God bless you.
    posted by kathy
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm
  7. Great article. Very affirming and I also like the other questions of "what are men in their 40's, 50's want their wives to be?" Thanks for this post!
    posted by Susan McCurdy
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm
  8. This is great to hear! Now if only those same young men would take the initiative and risk in asking us out. I would certainly love to trade my decade of datelessness for being a wife and mother! :)
    posted by Lindsay
    on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm
  9. Thanks so much for sharing this, it's really encouraging, I'm printing a copy and planning to study the Bible references.
    posted by Elisabeth Allen
    on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 6:03 am
  10. Conviction!
    She maintains the right priorities – “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (v. 27)
    Time to get off the computer, THANKS!!
    posted by Kristina
    on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:53 am
  11. This article is focused on young men. How about middle aged and older men who happen to be single? I am a middle aged widow who embraces and lives out the "True Woman" concept. I've been "seeing" for the last few months a gentlemen who's faithfully attended a large Bible believing church for years. To my dismay and disappointment, he recently admitted to me that I'm "to Christian" for his taste. What?! Pastors and men's ministry leaders: (especially in large churches), please wake up and realize that just because these guys are attending your services doesn't mean that they are not living the rest of the week in a carnal mindset. They need to be challenged and yes even mentored by their brothers who are Spirit filled. Are there any middle aged or older men out there who appreciate a single Proverbs 31 woman? Oh wait....they're already married.
    posted by True Woman
    on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm
  12. My life experience (I am in my 40s), is that when a young man describes his future wife using the terms that describe a good mother, it is not because he seeks to be the godly leader/ husband to a mother-like-wife, but because he seeks to be "mothered" by his mother-like-wife. While I think it's great that we have True Woman to teach us women about submission (I, myself, am learning a lot), I just wish more men out there were receiving the male counterpart - more biblical learning about what it means to be a godly, husband-leader.
    posted by Wife & Mother, Not Leader
    on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm
  13. @Wife & Mother, Not Leader - AGREED!!!!

    I hosted the "True Woman 101 Divine Design" study in my home this year and we ladies agreed that there must be available a counterpart of this study for training men - married or single. There does already exist a lot of "true manhood" material out there through the likes Dr. Evans, FamilyLife, and other sources, but the problem is THE VERY MEN WHO NEED THIS INFO AREN'T WILLING TO LEARN AND EMBRACE IT!!!
    posted by True Woman
    on Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm
  14. Proverbs 31 was written to a man. It was to tell him what to look for. However she gets up too early and stays up too late for me. What does she do, an after noon siesta? Delegate to her maids? anyway my girls are pretty close to the 31 ideal. in fact I think my oldest child would make the rubies woman tired keeping up with her,she so creatively mothers her 6 children. Mary I have one lovely 21 year old daughter left if your son is still up for auction. However she will not pursue a guy. Can a mom take the place of isaacs' servant?
    True woman
    posted by R. sorenson
    on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:14 am
  15. Indeed! :)
    posted by Kyle A.
    on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm
  16. I love how the amplified bible describes the bread of idleness as three things: 1. gossip. 2. self-pity 3. Discontent. If you find yourself filling up on one of these it is time for spiritual excercise.
    ture woman
    posted by R. Sorenson
    on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm
  17. Great. I enjoyed reading this notes. God bless you with a lot more of wisdom.

    Big Blessings

    Pastor Israel Gonzalez
    Monterrey, MX
    posted by Israel Gonzalez
    on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm
  18. commitment, love, trust, and a woman that doesn't cheat.
    posted by HowTrue
    on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 12:31 am
  19. Here are some things some men want:


    It's a good fun read, and a bit more realistic I think. Otherwise enjoyed your article! Thanks for sharing!
    posted by Johnny Boy
    on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 2:22 am
  20. Among all the blogs I have read about what men really want, this is by far the only God-blessed blog and I praise Him for that! I must say these really are the qualities that a Godly man is looking for in a wife. Sadly, there are many ungodly men out there and ungodly women who doesn't think this same way. The world needs a BIG change of heart. If only it would all give up its sinful nature, the world could have been a much better place. God bless you for writing this!
    posted by Chris
    on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

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