When you initially read the Proverbs, it seems like it has little to say to the woman who is seeking to discern the qualities of a godly husband. But that’s not at all the case.
In general (because the entire focus of the proverbs is on the son to be a man of wisdom), we can say that a woman should seek a man who is wise.
So here’s a quick summary of what it means to be wise (according to the proverbs), and we’re going to state them in the context of what it would mean to be a good husband.
These are qualities that any woman ( who is seeking to marry) should look for in a potential mate.
Again, they’re entirely focused on character:
---- A wise husband is kind and compassionate.
“A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, But the compassion of the wicked is cruel." (Prov. 12:10)
How does he treat something that has limited value to him?
Does he discard it because it’s of little seeming value to him, or does he treat it with care, simply because he has the ability to care for it?
---- A wise husband is honest.
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight."
“Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment."
“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool." (Prov. 19:1)
If you can’t trust his word while you are first seeing each other, then it will only be more common after marriage. Look for a man who is faithful in his dealings. He is not one manipulating things to his own good, but the good of others. Lying lips are one of the qualities of a person that God hates.
---- A wise husband is hard-working.
“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues vain things lacks sense."
Such a simple thing here but harder to find then you realize. What takes up the time of a potential mate? Is he known as a hard worker or a lazy man? Does he chase after the latest scheme, or is he simply a faithful man who is faithful with the tasks set before him?.
---- A wise husband hears and heeds counsel.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel."
Parents should teach their sons to be men who seek counsel and learn how to hear it. A young man often is filled with great ideas but it has not been seasoned by time. To learn to know a wise person (and to listen) is a hard lesson for many. A wife can be so encouraged when she knows her husband will seek counsel, but many wives are filled with dread because their husband “knows better.”
"There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Prov. 14:12)
---- A wise husband has a gentle tongue.
“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Prov. 12:18)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly." (Prov. 15:1-2)
If you want to know what a person is like, watch them around their parents. How do they speak regarding them? A man who is respectful of his mother is likely a man who will be respectful of his wife.
Does he create fights or does he bring peace? Does he help or does he hinder situation that are hard? Are you happy he is involved because he will bring good and wise words into the situation, or merely pour gasoline?
---- A wise husband is generous.
“He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor." (Prov. 14:21)
“He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses." (Prov. 28:27)
This is a simple but hard thing to see in too many men’s lives. Are their hands open or closed to the needs of others? Are they looking for ways to help and use their money for good? Again something parents can do well to train their sons in this.
---- A wise husband is forgiving.
“A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression."
It is interesting that Paul commands husbands in Eph 5 to not be embittered toward their wives. This is not something commanded to the wife, but to the husband. A man must learn early in life to be quick to forgive, rather than remember other people’s wrongs.
---- A wise husband is willing to admit he is wrong.
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." (Prov. 28:13)
A man who will not admit his own sin is one who will build a household filled with sin. He is to lead his home in what it looks like to be a sinner who is faithful to confess and repent. He is to instruct his wife by word and by example. The same with his children.
We could go on and on with this, but this is a good list of qualities a young woman would want to consider in a potential mate.
If we were to sum it all up, the point being made is that character is going to matter much more in the long run than his ability to make you laugh or because he shares similar interests or is extremely good looking.
As parents, we need to teach our children to seek godly character, for themselves, and in those with whom they would associate. We must teach them, by word and deed, the permanence of the marriage commitment and the delights of marriage when both partners seek to honor God in their marriage. We need not look far for the many examples of failures in marriage and the disastrous consequences for all.
So What counsel can we give to a young man or woman who is thinking about marriage? Look at the trajectory of the person. You likely won’t find the perfect man or woman because you are not perfect yourself.
But are they moving in the right direction? Are they a person who loves Jesus Christ? Is it obvious to all? Do they love the Church? Again, is it obvious? Are they growing with respect to their salvation? Have they moved past mere talking of these things, and actually started doing these things?
If so, then you have a potential mate who can walk with you in life and grow with you in a manner that is honoring to your Lord.