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What to Look for in a Mate From A-Z

A while back I was with a group of friends studying what the Bible says about being female. It was a lively discussion and at one point, we turned to Proverbs 31. I’ve always loved that passage, even when it made me feel completely inadequate, because it helped me to aim at a lofty goal. Until that day, however, I viewed the passage as a description of a woman who’s at least 60; someone well seasoned by life’s experiences with the maturity to show for it.

These verses still inspire me to strive for excellence, but now I see them differently. Though they’re about a married woman in the context of her family, they were written primarily for young men to remind them that women who make good wives are hidden. Like precious gems they’re hard to find. It takes looking. It takes work. It takes diligence.

For women, these verses are vital instruction for what should make them desirable for marriage. Did you know Proverbs 31 was written as an acrostic. Each verse starting with verse 10 (the “Wife of Noble Character” section) begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s a veritable checklist for marrying well; the “what to look for when you’re looking for a wife.”

In an effort to make it practical, I’ve written my own version. An English A-Z checklist.

If you’re a man, ask yourself, is this woman I’m dating:

A — Aware; of the big picture, of the world around her

B — a Believer

C — open to having Children

D — Dignified

E — Excellent in her pursuits

F — Full of Faith

G — Gracious

H — Honorable

I — Inventive

J — Just

K — Kind

L — Loving

M — Modest

N — Noble

O — Obedient to the authority in her life

P — Pure

Q — capable of being Quiet

R — Resourceful

S — Skilled, Stable

T — Trustworthy

U — Under Authority

V — Victorious

W — a Worshipper

X — an eXample to others

Y — Yearning for God

Z — full of Zoe “life of God”

If you’re wondering, like I did, if there’s a companion chapter to Proverbs 31 (for men), check out Job 29. I can thank my favorite professor from Graduate School, Dr. Hubert Morken, for framing it that way.

And now the companion list for guys an A-Z for being a godly man. If you’re a woman dating someone or considering it, ask yourself, Is he:

A — Accountable

B — a Believer

C — Courageous

D — Discerning

E — an Example for other, younger men

F — Faithful

G — Gentle, Generous

H — Husbandlike

I — an Initiator

J — Just

K — Kind

L — a Leader

M — Masculine

N — Noble

O — Obedient to God

P — able to Provide

Q — Quick-witted

R — Resourceful

S — a Sage

T — Trustworthy

U — Under Authority

V — Vigorous

W — a good Worker

X — eXcellent in his efforts

Y — Yearning for God

Z — Zealous for righteousness


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About the Author

Candice Watters

Candice Watters is the editor of, a weekly devotional blog helping believers fight the fight of faith by memorizing Scripture. She is the author of Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen. In 1998, she and her husband, Steve, founded Boundless.


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