[From Noel] Gentlemen, I have good news. I have learned that there is something that women find irresistible that you can begin acquiring immediately. No it’s not rock hard abs or a buff physique, though that never hurts. Everyone has a washboard stomach after all, it’s just that most of us have a couple loads of laundry on ours.
Women find character very attractive. It’s not that women don’t find a healthy body attractive, and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to be healthy, but in the words of a woman I know very well, “Character wins. Every time”
What is character? In his book, Integrity, Henry Cloud defines character as “the ability to meet the demands of reality.” (p. 24) Cloud says that character has something to do with ethical behaviour but it’s more than that. When you take everything away from a man, he will still have his character. Character is what determines whether a man will be successful as a husband, as a father, and as a provider. Where character becomes important in marriage is where your word (what you say) and your moral beliefs intersect with your day-to-day behaviour. The question is, do they intersect? Do they have anything to do with each other?
(You know you wanted matching sweaters when you were married but just couldn’t pull it off!) When Julie and I were first married I wanted to be a protector, and provider and a person Julie felt safe around but my behaviour around her was not consistent with my words. Our very first fight was on our honeymoon. We had rented a houseboat for a week on Balsam Lake (I’ll have to write about that some other time). We had trouble docking in Fenelon Falls. The wind picked up and turned the boat around backwards in the lock. I was furious. Julie was already not feeling very confident about this adventure and when I blew up she was startled, scared, upset and angry. Julie was crying and I was in a rage. She told me to get out and I was speechless. I was already kicked out and the honeymoon wasn’t over yet!
We both learned a couple of really important things that day. Julie had never, ever seen either her mom or dad lose their temper like that. I on the other hand … well without throwing my mom under the bus, let’s just say I was familiar with expressions of passionate verbal outrage. I had failed big time here and at first I couldn’t see why. I was served my first dish of reality and I choked on it. I was not behaving as a man with character. The other thing we learned is that making up after a fight is WAY more fun after we were married.
Character is a vital component of a man being a husband in a marriage. That is not to say that women do not have character, or that women don’t need character. Everyone does. What I am trying to say is that Godly men lead their families with character.
In the first episode of the Peasant Princess series Mark Driscoll challenges the men to ask their wives, “What about my character do I need to change. Ask, don’t argue about it. Receive it, and change.” I would strongly recommend any man to ask their spouse this question. Your stock with her can’t help but improve and you are likely to be a more Christ-like spouse as a result.
It would take months for most of us to have a buff bod, but you can start improving your character today.