Chad Everhart serves as one of nine regional campus missionaries for the Kentucky Baptist Convention as well as Campus Minister to the University of the Cumberlands. After ten years serving as a professor and department chair of architecture and construction management at Appalachian State University, Chad answered God’s call to a mission field and people group for which his previous vocation prepared him: college students. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a dissertation focus on professors as key disciple makers. Besides being a major school nerd, Chad loves to hike, surf, hunt, fish, and farm. He and his wife, April, have been married for 12 years and have four young children.
Lately, I have been convicted by the Lord about making too many assumptions on how to serve college students best. As a campus minister, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on their needs; however, I have been humbled by the errors of many of my presuppositions. In response, I have been diligent to survey students and find out what they really want and need before engaging in certain ministry activities. The result has been much more fruitful ministry and greater participation.
As men, we can do the same thing when concerning relationships with women. It is easy to assume we know what women need and want from us as a spouse. Rather than making assumptions based on previous experiences and influences such as entertainment, social media, and other male figures, should we not ask women instead?
Based on a survey conducted of numerous college-aged Christian women, the following are the top 10 attributes they desire in a potential future spouse:
- Leads the Wife Closer to Christ – The number 1, most mentioned attribute desired by the young women surveyed was to be led closer to Christ by their husband. More than anything, they hope that the man of their dreams will help them have a stronger relationship with Jesus.
- God is the Center of His Life – A close second, college-aged women desire a future spouse that will love God more than them. This may seem surprising, but a devoted female follower of Jesus understands that God is first in their own life and should be in their spouse’s as well.
- Must be a Servant of the Church – When considering how numerous the female volunteers for church and campus ministry activities are in comparison to the minimal amount of male volunteers, it is no surprise that young women want a man that will serve with them and set the standard for service.
- Leads their Family Well – Contrary to the prominent cultural narrative that women desire to lead their families, numerous college-aged women hope for a husband that will lead them and their children with courage, excellence, and devotion. Male passivity is not a longing they possess.
- Fully Committed and Hardworking – Women don’t want a lethargic and apathetic husband. Not only should they be fully committed to the marriage covenant, but they should work hard and with excellence to provide.
- Genuinely Joyful – While the five previous attributes appear quite serious, college-aged women hope to find a spouse that is joyful and lighthearted because they are secure in their identity in Christ. Jokes and fun are welcome.
- Must Love Children – While children are probably the farthest idea from the minds of college-aged men, they are not for Christian young adult women. Even if children are not an immediate desire of the future husband, the ability to love and spend time with children is essential. Guys, it’s time to volunteer for Children’s Church and nursery!
- Visibly Worshipful – An outward expression of worship may be another surprising essential for a future male spouse. Stoically sitting in a church service demonstrates a lack of passion for Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Supports the Wife’s Ministry Calling – For a healthy marriage, men will need to not only acknowledge the numerous ministry areas associated with biblical womanhood but view their spouse as a co-laborer in Gospel ministry.
- Good Communicator – For two to become one flesh, clear communication is crucial. Women are highly relational in comparison to men and desire to talk through issues; therefore, young adult men need to refine their communication skills.
Gentlemen: college-aged Christian women have spoken about their needs and desires for a spouse. Will you respond accordingly?