Does your daughter know how to recognize a “good guy”?

Last week I shared my thoughts about that viral post “Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins without Tattoos“. One of the points I was making is that, ultimately, rules don’t tell you a thing about how someone will actually act in marriage. It all boils down to this: Do they really know Jesus? Do they really have good character?

I know a lot of people who could have ticked all the right boxes (was a virgin; went to church; went to a Christian college; didn’t swear) who were actually abusive, selfish, or lazy.

But character is a little bit harder to discern than simply whether or not someone follows the rules. So I asked on Facebook and Twitter for some advice on how you can tell whether or not someone has good character. And I thought I’d share ten of the responses today for Top 10 Tuesday!

How would you advise your teenage daughter to recognize a "good guy"? Not necessarily as a boyfriend, but as a friend? What should be the best signals?

Posted by To Love, Honor and Vacuum on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You can know a guy is a “good guy” if:

1. He’s your friend

Always become friends first. That’s what my two girls do and have had a few really nice gentlemen in their lives.

2. He treats his mom/sisters well

How does he treat his mom or sisters? Other friends? Does he show manners and courteous behavior? Does he get caught up in gossip or locker room talk? Is he known as responsible or trustworthy? Is he the kind of guy you’d be ok with dating your bff/sister?

I like the question about whether you’d be okay with him dating your BFF! So often we can see flaws in our friends’ guys that we would actually tolerate in our own guys. That’s so wrong!

3. He treats kids well

How does he treat kids, and how do they respond to him? Children can be very intuitive when judging character. Also gives her an idea of what he will be like as a father if she wants to have children.

4. He’s the same around adults as he is around you

Jacob Denhollander (Rachael Denhollander’s husband) contributed this one:

Ask: is he the same person around adults as he is around his peers? People who “switch on” good behavior not because they believe it, but in order to manipulate, are very dangerous.

5. He serves in church, he doesn’t just go to church

Beware of guys who go to church to please you. Look for one who is faithful and SERVES. Listen to the way he speaks about his parents and yours when they’re not around. If he doesn’t respect the boundaries his parents and your parents set, he won’t respect yours.

10 tips to help your daughter recognize a guy with genuinely good character: Click To Tweet

6. He respects your ‘No’.

Yep! In fact someone even suggested saying no a few times to things just to see what his reaction is.

Talk to your daughter about how to choose the right guy. Here are 10 signs to look out for!

7. He’s comfortable learning something from you

Look for the humble guy. The guy who doesn’t have to be right or prove to anyone who he is. The guy that is comfortable in his own skin. The guy that is willing to be taught something he doesn’t know.

8. He doesn’t try to get outside validation

His actions line up with his words…. Not looking for approval from social media, peers.

Exactly. Does he stand strong on his own, or is he flighty, trying to get others to admire him?

9. He can admit his faults

Can he admit his faults and mistakes? Does he have reasonable expectations of himself and others? Is he understanding of those who struggle with issues he doesn’t? (Physical disabilities, mental health issues, etc.) Is he a person who forgives even if it takes effort?

Knowing the Bible isn't enough. 10 Tips to help our daughters recognize whether a guy truly has good character: Click To Tweet

10. He doesn’t try to change you

I like this list–but I think #3 is so important!

Here are five (of many): 1. He keeps his word. 2. He tells the truth – always. 3. He respects how God has ‘wired’ you and doesn’t try to change you. 4. He is an attentive listener. 5. He respects your boundaries.

I’d likely add a few more:

He doesn’t just read his Bible, he can actually talk about Bible stories, wrestle through some theology questions, and he has a favourite Bible verse (that isn’t just John 3:16). In other words, this is a guy who has to actually interact with Scripture and with God!

I’d also say–he isn’t an addictive personality. If he has a beer, or plays video games, it’s all in moderation and it isn’t impeding on other parts of his life.

And–and this is a huge one–he believes in working hard and supporting himself and a future family. He doesn’t slack off. He helps around the house. He doesn’t act entitled.

I’ve got a longer post on how to tell if a guy is marriage material, too!

Call Out these Character Signs to Your Kids

I think if we can have these conversations with our girls on an ongoing basis as they grow, we can help our girls make wise choices. If you’re watching a movie and a guy genuinely apologizes, talk to your daughter about how neat it is that the guy could admit his faults, and how important that was. If a guy helps clear the table, point that out. But if a guy (or an adult man) monopolizes the conversation or gets upset if you seem to know more than he does, show her that that’s a red flag.

Show your daughters whenever you see a red flag, so that she gets used to picking up on them, too. And then call out green flags whenever you see them. Let’s train our girls (and our boys, actually!) to recognize good character, so that they don’t end up choosing someone who ticks the right boxes, but who is actually quite horrible.

What do you think? Have any other red flags? Or some green flags? Let’s talk in the comments about how to raise our kids to recognize good people!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - 10 Tips to Help Your Daughter Recognize a "Good Guy" from a "Bad Guy" Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 26 years and happily married for 21! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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