Stories from the news: What men value in wives and daughters

I found this very interesting article the other day: “The Wall Street Journal: How men value independences in wives and daughters” (April 23, 2015) very interesting: 

Data from Hart Research Associates polling on men and their attitudes toward daughters and wives or female partners. 
Eighty-five percent of men say they are clear in their role in society today, but 45% say it is harder to be a man today compared to their father’s generation, while just 20% say it is easier to be a man today (35% say it is no easier or harder).  
For those who say it is harder to be a man, a number of the most common reasons stem from changes in relationships with women, including that women are in a stronger position in the workplace and financially; men are taking on a greater share of household responsibilities; and more demands are being placed on men. 
63% percent of men say they are very comfortable living with or being married to a woman who works outside the home, and 51% are very comfortable with a female partner earning more money than they do. And while a majority are very comfortable with their female partner working outside the home, just 24% of men said they would be very comfortable being a stay-at-home dad and not working outside the home.

Times are certainly changing, some would say for the better, others for the worse. With more women in the workplace, the role of men as sole provider has changed dramatically in the last 50 years and to some extend have removed some of the pressures men were carrying — they can now share the financial load with their wives and if one looses their job, they still have money coming in and don't need to rely so heavily on welfare. However, the one battle that still continues across many homes, is how to share the household chores, at present more women do these activities than men and this continues to cause many an argument. 

In the next part of the survey, men were asked to list their two or three qualities they deem most important for their wives and for their daughter (when she grows up) — it is interesting that modern fathers are keen to raise intelligent, strong and independent daughters with very few seeing their daughters as full-time homemakers. This is a considerable shift from the past.  And whilst some men (45%) are still coming to terms with the changing role of women in the workplace — they themselves are active in creating the these modern women in their own daughters. 

  • Intelligence topped the list for a wife or female partner at 72% and for a daughter  at 81%.
  • 45% of men consider being attractive one of the most important qualities for their wife or female partner, just 11% said so for their daughter.
  • 34% specified being sweet as a key quality for a female partner, but just 19% said the same for a daughter. 
  • 48% liked the idea of a strong daughter, but only 28% wanted a strong wife.
  • 66% wanted an independent daughter, compared to 34% wanting a wife that was independent. 
  • 5% saw homemaking as a top quality for their daughter compared to 14% for their wife. 

Whilst these men want strong independent daughters, they are not quite as keen of these qualities in their wives — this is certainly an interesting point.  However,  what is far more important is the question — "what does God want in a woman — what qualities are important to Him?". This is far more essential than what a man wants in a woman or what  modern women want to be like:

  1. Love the Lord completely (Mark 12:30)
  2. Intimate with God (Matthew 4:4)
  3. Followers of God (Ephesians 5)
  4. Relentless in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  5. Trusts the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  6. Guided by God (Isaiah 5:11)
  7. Gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4)
  8. Inner beauty (1 Peter 3:4)
  9. Modest and discreet (1 Timothy 2:9)
  10.  Undertake good works (1 Timothy 2:10)
  11. Gracious (Proverbs 11:16)
  12. Virtuous (Proverbs 31:10)
  13. Patient and kind (2 Timothy 2:24)
  14. Humble (Philippians 2:3-5)
  15. Generous (2 Corinthians 9:11)
  16. Hospitable (Hebrews 13:2)
  17. Content (1 Timothy 6:8)
  18. Grateful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  19. Orderly (1 Corinthians 14:40)
  20. Cheerful and of good humour (Proverbs 17:22)
  21. Joyful even during tribulations (James 1:2 Romans 12:12)
  22. Forgives easily (Colossians 3:13)
  23. Take care of one's home and family (Proverbs 31:11-16)
  24. Helps those in need (Proverbs 31:20)
  25. Loves thy neighbour (Mark 12:31)
  26. Serve the Lord in all things (Colossians 3:23)
  27. Strong and courageous, not afraid and not discouraged (Joshua 1:9)
  28. Obedient to one's husband (Titus 2:4)
  29. Help-mate (Genesis (2:18)
  30. Impart wise advice (Proverbs 31:26)
  31. Confess one's faults (Psalm 38:18)
  32. Hardworking and not idle (Ecclesiastes 9:10, Proverbs 31:27)
  33. Industrious (Proverbs 31:13, 16, 24, 27)
  34. Minds her own business (no gossiping) (Titus 2-3, 1 Timothy 5:13-14)
  35. Money wise (Proverbs 31)
  36. As an older woman teaches younger women to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:3-4)

God isn't asking women to be independent or even ambitious as it usually takes them away from Him, He wants us to lean on him, to find our strength through Him and use our intelligence wisely to help others and grow in Christ.  He doesn't want self-centred women who are ambitious for their own purposes, those who are only interested in self, he wants a graceful servant  who is gentle, kind, caring, loving,  full of inner beauty — guided completely by God in all things.


  1. Jo,
    I love this list! Sometimes it's hard to remember in the hustle and flow of the World, that the Lord has a different criteria for what's important, and this is a great reminder. Thank you... :-)


    1. He certain does and its important to check up on His criteria regularly so we don't forget, Satan is good at making us forget :)

  2. I think when asked about qualities for a wife, men may respond selfishly with what the man wants. But when asked about what they want to see in a daughter, they e respond with qualities that are in her best interest - not qualities that make her attractive to the male gaze. I find that hopeful if sad for their wives.

    1. I hadn't thought of it this way but you are so right - they love having strong independent daughters who are smart but in his wife - not so keen :) No husband really wants a strong wife :(

  3. Enjoyed reading this. Everyone should live by this list as we should The Ten Commandments.

  4. Thank you for sharing this edifying post.

    Your final paragraph was perfect!

    "God isn't asking women to be independent or even ambitious as it usually takes them away from Him, He wants us to lean on him, to find our strength through Him and use our intelligence wisely to help others and grow in Christ. He doesn't want self-centred women who are ambitious for their own purposes, those who are only interested in self, he wants a graceful servant who is gentle, kind, caring, loving, full of inner beauty — guided completely by God in all things."

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thankyou Karen - very different to what men and "man" want.

  5. It's interesting to read what men (think) they want in a wife or daughter. I don't think they are very "future" minded, either. It's all very well wanting their daughters to be independent, but if that's not something they want in their own wife, what about future generations - fathers creating strong women that those women's future husbands then have to deal with! I also find it odd that those fathers don't want their daughters being sweet... How strange! If you created a picture of the type of daughter those fathers want, it is all a bit strange. They want: intelligent, not necessarily attractive, strong, independent daughters who don't need to be sweet or a homemaker. Ugh!
    The Scripture list of what GOD wants a woman to be like paints a very beautiful picture of a woman. MUCH better to stick with that!!!

    1. I also found it really interesting about the differences they wanted in wives compared to their daughters - I wonder if they realised the mix messages they were creating.


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