We long for a spouse who answers the needs and cry of our soul. We’ve talked about finding someone who fills the spaces in your heart and soul and personality; a person who is your match and one who makes you feel alive, with whom you have chemistry and feel the passion of life. All of that is essential to a good marriage But there is more that is needed. A great spouse is someone who is of good character. Character is the sum of moral and personal qualities that make each of us who we are.
This time I’m just going to talk about character in men. In a man character used to be understood as being a gentleman. My father was the greatest man I have ever known because he was a true gentleman. He treated everyone with kindness, patience, and respect. He could make even the poorest or lowest of people feel valued. He was always met you with a two handed handshake, with a smile and kind word. I am still amazed at him seventeen years after his passing. In the area of New Jersey where I grew up he is still mentioned today as the kindest man anyone ever knew. When my brother or I put up a picture of him on Facebook the compliments start coming in about what a true and great and kind man he was. He was also a good businessman; a gentleman is not a pushover. My brother and I were given a great treasure – we were taught how to behave to the highest and lowest.
Someone said that a good fitting suit on a man is like lingerie to a woman. But in that suit there needs to be a real man. One who is kind, thoughtful, loving, tenderhearted, generous, patient, forgiving, loyal, and who has the heart of a servant to his wife and children. He is a man of manners to everyone, but especially to a woman. He needs to be a hard worker and good provider, a self-starter and not a procrastinator. He needs to be brave and courageous against all the world can throw at him, and against all the setbacks and challenges of life. He need not be handsome or athletic, but he needs to be a true and noble man. Lazy, careless, selfish, self centered, whining, thoughtless, angry, cruel, cold hearted, or cowardice are not the qualities found in a true man of character. A gentleman may fail at times, but he will always get back up again. The successful man is the one who gets up one more time.
A gentleman will make you feel like his treasure. He knows how to adjust to his wife’s tastes and likes. He can treat her as she wants to be treated on any given day. Today it’s a walk in the rain, or exercise, or anything less than dressing up. But he can rock the suit and treat her like a lady. And he is a passionate lover who is loyal and trustworthy, as someone said, “A gentleman knows how to ruin your lipstick, not your mascara.”
If a woman wants to be happy for life and not just for a moment, then settle for nothing less than a man of character. If you are a man and you come up short, then be courageous and work on your shortcomings. You’ve probably heard it said that character is measured by what a person does where there is no one there to see, or when there is no reward for their actions. So know this, a true gentleman will always win in life, even if he is poor, because he knows that winning is not about money, position, or power. Winning is having a true and heroic heart, even if no one knows but him.
There so much more to say about being a gentleman. Here are a few websites that are very helpful.