Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Top 3 Traits Your Daughter Needs to Look for in a Date




I’m always looking for opportunities to bring up dating when talking with my kids. You never know when the next guy she goes out with becomes the one she spends her life with. (Look at me – I started crushing on my husband in 6th grade!)

Recently, I asked Madi:

What do you think is the most important character quality to look for in a guy?

Madi’s choices included: loyalty and faithfulness. I have to agree.

Faithfulness is one of many qualities Madi and I discovered when we were studying  the life of Joseph, Mary’s husband in the Matthew 1. I find 3 more traits our girls should look for in a date. Joseph was:

1. Humble

Finding out his  fiancé was pregnant, a proud man would make a spectacle of her. Humiliation would have been used to protect himself. Not Joseph. Matthew 1:19 in the NLT says,     “Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” 

Quietly. Humility finds no reason to draw attention to himself.


2. Merciful

Mary’s pregnancy would have been humiliating for Joseph. Even if he had the chance to tell his story, there would be those who wouldn’t hear the truth nor believe if they did. So many who would have judged him. Even in his plan to quietly divorce her, Joseph prepared to show mercy. The law gave him the permission he needed to be cruel, but was choosing compassion.


3. Obedient

When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph was immediately obedient to God. Verse 24 tells us, “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him…” No hesitation. No excuses or justification.

Pure obedience.


These are just a few of the traits demonstrated in the life of Joseph. Find a few quiet moments, in the car, before bed, while making dinner and start your own conversation about the godly man named Joseph. Let your girl find the traits she sees first; you can fill in the blanks later.

Let’s teach our girls what a real man looks like. Humble, merciful and obedient.

You can also use this video to keep the conversation on dating going: what Christian guys are looking for in a girl. You’ll find the free discussion guide on my freebies page.





  1. I love how you chose Joseph to illustrate these qualities that our girls SHOULD be looking for! Working in youth ministry as well as having a young girl and boy of my own I value the importance of teaching our children qualities not seen often in our self-centered and independence centered culture. Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective of the young couple who would become our Saviors earthly parents! What better example for our girls!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thanks Melissa! I love how God weaves His story – the Christmas story – into all facets of our lives!

  2. Dear lynn, I love the lesson you shared about Joseph above. I so wish I had these foundational truths laid down in my growing up. I am going to print this out and go through it with my 13 year old daughter…she is being drowned at middle school with the worldly ways but I praise the lord she has a hearts desire to follow Christ. Yhis will be a great coversation piece for her and I to share together. Thank you so much. I hope I can figure out how to receive your updates/new posts. Hugs!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much Annmarie! I am glad you’re finding this post helpful! I’ll go ahead and sign you up to receive my posts!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this perspective! I have been crazy about my husband since the 6th grade as well! However, I have not emphasized godly traits to look for in a guy nearly as much as I should have with my tween girls. I so appreciate you helping me find a way to bring up this conversation from a biblical point of view!

  4. Your words of Godly wisdom touched my heart. Thank you for a fresh perspective on a familiar scripture. God bless you as you go about your day!

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