"How would you describe the man you want to marry? What would he be like as a husband, father, and provider?
If you've had numerous godly male role models in your life — your father, pastor, boss, family friend, uncle, small group leader — you may already have a mental picture based on the qualities you appreciate in these men. You may see some of the husbands and fathers in your church and think to yourself that you'd like to marry a man just like them. Those are great aspirations to have! But first you may need to talk to their wives."
~Carolyn McCulley, via Boundless, 2006.
Carolyn has a great blog of her own, Radical Womanhood (which you can find in my sidebar), but in this guest post for Boundless, she points out the fact that the Godly older men in our lives have years of learning and practice behind them, which could make younger guys appear immature in our eyes. This applies to women of course too, but her focus in the article is on single women choosing a husband based on his Godly character, and having the vision to see where God will take him.
"Like trees in springtime with an impressionistic haze of buds, the potential for growth is strongly evident but it's not yet fully realized.
So here's what I want to impart to you: There is a learning curve to a man's leadership as a husband and father. The qualities you can see in a 50-year-old man's life were developed over 50 years. There are 25 more years of growth ahead for the 25-year-old man before it's fair to compare them. While you are called to be discerning about the characters of the men you befriend or court/date, you also have a part in encouraging these men to grow. In fact, that's part of your learning curve as you prepare for being a wife."