Michelle McKinney Hammond, a writer, singer, and speaker who focuses on improving love?driven relationships, is the founder and president of HeartWing Ministries as well as the cohost of the Emmy?nominated show Aspiring Women. Michelle is the author of The DIVA Principle?, 101 Ways to Get and Keep His Attention, Sassy, Single, & Satisfied, Secrets of an Irresistible Woman, What to Do Until Love Finds You, Get a Love Life, and The Power of Being a Woman.

Michelle, Proverbs 31 talks about a virtuous woman, but your book title indicates there is a responsibility for men. Tell us about that.

I was always curious about this man; we’re told his peers admire him, his wife adores him and he’s considered to have great integrity and character. His spouse was wife, woman, mother, entrepreneur — a superwoman in a sense — it made me more appreciative of this husband. So I was curious: Who is this man who celebrates all his wife does?

You say a man must have an intimate knowledge of God, yet I’m guessing that isn’t the first quality women seek. Why do you think that is?

We’re all human beings first — we’re looking for nice looks, the chemistry, well dressed — but all of that wears off. The comment I hear most often is that husbands are not spiritual enough. So isn’t it interesting that it may not be the first thing that attracts you, but it’s the most important thing that concerns you once you’ve made a commitment.

What about a dating situation?

It comes into play there too. Once you’ve entered into a courtship, and you begin sharing deeper details, the spiritual differences become obvious. We need to be careful. Women (and men too) expect members of the opposite sex to act like us.

A man is different conversationally and emotionally. He is not going to express his spirituality the same way a woman does, it’s more personal for a man. Women tend to be more vocal and demonstrative about their faith. Women need to be sensitive to that.

Still, women need to know the spiritual temperature of the man in her life because it will color the relationship, whether they’re in courtship or marriage.

You say a Proverbs 31 man is better able to meet a woman’s needs when prayer is in the equation.

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Women, historically, are attracted to spiritual men because of the perception that they are able to better connect with God. Those men cover women spiritually. If he is the leader of the home and of the relationship, it behooves him to be in conversation with God, to hear God’s instructions for the relationship and for the welfare of this woman. A woman feels much more secure when she has a man who hears from God.

What would you say to a woman whose man is less spiritually mature then her? How would she develop a prayer life?

Leave a place for that man to rise to. Sometimes in our zeal to be a spiritual example, we’re heavy handed. Sometimes we need to tone down a bit until he is ready to rise to the occasion.

Saying, “Honey, I would really like to have prayer time together. It makes me feel so good to know you’re praying for me and with me”, begins to build up that man’s spirit and makes him approach the office of prayer more seriously.

What does servanthood look like to you?

Servanthood is being more concerned for another’s needs than your own. Jesus was the ultimate servant, he washed feet, he fed people — and yet he was king. I think you cannot be a leader unless you are a servant; you need to be touched with the needs of the people you’re leading. You can’t have that experience if you’re looking down at them.

Servanthood is a heart condition that makes you approachable, that causes people to trust you, to feel they can tell you the truth and feel they have your support. I think this often gets lost as we try to translate what the bible says about submission in marriage.

Copyright © 2005 Marriagetrac.

Check out Michelle’s book, In Search of the Proberbs31 Man