Christian single women look for many attributes in a husband–from similarities in faith beliefs to good looks. In my estimation, the most important attribute a woman can look for–right after whether the man loves Jesus–is whether the man cherishes her.

2 Samuel 12 tells the story of how Nathan confronted King David after King David killed a man named Uriah so he could marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. Nathan uses this story to describe for King David how Uriah loved Bathsheba:

“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

Uriah cherished Bathsheba. Though he had food, and drink, and children, “he had nothing except her.” She was his world. She lit up his life like a baby girl does her father’s.

In contrast, for King David, Bathsheba was just one of many in the herd. He had a lot of flocks and herds. He had a lot of everything, really. And she was added to his collection. He wanted her–for his own pleasure and satisfaction. But he did not want her like Uriah wanted her. King David’s want was based on him (and his lust); Uriah’s want was based on her (he cherished her for who she was).

My prayer for all the single Christian women in my life is that they marry Jesus-loving men who truly cherish them.