As biblical marriages become more and more radical and offensive in the eyes of the world, walking faithfully in them as Christians will be more and more challenging. We considered this in my “Principles of Marriage” sermon from 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 this past Lord’s Day.
Satan’s lures are all the more deceptive, the cravings of our flesh all the more bold, the twists and turns of the world all the more confusing, and if we’re not watchful, convincing. The same can be said of being godly men and women, generally speaking. Over the next several weeks, I’m devoting a short series of devotions to what God teaches us we should look like, what’s to be true of the biblical family, what’s to be true of our children and youth as they live and learn the ways of the Lord, for they have duties too.
How do you know what it means, what it looks like to be a godly man today? This isn’t just a question for men. Undoubtedly it is for men, as we need to grasp and apply things that must be true of us. This is also a good question for women to ponder as ladies need to know what should be present, and what to look for in a godly man. This is also helpful for boys and young men as they seek to know and grow in what should be true of them. We all know there are a lot of voices that are more than happy to guide you and point you in their direction to answer this question. Who do you listen to? Who do you follow? Remember that just because one may have a cool title, or popular podcast, doesn’t mean they are full of the wisdom and truth you are looking for. We must test all things according to Scripture.
Here are six important characteristics of a godly man. Such a man is one who:
• Loves and Fears God – A foundational characteristic is that a godly man does what many other men would say is weak and wimpy. He loves the One whose image he bears because He first loved him (1 John 4:19). Though imperfectly this side of glory, he strives to love God with all of his heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Contrary to the world, a godly man lives with the fear of God before his eyes (Proverbs 1:8), not the fear of man, and hates evil (Proverbs 8:13).
• Seeks to Keep God’s Commandments – Therefore, because of his love and to show his love of Christ, his Lord, a godly man loves His Word and seeks to be faithful in keeping His commandments (John 14:15). He loves all of God’s ways (Psalm 119:128). Whereas there are plenty of men who despise God’s law, ignore it, dismiss it, or otherwise intentionally rebel against it, a godly man has a hearty desire to do God’s will, coupled with a greater fear of displeasing Him than of displeasing the world or his rebellious friends (Romans 7:22).
• Has Strength – I’m not referring to a buff, muscular man, although being physically strong is fine and good. But a godly man shows strength in being a man of action. He doesn’t sit passively when action is needed. A godly man takes initiative. He is a man of courage and strength in the face of adversity, criticism, and attacks. A godly man speaks up against sin and defends what is righteous and good. He is a man of prayer (2 Samuel 10:7-12, Proverbs 31:8-9, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Corinthians 15:58, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Philippians 4:6).
• Possesses Humility – A godly man has a characteristic that many may consider strange for “man’s man”. Nonetheless, a manly man is a humble man, who denies himself. He thinks less of himself and more of the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). He seeks to serve others like Christ did (Matthew 20:28), and walk humbly with his God (Micah 6:8).
• Has Honor, Integrity, and Purity of Heart – Though it be true that many men do things that are shameful, dishonest, and immoral, and brag about it, this must be far from true for the godly man. He seeks to practice in his own life, and promote to others what is right when no one else is watching. He seeks to do what is just and pure in the eyes and ways of God (Philippians 4:8-9).
• Bears the Fruit of the Spirit – A godly man shows himself to be different from the world in his display of fruit like patience, love, mercy, and kindness among the others (Galatians 5:16-26, 2 Samuel 16:10).
Though this isn’t an exhaustive list and is a lot to chew on, Beloved, may we all be committed to studying, growing in knowledge, and living according to God’s Word as we consider biblical manhood. Doing so is pleasing to the Lord, helps us stay in line with what is true, and helps better defend the truth as we speak with those who believe otherwise. Men, let’s pray together that God would grow us in these areas and others. I look forward to further discussion about this subject at our upcoming Men’s Breakfast.