Defining what it means to be a godly man

IMGP6938I recently received a friendly challenge through a facebook posting which said;

  • “A man will never be what he cannot define.” (quote by Robert Lewis, author of “The Quest for Authentic Manhood”)
  • How would you define the man you want to become?

I would like to be a godly man (an imitator of God — Ephesians 5:1) so I thought about scriptures which discuss key attributes of Christians (regardless of gender) and some that more specifically relate to men.  I don’t claim an exhaustive or perfect list, but here were some of the verses (NASB) that came to my own mind as I pondered the challenge:

1) I would choose to seek God and His direction (thru His Word) in order to guide my daily life:

  • Jeremiah 17:5-8 – “Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord. “For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”
  • Psalm 1:1-3 – “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
  • Psalm 119:1-2“How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.”
  • Psalm 119:104-105 – From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

2) I’d make it a priority to pursue purity and sanctification in my life:

  • James 1:19-25 – This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
  • 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Hebrews 12:14 – Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

3) I’d spend my days learning to more fully cherish and invest myself in my wife as life partner:

  • Genesis 2:23-24 – The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
  • Proverbs 31:10-11 – An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
  • Ephesians 5:33 – Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

4) I’d acknowledge and take comfort in that I was made with design and purpose.  I was built to act, engage and seek responsibility while exercising self-control:

  • Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
  • detailing the ironwork leaf1 Cor 9:24-27 – Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
  • Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

5) I’d recognize the benefits of spending time with fellow Christian men – for learning and accountability:

  • Homecoming_Marine1-931x1024Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
  • Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
  • Philippians 2:3-8 – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 – and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
  • James 5:12 – But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. (dealing with accountability and integrity)

6) I realize that I have been charged to make my faith into a multi-generational legacy (chiefly by instructing my sons (and daughters if I had daughters)):

  • Deuteronomy 4:9 – Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
  • NLI pic 9Deuteronomy 6:1-2 – Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
  • Deuteronomy 6:5-9 – You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  • Proverbs 17:6 – Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers.
  • Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • 2 Timothy 2:2 – The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

7) Additionally, there are (roughly) twenty specific attributes of being a well rounded man as delivered by Paul in letters to Timothy and Titus ( or or check out the book “The Measure of a Man” by Gene Getz)

Again, this is hardly a comprehensive list, but where I chose to start.

For discussion:

  1. Do you agree with the quote from Robert Lewis (“A man will never be what he cannot define.”)?  Why or Why not?
  2. How would you define “being a man”?
  3. Do you think the world (society in general) defines being a man differently than the Bible?  If so, how?
  4. Would you suggest additional verses or categories to the article above?

Do my best


2 thoughts on “Defining what it means to be a godly man

  1. Pingback: Commonplace Holiness Blog

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