What is a Godly Man?

What makes a Man godly?

I believe that there is a God and therefore believe that I am accountable to Him. I believe that one day I must answer to Him for my life, both my actions as well as my thoughts. With this accountability I would like to draw a more specific definition of what a man is. This definition is qualified by the descriptive term godly. Meaning that the striving aim of the man is to pursue obedience to God.

Godly Man – A man who consistently grapples with sin in the presence of a holy God and repents daily.

I am not sure what if this is the definition I would go with but it is part of an ongoing internal discussion that I thought I would include you on. Take a moment and unpack it with me and then leave me your thoughts in the comments.

Lets take a closer look.

Consistently – This word is significant because of the ongoing struggle. Being a godly man is not something that is achieved in a week but over a lifetime. Nor is it something that is abandoned once achieved. If a man were considered a godly man he never has the privilege to sit back, put his feet up, and retire from that pursuit because it is attained. On the contrary, it a pursuit that will not end this side of physical death. A godly man must consistently work, aim, and strive toward the prize. This must be consistent. It is endurance that makes it to the finish line. The race may be long and difficult but the prize is worth some much more. The godly man knows this and consistently acts accordingly.


Get ready for a rumble.

Grapples – Again this word is significant because it is not a path among fields of wild flowers. Being a godly man is not something that is so easy as a first round knockout. Think of it not as a boxing match but more as a wrestling match. When you grapple you may have times where you are doing well and times where you are getting beaten down, but in a moment it can change. A reversal is just a few steps away – in either direction. With a simple choice a man can choose to make things right or he can begin a path that will ultimately be his destruction. Grappling reminds me of understanding your weak points and strong points. In wrestling we would call this positioning. For a godly man this is discernment, the ability to differentiate between good and excellent. This proves to be much harder than the difference between right and wrong. To grapple with his sin, a godly man understands that there are days that he will feel defeated and days where he will fall victorious just to fall again. As he continues to grapple, he will grow in skill and strength, becoming more resolved to not be beaten and to dissolve all attempts to reverse his victories.

With Sin – Here it is important to remember who the opponent of a godly man is. Himself. The sin in our lives is what he consistently grapples with. Perfection this side of heaven is impossible but obedience is to pursue it with all that we have. The constant effort to pursue the things of God and deny the things that indulge our own selfishness. A godly man understands that he is a new creation in Jesus Christ and pursues it doing everything he can to put off the old man and put on the new man. To consistently grapple with your sin is to not allow it to triumph. Having a correct understanding of sin is paramount here. Without it a man is not able to discern the things that must be wrestled to obedience in full submission to God.

Holy God – God here is the God of the covenant with Israel, the Creator of all things, the One who will judge all things and has the right to do so. The fact that God is a witness to all of this in the life of a godly man provides his understanding of his responsibility to his accountability. The fact that He is holy, provides the reason for consistent grappling. In the Old Testament Moses writes the book of Leviticus as a big parenthesis to the story to provide for us the demands of an unholy people when a holy God dwells among them. The demand that is placed on Israel because of God’s holiness is incredible. His holiness is the reason we grapple. The aim is to obey his command, “be holy for I am holy.”

In The Presence – Being in the presence of a holy God is what keeps the reminder of whom you are accountable to. The truth of being responsible for understanding your accountability is prevalent here.  Accountability is important because you will have to answer for what you do, what you say and what you think. When you are understand that you are going to be held accountable then you take responsibility more seriously.

Repentance – The harsh truth of our lives is that the standard God sets forth is one that we can never measure up to no matter how hard we try. This is why Jesus Christ had to come and die. We could never attain salvation on our own. Repentance is confession of sin. This is another reason that understanding sin is important, we need to be able to confess it. The confession part of this whole thing is important because for the godly man the consistent grappling with sin and admission of it to God reminds him of where his identity truly lies. The confession of sin is to say the same thing as God about sin. The godly man says the same thing about his sin as the one to whom he is accountable for it.


Write it in your schedule if you have to.

Daily – Just as the consistency plays a big part in the grappling the daily repentance needs to be on an ongoing basis. The daily repentance of sin, for the godly man, helps with two main things. First, it maintains the importance of the relationship between the man and his God. The relationship is one of intimacy and needs to be sought daily.  Second, the daily repentance of sin keeps proper perspective. The perspective that God is in heaven and we are on earth helps keep the proper placement for accountability. This means that when the godly man does not understand the things that God does, he understands that he is accountable to God not the other way around.

Read it again, slowly this time. As you read think through all that we just mentioned.

Godly Man – A man who consistently grapples with sin in the presence of a holy God and repents daily.

Next Steps

  • What sin do you need to begin or continue to grapple with that you can not allow to have a foothold in your life?
  • When was the last time that you repented of your sin?
  • Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Is He your hope and salvation?

2-Fold Disclaimer

  • I want to be a godly man, however at this point I am not sure that I meet my own definition of what that looks like. I am quick to lose energy and lay beaten allowing my selfish desires to run rampant. I lack the discipline of daily getting on my knees to repent of my sin to pursue the closest relationship with my God. I understand that these things are my own choices and while I would love to push them aside with some grand excuse, I am unable to do so.
  • I also understand that many people who read this may disagree with my definition and may have their own or would like to add something to the one above. If this be the case I would love for you to leave a comment. I love the discussion it breeds. I only ask that you keep the conversation beneficial. Thank you.

10 thoughts on “What is a Godly Man?

  1. For once, a definition of a man that is not dependent on what women feel. Man…i wish we had more of these. Men defined by God, not men defined by women.

  2. Can I just say what a comfort to find a person that genuinely knows what they are discussing on the web.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    A lot more people need to read this and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised you aren’t more popular since you surely have the gift.

    • Thanks for your encouragement. I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I will be honest I am a bit inconsistent in writing and I have been doing some things lately that trumped writing for this site. If I can help you please let me know. Thanks

  3. Just stumbled upon your blog and found it very encouraging. Just what I needed at this time in my life. I pray that I will have the courage to make the changes to draw me closer to Christ and become the man, father, and husband I need to be.

  4. Tim,

    Great article. Very though-provoking and informative. These two lines sum it up for me and my experiences: “To grapple with his sin, a godly man understands that there are days that he will feel defeated and days where he will fall victorious just to fall again. As he continues to grapple, he will grow in skill and strength, becoming more resolved to not be beaten and to dissolve all attempts to reverse his victories.”

    As godly men, we need to remember that we learn more in the defeated, fallen days than we do in the victorious days. We learn more about God, ourselves, and each other. That’s where a true godly man is made — in the failure. We make the choice to either push forward or stay stagnant.

    Also, in terms of sin, I think the opponent isn’t just the godly man himself. I’d also say our other opponent is the Evil One, Satan. He is constantly using our own thoughts and emotions against us to do his bidding. When that happens to me or I sense it, I quickly pray to Jesus Christ, repent, and tell Satan to leave me. I’m not perfect at this, but I try to do it when I remember.

    I really enjoy your content! Thanks!

    God Bless,


    • Thanks for your comments. There are all kinds of things that can keep us from pursuing godliness and we need to pray for each of those areas that can take us out of that pursuit.

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