By Lia Martin, Crosswalk.com
Truly, it’s hard to discern if a person is safe to entrust with your love and devotion.
We serve a God who created us with the propensity to sin, but also the freedom to choose. As Christians, we know we can love God wholeheartedly, but how do we know if a man is a partner who complements or encourages our heart’s desire?
Some of us may not have given our choices a second (or even first) thought, when we followed, dated, or even married a certain man. Yet, no matter what mistakes you feel you’ve made, let me assure you: looking for God in a man will always be an impossible task.
However, looking for a man that chooses to live a godly life—or love in ways that reflect God’s promises—is a worthwhile quest. As someone who’s been through dating, separation, and marriage, I’ve felt the longing acutely for someone to trust. I’ve also been guilty of placing my trust in a man instead of God.
1. A Godly Man Is Honest
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices. Col. 3:9
Jesus doesn’t mince words about whether his commands and promises are bendable half-truths. He is truth. We look to truth to redirect and sustain us.
That’s why honesty is an absolute. A godly man is not afraid to speak the truth in love. He doesn’t delight in deception. If he is battling or struggling, he will bring it to the table.
This article spotlights the importance of honesty in marriage, stating that if trust is broken, “love and life together comes crashing down.” Yet on the upside, it explains that “when we strengthen our hope and confidence in one another, our love will grow and thrive.”
A great indicator of honesty in a man is his willingness to be transparent. To let you use his phone. To share bank account information as you budget your lives together. To let you know his needs. To be a man of his word. To not lie, steal, or betray.
Being honest, and living those truths evidently, is the foundational quality of a godly man.
2. A Godly Man Expresses Humility
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Humility in a man doesn’t require slouching, self-effacing dismissiveness, or preempt rejoicing. But humility in a godly man recognizes that whatever strength, ability, or blessing he presently enjoys is ‘but by the grace of God’ (1 Cor. 15:10).
He is not too proud to kneel, not too important to lower himself to a child’s eye-level, humble enough to pray.
And by this, I mean pray as a way of life, not as a display for others to witness. A godly man prays in his closet, in the car, while at work, and with the people he loves and lives with. Not as a wearisome task or burden, but to seek his Father’s guidance.
The Bible is clear, that pride leads to disgrace. Right before Jesus reprimands the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, he promises, “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
This call to humility is trustworthy. It’s from the king who kneeled down to wash feet, and offered his blood and life as atonement for sin.
3. A Godly Man Values Commitment
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Relationships of all kinds are work. A dating or marriage relationship ups the intensity because it requires vulnerability, and being known beyond metrics or performance. It involves good, hard work.
My pastor alluded to this feeling once when sharing about a landscape ministry. He said when he got home and fell apart, he was so utterly tired…but it was the ‘good kind of tired.’ The kind that reveals the rewards of emptying yourself. The work required digging, planting, clearing, and sweating through a mess… much like relationships do.
This is the same pastor who took a sabbatical with his wife for a month just to reconnect with her.
God’s earliest breaths confirm this commitment:
Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
A man who is committed will wince at the prospect of tearing away his flesh from his wife. If you love a man like this, thank him for honoring your unity.
4. A Godly Man Shows Love
Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
A godly man considers the purpose of love. He understands the meaning of sex and marriage, and God’s instruction to not commit adultery. The Bible explains the dangers of sex outside of marriage, yet also God’s ability to forgive. However, a godly man isn’t playing games with God’s word.
He isn’t sinning freely, simply because he expects forgiveness.
He holds in high esteem the commandment to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), and considers that actions may be forgiven, but consequences remain. A godly man is willing to share affection with those he loves or who he’s dating, and looks forward to the ongoing journey of deepening sexual intimacy with the one he marries.
His inclination is to ask “what is the loving thing to do?” And that doesn’t always mean catering to everyone’s whims. The loving thing can sometimes be an honest request for understanding. Or a willingness to extend it.
Loving as a godly quality shows up as active listening, eye contact, lending a hand, and compromising. It reveals itself as remembering little things that make a world of difference to others. It is willing to be vulnerable, close, and kind.
Photo Credit: ©Travis Grossen/Unsplash
5. A Godly Man Is Repentant
It’s been said that the best apology is changed behavior. And this goes for men and women. This quality of a godly man, however, is likely one of the hardest. That’s because it calls forth God’s ultimate design. He is aware of our sins, and their tendency to ensnare us… even when we’re blind to the ways we may hurt others.
Romans 2:4 tells us that God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance. Notice it doesn’t say God’s murderous wrath is intended to beat repentance out of you. No, repentance is a cleansing… kindly offered by a merciful God.
A godly man takes hold of this reality, and repents through confession and new choices. A therapist I know and love wraps up the idea this way: “Repentance looks like repentance.”
And that means the wounds caused by sins committed in darkness can heal by God’s radiant grace as you walk in the light.
6. A Godly Man Forgives
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Have you ever been truly forgiven by someone you love? It’s a feeling so amazing, it can change a soul. It’s like heavy chains, that had you fastened to the ground, are lifted in one loving gesture.
This 6th quality of a godly man represents his love of Christ. It’s a visible representation of his acknowledgment that forgiving is the reason for living…that the very plan for humanity is reconciliation.
A godly man will work at not harboring resentment toward someone who hurt or displeased them, but rather ask for God’s grace and strength to forgive. It’s a quality that turns away from rejection and bitterness—toward peace.
7. A Godly Man Is Faithful
I love to recall here that the number 7 in the Bible is symbolic of holy completion and perfection. So, it’s fitting to consider faith as the number 7 quality of a godly man.
He has faith that God is who he says he is, and because of this, he is faithful to family, friends, and neighbors of all kinds. A godly man knows that faith is being certain of things he may not see, but that he believes are the word of God.
So, he doesn’t place his faith in things, or fame, or power over others, or distractions. He places his faith squarely in the Creator, the one who is molding him in the image of God.
Faith expresses itself in a godly man through compassion toward the needy, perseverance in trials, an interest in the Bible, encouragement when others are downtrodden, and wisdom for those who count on him for guidance.
It speaks in prayers of deliverance, and a willingness to cast anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
Faith is not perfection, or even perfect church attendance. It is believing that God is leading…and that the way, although rocky this side of heaven, is so very good.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes
Lia Martin loves to inspire others to lean into the Lord daily. She's a writer, editor, marketer, former Crosswalk.com Faith Editor, and author of Wisdom at Wit's End: Abandoning Supermom Myths in Search of Supernatural Peace. When she's not cultivating words, she loves walking in nature, reading, exploring the latest health trends, and laughing with her two wonderful kids. She blogs at liamartinwriting.com.