The qualities that make a ‘good man’ can be endlessly debated. For Christians, the Bible provides timeless guidance on the characteristics God desires in godly men. If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: The Bible emphasizes that a good man pursues righteousness, kindness, humility, self-control, and wisdom in how he lives and relates to others.
In this comprehensive article, we will explore numerous verses throughout the Old and New Testaments that reveal the biblical standards for true manhood. We’ll examine the key virtues, attitudes, and actions the Bible associates with an honorable, mature man of God.
Whether you are evaluating your own life or seeking greater insight into how to raise sons and disciple other men in faith, this thorough examination aims to provide extensive Scriptural wisdom.
Pursuing Righteousness and Integrity
Living Above Reproach
The Bible encourages men to live with integrity and moral uprightness that is above criticism (Titus 1:6-7). This means conducting oneself honorably, with honesty and justice. Men should avoid even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
According to Proverbs, “He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord” (Proverbs 14:2). Upright living brings blessings, while wickedness brings trouble.
God desires truth in the inner self (Psalm 51:6), meaning righteous men have integrity between their public words and private thoughts. They are sincere, transparent and trustworthy, never deceitful. As Ephesians 4:25 states, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor.”
Honest speech reflects an honest heart.
Keeping Promises and Vows
Men of character keep their word even when inconvenient, as Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 explains. They understand the importance of dependability, faithfulness and trustworthiness. This reliability extends to keeping one’s marriage vows, as Malachi 2:14-16 emphasizes.
According to research by the Institute for Family Studies, men who stay faithful to their spouse tend to be more satisfied in their marriage.
Conducting Business Honestly
The Bible sets a high ethical standard for business practices. God despises dishonest scales and measures (Proverbs 20:10) as well as moving boundary stones of a neighbor’s property (Deuteronomy 19:14). Men of integrity refrain from shady business deals or profiting by fraud, theft or deception.
Rather they deal fairly with others and provide full value. As Proverbs 16:8 states, “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”
Loving Justice and Mercy
The Bible says God requires men “to act justly and to love mercy” (Micah 6:8). So righteous men champion the cause of the poor, orphaned and widowed. They advocate for those without a voice, even when unpopular. With both justice and mercy, they forgive others generously, just as God forgave them.
As Matthew 5:7 promises, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.”
Demonstrating Wisdom and Discernment
Fearing the Lord
The Bible teaches that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). A God-fearing man humbles himself before God, acknowledges God’s power and authority, and lives according to God’s laws and commandments. He understands that true wisdom comes from revering God.
As Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Applying God’s Word
A wise man not only reads and studies the Bible, but puts its teachings into practice in his daily life. He meditates on God’s word (Psalm 1:2), allowing it to shape his thoughts, speech, decisions and actions. As James 1:22 advises, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.
Do what it says.” By applying biblical principles, a Godly man demonstrates discernment and understanding.
Seeking and Speaking Truth
A righteous man passionately pursues truth and speaks truthfully, even when it is difficult. As Ephesians 4:25 states, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor.” He avoids deception, lying and spreading false reports.
According to Zechariah 8:16, “…do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this, declares the Lord.” As Jesus declared in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Pursuing Knowledge and Understanding
A wise and discerning man hunger for knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 18:15 states, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” Through life experience, observation, reading and study, he gains deeper insight and comprehension.
As Philippians 1:9-10 explains, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless.”
Exercising Discretion and Self-Control
A prudent man exercises discretion, restraint and self-control in his speech, actions and lifestyle. Titus 2:11-12 states, “…For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Rather than being rash, prideful or self-indulgent, he applies sound judgment and moderation. 1 Peter 5:8 warns, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Exhibiting Humility and Servant-Heartedness
The Bible teaches that a godly man esteems others above himself and considers their interests before his own (Philippians 2:3-4). He is not prideful or arrogant, but gently and patiently bears with others (Ephesians 4:2).
A great example is Moses, who was humble despite being chosen by God to lead Israel (Numbers 12:3). Jesus Himself demonstrated deep humility by washing His disciples’ feet, showing that the greatest among us must be a servant (John 13:14-15).
Serving with Compassion
A good man serves others with love and compassion, following Christ’s example. Jesus ministered to people’s needs – both physical and spiritual. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and welcomed sinners and outcasts of society (Matthew 14:14; Mark 6:34; Luke 5:31-32).
As His followers, godly men are called to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and care for orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). They see service to others, especially the vulnerable, as a sacred duty.
Leading by Example
Godly male leaders influence others through their exemplary conduct, not just their words. Paul urged believers to be imitators of him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Male leaders described in the Bible like Moses, Nehemiah and Timothy set a pattern for others to follow in speech, lifestyle, faith, and purity (Titus 2:7).
Servant leadership, not heavy-handed authority, should characterize their oversight. Leading by inspiring example causes others to respect and emulate them.
Submitting to Authority
Humble men submit to governing authorities as to the Lord, whether their bosses or secular leaders (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Jesus modeled this well, obeying even unjust officials. When reviled by the high priest at His trial, He didn’t respond in kind (1 Peter 2:23).
Godly men are not insubordinate rebels, but peaceable citizens seeking the good of their communities. They exemplify a spirit of cooperation, not defiance, even under unfair treatment.
Confessing Sins and Weaknesses
While good men strive for holiness, they admit when they fail and need God’s grace. King David openly confessed his adultery and murder, accepting the prophet Nathan’s rebuke (Psalm 51). Jesus promised forgiveness when we acknowledge our sins and turn from them (1 John 1:9).
Confession requires humility and promotes accountability and healing. While godly men aim for integrity, they are quick to admit wrongdoing without excuses, keeping short accounts with God and others.
Loving and Caring for Family
Honoring Marriage Vows
The Bible teaches that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). This means sacrificially giving oneself for the good of one’s spouse. Wives are instructed to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22).
This does not mean becoming a doormat, but entrusting oneself to a loving leader. God designed marriage to reflect the mysterious and beautiful relationship between Christ and the church.
To honor the marriage covenant, spouses should be faithful, forgiving, and selfless (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). They should make decisions together and avoid neglecting each other. Even during difficult seasons, couples can cling to God’s purpose for marriage.
Providing and Protecting
In the Bible, husbands are called to manage their households well and provide for their families (1 Timothy 3:4, 5:8). Wives are asked to care for the home (Titus 2:5). However, these are not rigid gender roles. Both spouses should utilize their unique gifts to build a Christ-centered home.
Parents are tasked with training their children in the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). This begins by modeling godliness at home. Children thrive when they feel safe and loved within biblical parameters.
Teaching Children Well
Besides providing for their physical needs, parents should prioritize their child’s spiritual development (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Teaching respect for God’s word should permeate everyday life. Attending church, reading the Bible, praying together, and having gospel-centered conversations are key.
Parents should also exercise wisdom regarding media influences, peer relationships, and educational choices that will impact their children. Upholding moral principles in a fallen world can be challenging. Relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance is essential.
Demonstrating Patience and Self-Control
Raising children often requires tremendous patience. Parents are to discipline with fairness, consistency, and self-control, not anger (Ephesians 6:4). Admitting and apologizing for mistakes models humility. Creating margin for quality time together cultivates strong relationships.
Self-control honors God and earns greater trust from family. Words should build up, not tear down. Seeking forgiveness for sins like selfishness allows God’s restoration. By developing the fruit of the Spirit, parents can reflect Christ before their children (Galatians 5:22-23).
Praying for Family
Praying together draws a family closer to God and one another. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, He provided a model that acknowledges God’s holiness, seeks His will, asks for provision, and requests forgiveness (Matthew 6:9-13). Parents can teach children to pray Biblical prayers.
Praying for each other demonstrates care and concern. Asking God to meet needs, provide wisdom, grant grace, and offer comfort gives peace amidst uncertainty. Even when apart, family members can lift each other up in prayer.
Pursuing Godliness in Community
Living at Peace with Others
The Bible teaches us that as Christians, we are called to live at peace with others to the best of our ability (Romans 12:18). This means being patient, gentle, forgiving, and thoughtful in our relationships. We should avoid quarrelling, judging others harshly, or insisting on our own way.
Instead, we can listen humbly, seek compromise, and extend grace. Living at peace may involve laying down our pride and rights for the good of others. Ultimately, living at peace comes from the inner transformation of our hearts by God’s Spirit.
As we grow in Christ-likeness, we will relate to others with more compassion, empathy, and care.
Forgiving and Reconciling
Forgiveness is a key theme in the Bible that applies directly to relationships. Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Bringing reconciliation and restoration to broken relationships pleases God. However, forgiveness and reconciliation are often difficult in practice. We must rely on God’s grace and the inner work of the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts – enabling us to release bitterness, offer mercy, and pursue restored relationships.
As Timothy Keller says, “To forgive is to make a conscious choice to show undeserved grace to an offender.” While the road may be challenging, the Bible makes clear that the rewards of forgiveness and reconciliation far outweigh the bitterness of an unforgiving heart.
Speaking with Care
Our words have incredible power, both to build others up and tear them down. The book of James compares the tongue to a small rudder that steers a great ship – it directs our whole life! (James 3:1-12) Therefore, as Christians we are called to watch our speech and speak words that give grace to others.
Ephesians 4 instructs us to avoid lies, anger, slander, gossip, and obscenity. Rather than trying to prove we are right in every disagreement, we can choose patience and thoughtful listening. Before responding in difficult conversations, we can pause and ask God for wisdom in how to speak words that lead to mutual understanding.
Our aim should be conveying care for others above making our point. With God’s help, our speech can build others up instead of inflicting harm.
Sharing our time, talents, and treasures with others generously is a vital part of Christian community. In Acts 2, the early church modeled radical generosity by selling possessions to meet each others’ needs.
While God does not demand we impoverish ourselves, He does call Christians to avoid greed and pursue open-handed generosity. We can start by giving faithfully to our local church, which enables ministry to our congregation and the broader community.
In addition, we may be led to give directly to meet pressing needs among the poor, homeless, sick, and marginalized. Giving also encompasses sharing our gifts, skills, and time to bless others. As John Piper says, “Money is a barometer of the heart.”
Our generosity reflects where our treasure truly lies – whether in earthly possessions or in eternal rewards from God.
Hospitality is a signature Christian virtue that contributes to rich community. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Opening our homes and lives builds relationships and conveys welcome to others.
Jesus modeled hospitality through opening His life fully to those considered outsiders. We can follow His model by inviting people over regularly, delivering meals to new parents, hosting community events, volunteering with refugee resettlement, or taking in traveling Christians through services like Airbnb.
Pursuing creative expressions of hospitality ushers people into God’s Kingdom and models His generous invitation to all. While it requires sacrificing time and convenience, hospitality repays exponentially in joyful connections.
As Christine Pohl notes, “Hospitality is a way of life fundamental to Christian identity.”
While no man can attain sinless perfection this side of eternity, God calls every believer to pursue Christlike maturity. Through studying the Bible’s descriptions of righteous, wise, humble, loving men of God, we gain a clearer picture of true, Scriptural manhood.
Our exploration of biblical principles for men aims to encourage greater godliness and aid mentoring relationships. But ultimately, coming before God with humility and faith is the path to transformation.
As men grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, they increasingly shine as lights in a darkened world, bringing glory to the Father.