Society tends to encourage or even dictate characteristics of what a man ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be. However, these characteristics do not necessarily look like a ‘God-fearing’ man.
Society will tell us: a man is to be both strong physically and emotionally with a rough and rugged exterior; or a ‘God-fearing’ man doesn’t have tattoos, long hair, or piercings; or it’s unholy or heathenistic to wear t-shirts and jeans to Sunday service. Those requirements got your attention, right?
Unfortunately, some discern godliness and holiness strictly from outward appearances. ‘Desirable’ characteristics vary from generation to generation, as well as from locale to locale or country to country.
Why is it even important to be ‘God-fearing?’ Because in Psalm 112, a God-fearing man is promised to be a blessed man. Fortunately, the Bible provides us with 10 clear ways to be a God-fearing man:
1. Live honorably.
A God-Fearing man exhibits honor for himself, his family and, most importantly, God.
In Matthew 13:57-58, Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.” The verse continues: and he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Because they did not honor Jesus, he chose not to ‘do many miracles.’ This story may suggest that where a man lacks honor, he may be limiting his own ability to access miraculous blessings.
Not only should a man live a life deserving of honor, he has the responsibility to exhibit honor.
In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are to give honor “unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” Just as Jesus could not perform miracles because he was not honored, a man cannot pray effectively without reflecting honor to his family.
2. Be financially responsible.
In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul proclaimed, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Some men make a conscious effort not to keep track of the household income, expenditures, or the financial status of bank accounts. Proverbs 27:23 warns, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.”
A God-fearing man gives attention to his financial affairs to securely provide for himself and his family. John Gill in his Exposition of the Bible clarifies that man has a natural obligation to care for his family, but grace heightens and magnifies this obligation to another level.
3. Attract others to a God-fearing life as a role model.
God-fearing men attract others to be God-fearing men. From Proverbs 27:17, we learn “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” A godly man desires godly friends. Spiritual conversations with such friends sharpen the minds and deepen the faith of both parties.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul warns, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” A God-fearing man will fellowship with those who can encourage him to be a gracious and effective witness for Christ.
God-fearing men lead in their homes and churches just as Christ led his followers. The effective God-fearing man leads with fairness, humbleness, love, and gentleness.
Conversely, society teaches that a man cannot be a leader without being strong-willed and domineering.
Therefore, it’s quite easy to distinguish a man who is driven by a godly spirit.
5. Strive for holiness and kindness.
In 1 Timothy 4:8, we are warned, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Not only is it spiritually desirable and profitable to develop godliness, the characteristics of holiness and godliness are worthwhile to be successful in business, career endeavors, and a healthy family life.
6. Care for others.
Jentezen Franklin in his sermon “Wake Up The Mighty Men,” quipped “if you see a man open the car door for a woman, it’s either a new car or a new woman.” Many disguise selfishness or material preservation with their outward acts of kindness.
In Galatians 6:2, Paul taught us to, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” This response to another’s problem or affliction is more than just saying, “oh no” or “I hate to hear that.” A God-fearing man actually bears the burden or issue as if it is his own.
7. Behave maturely.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11, describes the progression of a God-fearing man as “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” A God-fearing man has grown up and is desirous of greater levels of spirituality and growth.
8. Remain watchful.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, God-fearing men are directed to “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” God-fearing men are not latchkey fathers, husbands, or church members.
They know what video games their children are playing, the names of their children's friends, and what went on during fifth-period geometry class. The God-fearing husband is also watchful of his wife’s concerns, worries, and needs. He remains engaged and aware in his God-given role.
9. Stand firm in faith.
The Word of God is the foundation of the God-fearing man in this ever-shifting culture.
In James 1:8, we’re reminded that a “double-minded man in unstable in all his ways.” Don’t let your theology gravitate to your behavior. During times of apparent failure of discontent, or when you’re experiencing a spiritual feeling of separation, a firm faith can call you back to purity and a walk with God.
10. Demonstrate love.
James 1:20 says, “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
A God-fearing man is not contentious and always looking for a fight to show his dominance. In 1 Corinthians 16:14, we are instructed to, “let all your things be done with charity.”
The God-fearing man is dedicated to the good of his family and the well-being of his church. He does not strive for vain glories attained by earthly promotion.
By acting in love and charity, the God-fearing man strives for and appreciates peace, mutual understanding, and growth.
Additionally, a God-fearing man is a husband who loves his wife and isn’t bitter against her, as reflected in Colossians 3:19.
Are you leaning into God’s guidance or confused by society’s distractions and demands? As you learn to embody the truths in God’ Word, it will bless you. In turn, you will surely bless others by living as a God-fearing man.
Chad is a believer in Christ, attorney at law, wannabe golfer, runner, dog lover, and writer. He enjoys serving his church as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at his golf devotion par3sixteen.com. He and his wife Brandi reside in Tennessee with their canine son Alistair.
Photo Credit: GettyImages/Everste