4 Marks of a Godly Man

What does a godly man look like? If you look to mainstream culture, you would come back with no answers. Let’s face it, our culture has no clue what it means to be a real man. We as Christian men have a positive role model in Joseph. Within the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph demonstrated 4 marks of a godly man.

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What does a godly man look like? If you look to mainstream culture, you would come back with no answers. Let’s face it, our culture has no clue what it means to be a real man. Our views of biblical manhood have been relegated to the margins of mainstream culture. In fact, masculinity has become the scapegoat for all the injustices in the world. But I diverge. Rant over.

Anyway. Being married to my beautiful bride has challenged me to learn more about what Scripture has to say about biblical manhood. A marriage under God will challenge you in ways you could never have imagined when you were once single. When my wife and I went through our marital problems years ago, I found God demanding more of me. He wanted me to be the husband my wife needed….and deserved.

Biblical Manhood

Biblically speaking, as men, we have a positive role model in Joseph, husband of Mary, and earthy father of Jesus. Joseph is a perfect example of how a man of God should act and behave. Embedded within the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph demonstrates 4 marks of a godly man.

A Godly Man…

Shows his wife sacrificial respect

One of the easiest ways to kill a marriage is to show your spouse no respect. When we disrespect our wives, we are acting selfishly. As men, we are instructed to put aside our own selfish desires and respect our wives. We are called to not only show sacrificial love but also, show respect towards our wives. If we first seek to fulfill our own needs rather than our wives, this will likely cause issues within the marriage. What are some ways you are showing a lack of respect towards your spouse? Are you acting sacrificially towards your wife?

Joseph demonstrated this type of sacrificial respect towards his wife Mary, mother of Jesus. In Matthew 1:19, “And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.” When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, Joseph would have logically thought she was pregnant by another man, in other words, she committed adultery.

Under Mosiac Law, adultery was punishable with death by stoning. But Joseph was a righteous man and so he did not want to expose Mary to public shame, so he planned on divorcing her quietly. Joseph acted in a very righteous way by showing Mary respect, something we husbands should be showing towards our wives.

Is a spiritual leader

A man of God leads his household spiritually. What is spiritual leadership? John Piper defines this as “knowing where God wants people to be and taking the initiative to use God’s methods to get them there in reliance on God’s power.”

In Matthew 1:24, Joseph demonstrated what it means to be a spiritual leader. “And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife.” A man of God can lead his wife and his children where God wants them to be. This includes leading his family to find their individual purpose and identity in God and guiding them along in their spiritual growth. A man leads his family in their walk with Jesus.  

Has self-control

In the early 1970s, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel lead a series of studies on delayed gratification known as the ‘marshmallow test’ In these tests, researchers put a marshmallow in front of a child, tell him/her that he/she can have another one if he/she waited 15 more minutes without eating the first one.

If the child waited 15 minutes, they could walk away with 2 marshmallows. What child wouldn’t want two marshmallows instead of one? Apparently, if a child passed the test and demonstrated the willpower to wait, this signaled future success.

As Christian men, self-control is more than demonstrating the willpower to not eat the tempting marshmallow in front of us. Self-control is having control over one’s own behavior, impulses, mind, and emotions. A man of God places himself under the control and power of God.

In Matthew 1:24-25, Joseph demonstrated this type of self-control. “And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son, and he called His name Jesus.”

At the center of self-control, is the heart. What is in our heart controls how we act, what we think, and how we behave. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). We must place our hearts under the control of God. I know for me, this is an area I struggle in the must.

Protects his family

It may not be politically correct to say this, but as men, we are gifted with having more physical strength than women. These gifts mean, God has given us the responsibility for the physical security of our family. Your wife needs you to make her feel that you will protect her when it comes to any physical threat.

This means when it comes down to is, are you willing to risk your life for her physical safety? As men, we must be willing to take a bullet in exchange for our life to protect our family. If one night you hear a strange noise downstairs, you must be willing to protect your family with your Louisville Slugger if a burglar is in the house.

In Matthew 2:13-15, Joseph demonstrated this willingness to protect his family.

“Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” So Joseph got up and to the Child and his mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”


We live in a society that is very much inwardly focused. We tend to act more selfishly rather than selflessly. In other words, we lack a servant attitude. We rather ‘be’ served than ‘to’ serve. I’m not saying I’m a perfect husband, that would be a blatant lie. At times, I can act quite selfishly in my marriage. But then God will remind me of my husbandly duties.

4 Marks of a Godly Man

Joseph, the righteous man that he was, is a model example of a man of God. He shows us husbands that we must show respect toward our wives, be a spiritual leader of our family, have self-control and protect our family. A ‘true’ man of God put others’ needs ahead of his own. 

Read: How to get ‘unstuck’ from the mindset of envy

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8 thoughts on “4 Marks of a Godly Man

  1. Good post. I have seen many milktoast men in church, and that’s not Biblical. These poor guys are basically emasculated by teaching that doesn’t show how godly men acted throughout the Bible. They were strong, respectful and protected their wife. And Joseph is a great example!

    1. I’m in agreement Claire. There are a lot of men who aren’t acting like a man. Culture and many progressive churches are teaching that masculinity is not a good thing. Perhaps they should learn more about who Joseph is.

  2. Protects his family (4th point above) also requires that the father protect his children in the womb. This is a serious issue and one that I am going to address on my blog soon. A person cannot claim to be Christian and be in support of the modern day child sacrifice of abortion (which is ravaging our society).

    1. I’m in total agreement Larry. One cannot be a Christian and be pro-abortion. A mans responsibility is to protect his family, and that includes a child in his wife’s womb. Thank you for pointing this out.

  3. Really enjoyed this post. There is so much confusion out there for men and it’s important that as Christians they know their role. Definitely will recommend this post to a few I know need to read this.

    1. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my blog post. I agree. Christian men need to know they role, not only as a man but as a husband. There are so many Christian wives who don’t have good Godly husbands. I appreciate you sharing this post with others.

  4. It is so neat to read a post written by a man! (Sorry, but it is!) We definitely need more Godly men in our country, and our world. God bless you, and thank you for your support of Godly, Christian husbands!

    1. Thank you Janene for you kind complement. God has blessed me and driven me to help other Christian men, and in particular, husbands grow in their faith. I agree, we need more Christian men. I hope our writings here at Joshua’s Outpost can inspire that change.

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