We call them the five "big rocks" of a godly man. Like a well-balanced diet, these five things are quintessential for the godly man. But, why do we need to lead our sons on a journey into godly manhood? Won’t it happen on its own?
No. It won't. That’s what the world wants you to think. The world doesn’t care about godliness. The world can keep on doing what it does. We're gonna do something different over here.
Imagine a world where instead of your son being influenced by friends, TV, video games, music and more—what if your son's manhood was found in Christ’s model of manhood.
I've recently wrote the five vital principles and 4 ideas for intentionally discipling your child to help you understand your vital role in leading your home. As with most things in life, it’s important for you, dad, to go first. As you read, ask yourself if and how much you're modeling these things for your son.
1. The godly man trusts God.
The very first of the Ten Commandments God gave us was that we put Him first, above everything and everyone else. When we get things out of order and make other things or other people more important than God, we make those things false gods or idols. Your role as dad isn't to point your son to you. Biblical fatherhood points your son to God. You will point your son to you or to God by what you say and what you do.
2. The godly man knows His Word.
“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.” —Proverbs 4:5
This may be the most difficult "big rock" on the list. Do you know God's Word? Really? Like, do you have it in your heart so that it's not a forced thing when you try to apply it to situation? The Bible calls this "hiding God's Word in our hearts” (Psalm 119:11). When we do this, His Word will help us experience His ways in our own lives. Then, you can speak from experience and be good friends to those around you. The godly husband and father knows Scripture.
3. The godly man prays fervently.
In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Jesus’ goal as He prayed was, “your will be done” (v. 10), not “here’s my list of what I want you to do for me, God.” This outline can help teach your son to pray in his own words and from his own heart:
- Come to God with the right attitude and heart.
- Begin by worshiping God.
- Have the right goal for your prayer.
- Ask for what you need, and trust God.
- Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness.
- Forgive others who have hurt you.
- Ask God to protect you and help you when tempted.
Note that this is just an outline, not a formula or an agenda you must follow point by point. Teach your son how to pray simply by having an honest conversation with His Heavenly Father.
4. The godly man builds relationships.
"Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." —Proverbs 27:17
There was a university experiment where a psychology professor conducted a test of peer pressure on various students. He created a classroom where nine students were aware of what the experiment was about, and he rotated in a tenth one who had no idea that everyone else was playing along with the professor.
The teacher drew two lines on the board, one long and one short. He then asked the class which line was shorter. The nine students who had been prepared ahead of time were told to raise their hand when the professor pointed to the correct line, but they all eventually changed their minds after repeatedly being asked if they were sure.
As each new student was brought in, he or she watched everyone else give a wrong answer, and most of the time, this student went along with the crowd, even though it was obvious which line was longer. What the professor found was that the assurance of the group and the loneliness of standing out were too much for the students to handle.
What's the point of this story? We need strong, godly friendships in order to grow and live as followers of Christ.
5. The godly man serves others.
"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." —Proverbs 16:3
What’s does it mean to commit whatever you do to the Lord? It means we do what we do for God, not for ourselves or others; and we depend on him for success.
Colossians 3:23-24 is pretty clear:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
We should be humble, like Jesus, and put other people above ourselves. We are to live the lifestyle of a servant (Phil. 2:1-8). Serving others is a vital part of our journey together in biblical manhood. When we serve others we put into action what God is doing in our lives. The godly man makes an impact on the people around him.
Visit Embarking 1 on 1 to learn more and get your free sample. This guide will help you and your son know to five key areas of biblical manhood.
Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have two daughters and one son. He lives in Reston, Virginia, serves at McLean Bible Church as a regional leader and is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. Learn more about Ryan here and find him on Twitter @RyanSanders.