Prior to marriage, my son (and potential son-in-law) must be a godly man. This requirement is not unique to men seeking a spouse, or even to men in general. The pursuit of godliness must be the aim of every follower of Christ because we were created in God’s image and commanded to fill the Earth with His glory by putting Him on display with our lives.
However, in this series, I am writing particularly as a father to his son and daughters about how to be and how to find a godly man.
Godliness is just another way of saying Christlikeness or being like God. So, I’ve proposed the following list of ways that men are to be like God.
1.) A godly man Worships.
2.) A godly man Works.
3.) A godly man Wars.
4.) A godly man Wins.
Last week we looked at worship, and discovered that it is valuing God above all else. Today, we are talking about work.
What is Work?
Work provides a nice complement to worship. While worship is mostly an attitude of the heart, works are, well, works. Here are some of the things that the Bible tells about work.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Gen. 2:15).
-Work is good. If Adam and Eve never fell, and sin never entered into the world, we would still be working. Contrary to popular belief, work is not one of the curses. It has been altered to include pain and difficulty, but work in and of itself is not a consequence of sin.
-Work is a stewardship. We work to take care of and contribute to God’s creation.
-Work is imitation. God worked. To be like Him, we work too.
Work and Godliness
So, how does work connect to the pursuit of godliness? At the most basic level, it is both imitation and obedience. God works, so we work. God commanded that we work, so we obey. But there’s more to it than that.
First, you should know that work is more than just what you do for a living. Regardless of your occupation, work is something you should do all the time. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) Work is everything you do. On the job, at home, or in church, wherever you are, you are working.
Second, it isn’t about what you do, but “how” and “why”. As you may have noticed, the requirement to be a godly man, and the subsequent principles, are intentionally broad. What really matters is the character behind each of them. When my son grows up, I’ll be less concerned with what kind of job he has or how much money he makes than whether he is working for himself or the glory of God.
A man can work hard from 9 to 5, for the praise of others, with money as his goal. But a godly man works hard serving others “so that they may see (his) good works and give glory to (the) Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16)