A Godly Man is Humble
When my oldest child, Cole, entered the teenage years, the idea of a rite of passage grabbed my attention. For a boy, the goal is to help him know what it means to be a Godly man, which requires intentionality, teaching, the consistent example of a Godly man, and a memorable ceremony.
I asked a dozen men, who’d all made intentional investments into Cole’s life, to assist me in considering essential traits of a Godly man. (Cole is extremely blessed to have had some incredibly Godly coaches, teachers, youth sponsors, and church friends.) They each kindly agreed to study and pray about one trait – a trait which I’d observed to be evident in their life – and then teach Cole about it during a special, surprise event for him.
The following is 1 of the Thirteen Essential Traits of a Godly Man we communicated to Cole that night, and that I continue to try to emulate and teach to him. All men would do well to pursue them with all they have.
A Godly Man is Humble (by Jason McAdams)
A Godly man is humble. He does what God requires. When King David was about to die, he gave advice to his son, Solomon: “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations” (I Kings 2:1-3).
This is not always easy, but I think this Scripture has a deeper meaning than just following all the “rules”. Sometimes in life, things turn out different from how you wanted or expected them to be. When that happens, you have a choice: to be disappointed and wallow in self-pity, or to “man up” and face reality. What does God require of a Godly man? He wants you to face reality and deal with it in as Godly a way as you know how.
This does not mean that there won’t be times in your life when you are disappointed. We don’t know God’s plan, and disappointment can be a natural and normal reaction when things don’t turn out as we expect. What it does mean is that you work to overcome your disappointment, and deal with the reality of life. Sometimes, as a man, your family (or others) may even rely on you to be a more stable “rock” for them as they work through their disappointment or grief in a situation.
One example of this in my life is how I’ve had to handle my wife’s medical issues. Now, I knew about these before we were married. What I didn’t know was how much they can affect her when she is sick or fatigued. When they really hit, they can prevent her from taking care of our family and house like she normally does. When this happens, I have to step up and do more of the work to keep our family running. Now, this may not be what I expected in marriage, but I do this willingly because I love my wife and my family. I also feel deeply that it is what God wants me to do in my life, and I am obedient to Him in this.
Another example of a challenging situation was dealing with the news and the reality of our son having Celiac Disease, and having to eat Gluten Free. At first, this was very disappointing. Nobody wants their child to have to deal with such a challenging problem for the rest of their life. However, through research and perseverance, I eventually learned some ways to help my family deal with this challenge. I helped us learn what foods we can make, where we can go out to eat and what it takes to make sure he has food he can eat when he goes away on trips, like going to camp. Is it harder? Yes it is. But I have helped him and my family deal with this, and have helped teach him how to handle it himself when he is out on his own.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:3-8).
Not only was Jesus humble, but he was also obedient to God’s will. Jesus put the needs of all others before his own, and he calls on us to do the same.
When we are disappointed by a situation that isn’t what we wanted it to be, we are actually thinking about ourselves first and about how we want the world to be – not necessarily how God planned it to be. Life’s curveballs require us to humble ourselves before God and accept that God will give us the strength to handle the things we cannot change. And when life doesn’t make any sense, we admit that God knows what He’s doing with us. We humble ourselves to Him.