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How to Discern if a Guy Has Godly Character or Not

By: Kristen Clark

When I was a single woman, I remember people telling me things like, “be sure to marry a man of godly character!” Or, “make sure you know his true heart.” Or, “don’t settle for anything but a genuinely Christ-focused man.”

Okay… I would think to myself. I appreciate the advice, and I agree. These are all good things that I want in a future husband. But how in the world am I supposed to know what a man of godly character actually looks like (in real life)? How do I discern the difference between a really nice Christian guy and a guy with a genuine Christ-like heart?

And in all seriousness, how do I actually measure a guy’s character in the first place? It’s not like a physical piece of wood that you can wrap a tape measure around. So how in the world does this work??

If you’ve ever heard similar comments and had questions like mine, you’re not alone.

Marrying a man of godly character sounds great, but unless we know how to practically evaluate his character, we won’t evaluate it correctly.

We won’t measure it with the right tools. Just because he goes to church, joins a Bible study, and is funny doesn’t mean he has godly character. Just because you get along with him and love spending time with him doesn’t mean he’s a great option for marriage.

Instead, you need to be asking questions like, “What kind of character does this guy have?” “Where is his heart in regard to what God’s Word teaches?” “Does he genuinely love the Lord, and is this evident in his actions?” “Does he uphold God’s Word as the greatest authority in his life?”

In this post, I want to show you a simple, biblical, practical, and measurable way to evaluate a guy’s character from a biblical framework.

This doesn’t have to be a mystery any longer. By using the following list, you can quickly discover how Christ-centered a guy ‘s character truly is. You don’t have to wonder if he’s a godly man…you can actually figure it out. So let’s dive in.

By using a series of biblically based questions, you can discern what kind of character any guy has. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a great starting place.

1. What does he believe about the Bible?

This question is foundational and will reveal a lot about this guy. Does he uphold the Bible as God’s true and inherent Word (2 Timothy 3:17)? Does he build his worldview and beliefs on the truths revealed in Scripture (Psalm 19)? Does he look to God’s word as the ultimate authority in his life? Does he believe the Bible is true and applicable for his life today?

2. How do his actions and words align with each of the following Biblical areas (this is key)…

SALVATION (Rom. 10:9): Is this guy a genuine believer of Jesus Christ? Does he understand the gospel message (Jesus died on the cross for his sins, was raised to life again, and the only way to heaven is through belief in Him)? Does his life display the marks of a true Christian (Romans 12:9-21)?

CHURCH (Eph. 4:16): Does he value church and see the importance of being plugged into a local Body? Does he submit himself to the godly leadership of a biblical church? Does he look for ways to get involved and serve his brothers and sisters in Christ within the Body?

FAMILY (Eph. 6:1-3): Does he honor his parents in the way he speaks to them or the way he speaks about them? Does he respect the leadership God has placed over him through his parents, even when he doesn’t agree? How does he treat his siblings?

AUTHORITY (Hebrews 13:17, Rom. 13:1): Whether it’s his parents, pastor, boss, or teachers — how does he respond to authority? Is he respectful towards people in leadership over him?

INSTRUCTION (Prov. 19:20): How does he respond to correction and instruction in his life? Does he have a humble, teachable spirit, or more of a prideful arrogant heart? Does he seek outside wisdom and counsel, or try to figure everything out on his own?

WORK (Prov. 21:5, Col. 3:32): What kind of work ethic does this guy have? Is he hardworking or lazy? Does he take the initiative with his job (or schoolwork) and get things done? And in his work, what is his driving motivation for why he works? Is it for God’s glory, or for his own glory?

MARRIAGE (Eph. 5:25-33): What does he believe about marriage? Does he understand the purpose of God’s design for marriage to be between a man and a woman? Does he value his God-given role as a male and yours as a female? Does he believe marriage is a lifelong covenant?

SEXUAL PURITY (1 Thess. 4:3-5): Does he value sexual purity and fight for it in his public and private life? Does he lead your relationship in the way of purity, or does he lead you toward compromise and sexual sin?

IDENTITY (2 Cor. 5:17): Where does he find his identity? Is it in his athletic abilities, his education, status, his job, his passions, or something similar? Or, is it clear that his identity is firmly rooted in his relationship with Christ and his purpose as a Christian?

SIN (1 John 1:8-10): How seriously does he take the sin in his life? Does he hate sin, or excuse it? Does he confess his sin on his own, or is he usually caught/confronted about his sin? Is he genuinely repentant with a humble heart, or is he simply upset over being caught?

This list is a great starting place for genuinely discerning someone’s character according to God’s word.

Now, as a quick disclaimer, I’m not saying a guy has to be perfect to be godly (none of us are even close); but is he intentionally striving after the things above? Is he actively pursuing God and growing as a Christian? That’s the goal for all of us. This tool is also a great resource for evaluating our own character and asking the Lord to help us grow in our own areas of weakness.

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, I pray this character discernment tool is helpful to you. I encourage you to use this right now and in the future whenever a guy comes into your life. As you get to know him, use this too to genuinely evaluate his character. Don’t settle for a guy who isn’t interested in honoring God with his life. No matter how cute or funny he is, it’s not worth it in the long run.

If you want to learn more about how to navigate your romantic relationships in a godly way, I highly encourage you to grab a copy of my book Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships. This book covers everything from crushes, intentional dating, guy friendships, boundaries, red flags, biblical love, and much more. I think you’ll love it!

Now, I’d love to hear from you below. 

  • What did you think about the character discernment tool? What other biblical topics would you add to it?
  • How does your own character measure up against this test?

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18 Responses to How to Discern if a Guy Has Godly Character or Not

  1. Abi Sharples says:

    This is so helpful thank you!!! I’m currently being pursued by a guy and we’re gonna go on a date next week – I’ve been really thinking and praying about how best I can intentionally get to know him and his true character and I know this framework will really help in the questions I ask and in reminding myself of the type of guy I truly want to be with. Thank you! <3 xx

  2. Sunny says:

    This is an awesome tool! Too often young women are told to find a Christian guy but measuring the character of guys (and ourselves) can be difficult. Thank you so much for your ministry ladies! I look forward to every encouraging article. 🙂

  3. Clara says:

    I really love this list, thank you so much! It boils down key areas to think about and evaluate.

  4. Heather Hemsley says:

    This is a great post, Kristen and Bethany!! One of your best yet. Thank you so much for these practical questions!! <3

  5. Shanae B says:

    I have missed posts like this one, thanks for bringing them around again! Great list! I especially like the purity and identity part! 🙂

  6. Hope Hemsley says:

    This is a really good post, thanks girls!! ^^

  7. Jolene Barker says:

    Super truth! This is a fantastic list to ponder and pray over! Thank you for breaking down the “godly guy” idea into bite-size concepts! Saving for future reference! And I think I’m going to use it to pray for my future guy!

  8. Meg says:

    This was what I needed to hear!

  9. Chelsea Ejimakor says:

    Thanks for the post. Nice one

  10. Bea says:

    Wow, what shall I say. I am again – speechless. God hhas been answering my prayers over and over again. I met a Christian guy through instagram. At first I was not interested because I wanted to focus on Jesus. After some time we started talking more and more. Our character started to get revealed and I started asking God if he could be a good husband. Following this blog I can only say he does (from what I have seen over the past 6 months) all of the above. I could have never thought there was someone so amazing and godly on this earth and never ever had I imagined that God would allow me to maybe marry a godly man, especially after my bad past. But once again, Christs sacrifice becomes a testimony. He is the one who brought us together, he made us meet (it was literally because of me writing text about God on my instagram that he followed me), he made us pray for each other and strenghten each other in faith, he is answering our prayers and slowly he is telling us, we could be husband and wife. And once again the word of God is manifested as truthful. “seek first the kingdom and everything will be added to you ” – we both, after a failed relationship, turned 180% to Jesus. We were fed up of this world. He wanted to become a priest, I wanted to stay single all my life. Then started praying again for a relationship, but without intentions – when God made us meet we were happy where we were with following him, we were satisfied in him. I believe he saw this and blessed us by making us meet. It is incredible how much God has been showing himslef in my life lately, I say this in humbleness to motivate you girls and boys to pray and seek him with all your heart and he will revel himself to you, answer your prayer and much more. He will fill you with purpose, joy, love, forgiveness, humbleness, peace and so much more. Believe and you shall receive – be blessed ❤

  11. pinkglasses says:

    I think you gave pretty good advice. When a man is proactive in his service to others, hardworking, humble and willing to reflect on correction, you can see God’s working through him.
    These list of character traits poses a question though: do I have and show godly character? Do I hold myself to the same standard? Would a good man find these same good qualities in me?

  12. Katie says:

    I am wondering, would all this be evident in a guy without having to ask questions? Or should I be asking him where he stands in these places? Thank you SO much for all you guys do on this blog! I love what you girls are doing, God is really using you in awesome ways.


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