Disciplines of a Godly Man is written with the expressed purpose of developing godliness in the life of men. The book is based on Paul’s admonition to the young pastor Timothy: “Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). The book begins and ends with the subject of discipline. Like bookends that encase divine truth and principles for grace filled living, Dr. Hughes makes it clear that without discipline, godliness is impossible.
The author discusses sixteen specific disciplines which are essential to living a godly life. They include the disciplines of purity, marriage, fatherhood, friendship, mind, devotion, prayer, worship, integrity, tongue, work, church, leadership, giving, witness, and ministry. The book is unique in that Dr. Hughes includes spiritual disciplines that are not normally discussed in books of this sort.
Many positives pervade this work. First and most important, this book is grace filled. There is not a hint of legalism. The author writes, “God save us from the reductionism of such legalism which enshrines spirituality as a series of wooden laws . . .” The clear point is made that the spiritual disciplines do not merit favor with God. Rather their very practice indicates a love, longing and a thirst for Him. Second, the focus is on building an intimate relationship with Christ, one’s spouse, one’s family, and one’s friends. There is no cold abstraction here. This book aims directly at the heart. Third, there is a bold affirmation of sanctification by faith alone. Fourth, a helpful list a study questions is included at the end of each chapter.
Disciplines of a Godly Man should be required reading for every Christian man. Read it, absorb it, and pass it along to another man.