In learning what it means to be a man after God's heart, the first major point is that you have to submit to God. If you can't submit to God, then if you're a married man (or will be someday), no woman should have to submit to you.

Second, you must be a person of the Word. Let's look at Romans 10:8 in The Amplified Bible:
But what does it say? The Word (God's message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach.
Notice that it says the Word is near you. You need to always be in a place where the Word is going forth—where you can be near the Word. You should be getting as much Word as you possibly can. That's why you have to be in church (and not just any church, because if the Word isn't going forth there, it's not helping you).

When I'm riding in my car, I'll play a tape of the Word just as often as I listen to music. And even the music I listen to is Word-based.

(If you want to find out about a man, get in his car. Look around to see if he is a man of the Word. You don't have to be sneaky about it. When he goes into the gas station for a minute, look at the kind of music he has and see if he has teaching tapes around. You understand what I'm saying: A man of the Word will always be near the Word.)

Bad Company Will Corrupt You
Another thing about surrounding yourself with the Word is checking up on who your friends are. Psalm 1:1 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly...."

Many are trying to be men or women of God, but they're hanging around with a bunch of hoodlums. Their friends are not even saved, or they're lukewarm Christians.

Well, if you're hanging around the wrong crowd, don't you know they're hindering you? Are they speaking or living by the Word? Are they men or women of the Word? Who you hang around with is who you're going to be like.

There's a whole teaching on watching the counsel and the company that you keep. You have to stay in God's counsel. So you need to be around other men or women of God who are always staying around the Word. The people you acquaint yourself with and spend time with need to be people of the Word, especially your true friends.

When you have close friends who are not in the Word, it will affect you negatively. You should try your best to be near the Word as much as possible.

A Man of the Word Wants A Woman of the Word
The mate you choose should be a person of the Word. That way, when a situation comes up, instead of hearing something negative like, "This is never going to work out," you'll have someone who will get in faith and stand on the Word with you. Or you might have a bad day and come home upset one day, and you'll need someone who can encourage you in the Word.

Before you get married and even after you're married, you need to surround yourself with people of the Word. Keep the Word near you, as the Scripture says.

Then it also said in Romans 8 that the Word of God should be on your lips and in your heart. You should be a person who's always speaking the Word. It doesn't mean you're always walking around saying, "Thus saith the Lord." But you should always be ready to speak the Word. It should always be in your heart and in your mouth.

We also see that the Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt. 12:34). You see, you're supposed to have the Word hidden in your heart. David said, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart" (Ps. 119:11).

Well, how do you get the Word in your heart? By getting in the Word every single day. Read it. Meditate on it. Say it out loud. Mutter it over and over again.

And don't let anyone tell you, "If you don't read ten or 20 chapters a day, you're not in the Word." If you only read one chapter a day, but you're meditating on it, walking around thinking about it, seeing yourself in that situation, and so forth, then you're in the Word—no question about it.

Stand For Something or Fall For Anything
Now look at Psalm 119. If you're going to be a man of the Word, then the Word must be your foundation. It has to be the rock that you stand on. You have to be a stickler for the Word, because a man that won't stand for something will fall for anything.

Those men who sit around and say, "Well, I don't know whether God really did that or not" or "I don't know if there even is a God" are the very ones whom the Muslims and other groups "snap up."

But a man of God stands on the Word. If anyone wants to come and challenge him, it's "No, Buddy. I'm coming from the standpoint of the Word of God—that's what I stand on." (And then, according to Ephesians 6, having done all to stand, he stands some more!)

Psalm 119—The 'Word' Chapter
You'll know when a man or woman of God loves the Word, because he or she will always be talking about it. Remember, men, when you first met someone you liked? You were always talking about her. And you weren't even in love with her—just infatuated!

But it's true. When you love something, you always talk about it.

"With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:13).

If you want to talk about someone who loves the Word, just read Psalm 119—because that's all David talks about.
The law [word] of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.... O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day....

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.... Therefore I love thy commandments [thy Word] above gold; yea, above fine gold.
(Ps. 119:72,97,103,127)
Do you see a pattern here? David just lays it out, and you can tell that this guy is in love with God. He's in love with God's Word and with everything God says.

Have a Relationship With God
and Become A Person After His Heart

First, you must submit to God's Word and to His will. Second, you must be a person of the Word. Third, you must have a relationship with God. God needs to be your best friend—Someone whom you're close to and can talk to about anything.

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark 1:35).

"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12).

We see here and in other places in Scripture that Jesus was a man of prayer. This doesn't mean that you have to pray all night every night, but a man of God will be a man of prayer.

Prayer is communing with God. It's not just supposed to be monologue; it's supposed to be dialogue. You're talking to God, and God is talking to you. When you're in prayer, that's when you can hear God.

So as I've already said many times and will continue to say, you have to be someone who prays every day. You don't have to pray two hours a day. Just be consistent, because the way to succeed in any area of life is just to be consistent.

Many times, you're searching for answers to problems: "What am I supposed to do in life?" or "What am I supposed to do in this situation?" Well, the answer can be found in prayer. God wants to tell you. God is trying to tell you!

You just have to get yourself quiet enough to hear Him. And that happens in prayer. If you don't know what God has called you to be in life, after a certain amount of time, it is your fault that you don't know. You're not spending enough time in prayer.

Source: God's Plan for the Single Saint by Keith A. Butler, II
Excerpt permission granted by Word of Faith Publishing