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You always hear a lot about the virtuous woman and what the woman's role is in a relationship. But you don't hear a whole lot about the man unless you go to a Promise Keepers' meeting or a special men's conference. So I want to share some things that God has placed in my heart concerning men and what a real man of God is.

There is no true manhood apart from God. Certainly, there are many men in this world who are not saved, yet they are responsible and have many of the traits that we'll talk about. But understand that there is no true manhood apart from God.

Notice the first command that Jesus gave:

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt. 22:37).

A True Man of God Loves God
Your first responsibility as a Christian man is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and with everything you have. That's why you can't have true manhood apart from God. A true man realizes that he can't make himself great. Only God can. Without God, he is nothing. But with God, he can be anything. A true man of God loves God.

Therefore, the first thing a single woman should look for in a man is if he loves God - because he sure is going to be looking for someone who loves God with everything she has, not just someone who goes to church on Sunday. He's looking for a woman whose purpose in life is to love God too.

So it's important first and foremost for a man to love God with everything he has. That doesn't mean just saying, "I love God." It means loving God emotionally, spiritually, and in every way. It means that the first priority in your life, above anything else, is your love for Him.

Put Away Childish Things
First Corinthians 13:11 is very clear: "... when I became a man, I put away childish things." When you were growing up, there were certain things you did that were naturally childish. But then it came time to become a man, and becoming a man meant putting away all the childish things you used to do.

For example, being irresponsible - that's childish. This whole attitude of having as many women as possible is childish. Doing your own thing instead of doing God's thing is childish. Sure, there are men who have been successful doing their own thing, but are they happy? No. That's why you see them killing themselves. That's why you see them going through three, four, and five wives, and their kids are all messed up. Those men are not happy, but they want to do everything in their own selves. They want to have the big ego - because "they're 'the man'!"

Ego in itself is healthy and normal, and there is nothing terribly wrong with a man responding like that. But when a man allows his ego to push him to a point where he wants to act like he is God, then he is no longer a man.

Your Manhood Depends On Your Walk With God
As a man, your manhood is based on your relationship with God. And it's childish to think you can do everything your own way and succeed and be happy. You have to recognize that you need to do everything God's way. And when you succeed His way, you'll be happier beyond what you could ever imagine.

When you become a man, you also put away society's definition of what it is to be a man. You don't need to try to prove that you're "all that" or super special, because you know your manhood is not based on you. It's based on your relationship with God.

Another thing you must put away when you're grown is always thinking about the big "me." You don't run around being selfish all the time, praying just for yourself, thinking only about yourself, and doing everything in the interest of yourself.

Unfortunately, a lot of men are in that mode right now. No, you have to be unselfish, especially if you have a family. You have to think about your wife and children before you think about yourself. That takes maturity.

We need to put away all those childish things and develop our relationship with God so we can become men after God's own heart.

"And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will" (Acts 13:22).

Here we see that God said David was a man after His own heart. Why did God say this about David? If we understand this, we can imitate it and have the same testimony.

Well, if you read the Book of Psalms, you'll see that David was continually seeking God and seeking to please Him. His attitude was that he was going to continue to grow in God, and he earnestly sought after God with all of his heart.

Earnestly Seek God and the Blessings Will Follow
If you want to be a man after God's heart, you will have to continually seek God, too. You don't just go to church because you have to. You don't just read the Word and pray every day because you're supposed to. You're continually seeking God because that's your earnest desire. That's your lifestyle. You're trying to get more and more understanding about the Word. You're trying to get a deeper and deeper relationship with God.

And this is something you do all your life. In other words, you never make it to some point where you don't have to seek God anymore. You continue to seek Him, getting as close to Him as you can, all the days of your life.

Let's take a closer look at why God called David a man after His own heart. Look at First Kings chapter 9.

"And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel" (vv. 4-5).

Here the Lord said that David was a man who walked in "integrity" and "uprightness" of heart. In other words, his heart was right. He had a pure heart before God. He was someone who continually did what God commanded him to do. And the Lord was telling Solomon, "If you do these same things, I will establish for you a great kingdom."

Well, suppose you do these things? Then God will establish for you a great kingdom. I don't mean a kingdom as though you would rule the United States, but within your own domain, God will cause you to be a great leader or great man of God. You've decided to have integrity of heart, to walk uprightly, and to have a pure heart before Him.

Keep a Pure Heart and Stay Open To God
One thing I have always endeavored to do is to make sure I keep my heart right with God and that I always have a pure heart and good motives. I understand that if your heart is contaminated, you are in real trouble.

As a man of God, you have to have a heart that's completely open to God and whatever He wants. Your attitude needs to be that you're going to be as open to Him as possible, and you're not going to let anything contaminate, hinder, or stop you from having a pure heart. God respects and will prosper a man who is after His heart instead of his own desires.

Now look at First Kings chapter 11, and you'll see why it's important to maintain a pure heart.

"For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father" (v. 4).

If you read the chapters in between, you'll find that God granted Solomon wisdom and a great kingdom. But Solomon made the mistake of following after other women, and those women became his god in a sense, because he placed them and their gods above the Lord God.

Those women turned away Solomon's heart. His priority was no longer God first; it became the women first. So God said that Solomon did not have a perfect heart before the Lord.

To have a perfect heart before God, you must keep Him as your priority in every single area of your life. And I mean every area. A lot of times, we'll make God our priority up to a point, but then we'll get into other areas and forget about what God might say about them.

For example, in the area of politics, why not try to vote according to what God says about abortion, homosexuality, economics, and so forth? When in doubt, many Christians just vote the same way their family and friends have voted for years because they themselves don't really know the issues, and they don't take the time and effort to find out.

They'll even think about what their peers might say or what their race or community might say instead of what God says. But we need to use our minds and our hearts and vote on God's standards that come from the Word of God.

David followed after God's standard. His heart was perfect before God, and he kept it that way. That lets me know that it can be done!

Submit To God and Become A Man After God's Heart
Now look at James chapter 4. We're still talking about being a man after God's own heart.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

As a man, you must learn to submit. Submission is not just a "woman" issue. The Bible also talks about a husband and wife submitting to one another, but I'm not even dealing with that aspect. I'm talking now about submitting to God's Word and His will, which really applies to both men and women.

I really want to emphasize this, because, as men, we sometimes forget that we're to submit. You see, every single person on this planet is under authority. And to be a man, you have to learn to respect and submit to authority.

For example, in my church, I'm under authority - I'm under Bishop Butler's authority. Well, he, as the head of a ministry, is under authority the same as other leaders in the Body of Christ - they're all under God's authority.

So you're always under authority. You will never get away from it. Therefore, you need to learn how to deal with being under authority. You will never be the head man - the leader - if you don't. (Actually, even if you are the head man, you're still not the head man - because God is Head of the head!)

Now if you want God to prosper you, if you want to be happy, and if you want to get all the blessings of God in life, you have to be submitted to Him. If God has called you to do something, do it. Don't fight it. Don't neglect to do it or put it off. Submit to what God has called you to do. Submit to His will and do what He says.

I realize that sometimes you might not want to do what God is telling you to do because you think, Oh, man. It's going to be boring. I won't be able to live like that. But just do what God says and watch the blessings come!

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

Author Biography

Andre Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Pastor André Butler is the executive pastor of Word of Faith International Christian Center, founded by Bishop Keith A. Butler, in Southfield, Michigan and the former pastor of Faith Christian Center in Smyrna, Georgia. His mission in life is to equip others to experience the future that God has for them. His ministry emphasizes God's desire to prosper His people in every arena of life and God's command for His people to do their part in winning the world to Jesus.

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