Prayer and Mental Discipline
You need to set the time aside for prayer. You need to carry a prayer list like I have, perhaps in your pocket or put it on your smartphone. Pray regularly, pray for your nearest and dearest. Begin by worshipping God and then pray for those that are closest to you, then your family, then the body of Christ, and then for the world. Just that easily, pray things that come to mind—but do it on a regular basis.
Next to prayer is the discipline of the mind. In our culture today, we are assaulted 24/7 with all kinds of sounds and media all around us. We become distracted men. We need to discipline our minds: what we read, and what goes into it.
Relationships and the Church
Thirdly, if you’re a married man, you need discipline in your relationships—which is very pleasant discipline. Love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (and all those implications) and love her as you love your own body. Engage in a sublimely ordained narcissism by loving your wife.
You cannot be what you need to be as a godly man apart from the fellowship of the church.
Along with that is loving your church and participating in the body of Christ. You cannot be what you need to be as a godly man apart from the fellowship of the church. The early church understood that to have God as a father implies having the church for your mother to nurse you, take care of you, fellowship in the body of Christ, and enter into its fellowship. You cannot grow to be what you want to be apart from regular tenets, upon the organized services of the church, sitting at the Lord’s table, and being under the godly discipline of the elders who care for and will answer for your soul.
R. Kent Hughes is the author of Disciplines of a Godly Man.
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If you really have experienced the grace of God and you are in fellowship with him, your heart will desire to discipline itself for the purpose of godliness.