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Man to Man: “Split-Rail” Christian

What does it mean to be a man of God? It depends on who you ask.  Some would say being a man of God doesn’t sound like much fun, while others would consider that man weak.

I personally was a “split-rail” Christian for most of my adult life.  I was open about my faith when asked and tried to live according to God’s word, but had otherwise kept God and my life separate.  This ended up causing bitterness and made it hard to control my temper. 

Ultimately, what made me really look at my life was realizing that although I’d often felt at least partially right (or completely right) in situations, I ended up 100% wrong because of how I handled them.   The frustration and hurt of being involved in constant conflict had worn me down.

Two years ago, I committed to focusing on being a true man of God.  I’m not going to lie; it has been a hard, tough road. But I can honestly say I wish I had done it 20 years ago.

First, I had to tell my wife that I hadn’t been the man of God I was supposed to be.  It was embarrassing at the moment but was a HUGE stumbling block for me in an otherwise good relationship with her.  My pride was strong.  I’d always felt that if I showed weakness I wouldn’t be a man’s man.

That excuse, looking back, is a weak excuse.  My wife is my partner. The more she knows, sees, and understands me the stronger relationship we will have.

Second, I had to give God control. That didn’t sound like much fun at first.   Putting God first, and then putting my wife in front of me meant that I was third in my life. 

I’ve realized I was an arrogant, prideful, self-centered person, and it was easy to care ONLY about myself.  But what did that get me?  A miserable life. 

To overcome this you have to own your mistakes and work hard to allow God to adjust your mindset. Only then can your faith truly influence your choices.

Third, I had to start applying God’s word to my daily life.  Over time it’s become enjoyable to read my Bible and learn about God.  It’s comforting to know we can talk/pray with God about anything at any time.   Not having to deal with life’s challenges and disappointments alone has profoundly improved all aspects of my life.

Full disclosure: I struggled for years and years with turning full control of my life over to God.   I truly wanted to be a man of God, but the thought of getting there was just too much! 

I had convinced myself that the life I had was exactly the life I wanted!  The problem was the life I had was filled with bitterness, anxiety, a short temper, impatience, stress and all the other wonderful adjectives related to life without God.

Life Lesson:  Stop being a “split-rail” Christian.  Time is going to pass one way or another.  Why not do things God’s way and get His blessings and comfort instead of stubbornly doing it your way?

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