Every day I ask God to give me strength to get through that particular day, because I understand I could never successfully have the kind of day that God wants me to have without Him. I tried for years, and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried the day would end up going through some kind of drama; somebody saying something that would affect me emotionally or physically. I didn’t want to take it anymore. So I said to myself:
“I’ll just roll with the punches, be part of what everybody’s doing. That way, I don’t have to go through any of this mess!”
What a compromising strategy that turned out to be. That brought even more frustration than before. I not only compromised my own feelings and thoughts, I also allowed myself to indulge with the activity of those very same strategies. I found myself doing things that I didn’t really want to do, just to be a part of the crowd.
After several encounters that lead to disastrous results, I told myself “I’ve had enough!” There will be no more trying to fit in with the crowd. I’m just going to be myself whether they like me or accept me or not. No more living a life of not being real, trying to be someone that I’m not.
Several years ago I started studying God’s Word about living a holy life, living with honest intentions and being who I really was. Even though I was having some consistent progress moving forward in my healing from addictive behaviors, I wanted to get some understanding about what it meant to living honestly and not having to lie about everything.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1, 2
I found myself understanding that my life is precious in God’s sight and that in order for me or anyone to live an honest life there must be an internal change, beginning with the mind and heart. I realized that trying to live a life of truth in front of others, especially my family, was a difficult task for me because I was still working on being honest in general. For years I lived a life of lies and pretending to show people that I was a real, honest person but my agenda was primarily hidden to appease myself. My mind and heart wasn’t renewed by the Spirit of God. I still had that same mindset of selfishness.
I prayed daily for God to change me, beginning with my mind and heart. I submitted totally and consistently by obedience and submission to His Holy Spirit. God changed my heart by replacing the selfishness with a heart of love for people. I learned that I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I was living honestly, and with intention to carry out that love with passion and care. My family started to see me for who I really was, not who I thought I could be.
To live honestly without pretending, I had to understand who I was in Christ along the way. I knew I was a man trying to live a godly life with no perspective into who my creator was or is. I studied God’s Word and He lead me to know Him is a way I had no idea of. I knew that I could never be the Man of God, the husband, the father, the provider or the spiritual leader of my home until I knew who God was to me and what my purpose was in this life. This has helped me establish a relationship with my heavenly Father that I never had. And to this very day my relationship with God is growing more and more in every area of my life. I have no desire to pretend or lie, to be someone to my family that I’m truly not. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong and will admit it. If I can’t do something, I just can’t do it. I’m trusting God to lead me in transparency and honesty all the way.
I realize there are men, husbands out there who are living dishonest lives in front of their wives and families, having hidden agendas and pretending to love their wives when they really don’t. They are doing the “good deeds” to look busy or give that impression that they’re doing the right thing. Their wives and children see daddy doing all the right things but in reality they’re hurting to find peace and be themselves but don’t know how.
Fear, or passivity has gotten a stronghold on them and they’re struggling to let go but don’t know how, don’t have anyone to talk to about how to escape this. But sooner or later they’re wives discover the true man that’s been pretending all this time. His false sense of identity begins to catch up with him and exposure is revealed.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:25-27
Now, I don’t want to give the impression that this only happens with husbands. It also happens with wives as well. And they are just as guilty in the marriage covenant as the husband. But we as husbands ought to know better because of the responsibility God placed on us as the husband. When we love our wives we love them honestly and truthfully, as Christ loved the church. There is no pretending or putting on a false sense of identity. Who are we really trying to fool? Nobody but ourselves. And if we really think we’re getting away with something guess what? God knows everything and what is in the dark will surely come to light!
So now, what should we ought to do to begin living honestly? Well, we can start by acknowledging our dishonesty, that we are and have been living deceptively and ask God for forgiveness. Then begin to seek God with honest and honorable intentions. Seek out some men who are full of the Holy Spirit, women the same for you as well with spirit-filled women, and surround yourselves with them.
Start getting into God’s Word with purpose, reading and studying with determination to succeed in whatever you do. This was what I did, and still do to this day. I got to have it. My relationships with God, as well as my relationship with my wife and daughters, have never been better! I’m determined to live honestly and with transparency in every area of my life.
I just want to encourage you all, which living honestly with good intentions are honorable not only to your wife or husband and family, but also to God. God is looking for righteousness in everything we do. Let’s make our heavenly Father proud of us.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” – Ephesians 5:1, 2
Men Of Redemption – Article 91
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