From One War to Another: Being a Man of God

soldier-praying-e1333865018265After living through a war, a lot of us are left with many questions.  Most pressing for me being, “How can I be a good husband, father, and Christian leader after everything I went through?” After years of trial, I thankfully realized that it’s not about becoming anything new. I had to come to the realization that I was leaving one battlefield for another. No longer was I fighting a battle of flesh and blood. This time it was spiritual. This fight was also not just for me but also for my wife and my kids.  I had become aware that I was setting the cornerstone in the fight for the souls of generations to come.  I had to make my defense as solid as my offense.

Being a Christian husband and father has many of the same attributes as being a man of war.  We are protectors and we are leaders.  We are teachers and we keep structure and routine. We are the Officers of the family and our wives are the NCO’s.  Our Children, well too put it bluntly, are the FNG’s.  Like any great officer we take our NCO’s advice to heart, knowing that there is a wealth of knowledge in her, but like any other NCO she knows ultimately that the officer is in charge.   During the many times I have been faced with difficult decisions regarding my family, I have learned that the first thing I needed to do was refer to life’s hip pocket manual, my Bible. I also ask my NCO for her input which I hold in the highest of regards.  Finally, if I can’t find the answer, I turn to prayer which has saved me many times.

So I examined myself and scripture and came to three basic facts:

1) Being a Christian man is accepting responsibility. Being a man requires fully owning your responsibilities, be it being a father, a husband, an employee, or any other role we choose to take. A Christian man accepts his masculinity. A boy doesn’t spin in front of a mirror; he flexes his muscles. Our key roles in life require greater strength in order to carry them out. A Christian man speaks and acts with maturity.  Too many men want responsibility but also want to hold on to their boyhood. Paul challenged the early believers and us to this day “do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but mature in your thinking” ( 1 Cor 14:20). Christian men must function independently. We should not need our parents or others to take care of us. The Bible says “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife” (read: Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5).

2) Being a Christian husband is knowing that your responsibility is to guard and keep her in a holy place of honor.  It’s not just being willing to die for her in a onslaught of bullets and glory, but to give every day to her. As Christian husbands, we must put to death our own selfish desires to meet our wives’ deepest needs. Being a Christian husband is being the holder of the covenant that you made with your wife in God’s love.  Being faithful to her is a must, for when a Christian man is sexually immoral he is sinning against God and not just doing her wrong ( 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 4:8).

3) Being a Christian father may be our greatest mission. We tend to embrace the teachings of those who taught us and love us the most.   Any Christian father must know  how to be a gracious servant-leader and not a demanding tyrant. We must win their hearts. “Whatever the father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). If your kids become angry with you and you don’t seek resolution, they will become bitter and closed off to you. Then the devil will fill their minds with evil against you. So when they get angry with you, you must get involved and help them deal with their anger. Additionally, too many men refuse to apologize to their children when they are in the wrong in order to save face. When we admit our short comings to our children we don’t lose trust, we gain it.

praying-and-kneeling-man-300x187Now I know these things may seem like a tall order, but they are doable. These things are a must do in our journey to reconcile with our past and to fight for a closer relationship with Christ, but you will not be able to do it alone. Proverbs 18:1 tells us that we must lock shields with other men. For when we go it alone, we tend to do two unhealthy things: seek our own desires and fight against all sound wisdom.  This will allow the devil to step in and guide us away from God. I myself have to go to prayer and God’s word every day.  I have linked up with buddies from overseas.  I have also made new friends and brothers in the fight for my spiritual salvation. I know I am weak without God, his word, and a fellowship of my fellow Christian Warriors of faith.  Just like in war, it is the men to my left and to my right that will keep me in the fight against the enemy.

Mike Trammel
Mike Trammel is a former combat medic with U.S. Army and two completed deployments to Iraq. Service time from 1997 to 2007. He currently lives in Jackson TN.