Military Spouses: Find Hope on the Home Front
- Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Rely on God’s strength for temporary single parenting. When your spouse is not present to be an active parent, bring all your needs to God in prayer and draw upon the strength He’ll give you. Accept help from friends and family members who care about you and your children. Be careful not to rely on your children for counsel or comfort like you would another adult; don’t share too many concerns with them, so you don’t burden them with unnecessary stress while their other parent is away. Make time regularly to listen to your children’s concerns, though, and know that God will use everything – in your spouse’s absences – to accomplish good purposes in your children’s lives.
Overcome temptation. Acknowledge the reality of temptation that confronts you while your spouse is away for an extended time, such as in training or on a deployment. Pray specifically about each situation you encounter – fatigue, loneliness, boredom, an unmet sexual drive – so you don’t fall victim to temptations like idleness, adultery, unproductive busyness, or alcohol binges. Claim God’s promises from Scripture to fight temptations when they taunt you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you resist evil. Choose to trust God to meet your needs, instead of trying to meet them yourself in your own way. Don’t neglect your basic needs for a healthy diet, exercise, and enough sleep, because doing so will make you more vulnerable to temptation. Besides spending time in prayer and Bible reading regularly, get together with some other believers who can support and encourage you while your spouse is away.
Approach rank with the right perspective. Realize that, although people’s military ranks determine where they stand in the structure of the armed forces, everyone is equal before God. Acknowledge that no title or uniform can increase the value of a human soul. Remember that each person you meet deserves your respect because each is one of God’s beloved children, made in His image. Treat everyone equally well, showing no partiality between private and general. Understand that God isn’t impressed by someone’s rank, but He is impressed by someone’s character. Focus on what God values, humbly living out your faith by loving and serving Him and other people.
Expect God to meet you at your new homes. As you go through the frequent moves that are common in military life, know that God will always go ahead of you to prepare you for what lies ahead. Pray for peace while you make the necessary transitions. Understand that while your addresses here on Earth are temporary, you have a permanent residence waiting for you in heaven. Remember that, while many parts of your life will change, God will never change and you can always count on Him and the promises in His Word.
Deal well with separations from family and friends. If you and your spouse have sensed God leading your family to the military, remember that your spouse’s service isn’t just a career – it’s a calling. When a move pulls you away from family and friends, be willing to leave those you love in order to follow where God leads. Entrust your loved ones to God, knowing that He will care for them well.
Enjoy and learn from foreign assignments. When you receive orders to an overseas station, don’t despair. Ask God to help you overcome your fears and open your eyes to the opportunities you’ll have for fun and learning in another country. Be grateful for the chance to experience something new. Keep an open mind, and be humble and eager to learn. Be flexible enough to adapt to a different lifestyle. Don’t hide on the base; venture out whenever you can and get to know the local people. Ask God to help you build meaningful friendships with some of them. Remember that, not only do you represent the United States elsewhere in the world, but you’re also Christ’s ambassadors among unbelievers. So live out your faith in front of those who are watching you. Ask God to lead you to other believers in your new foreign assignment so you can worship and pray with them. Listen to others well, and speak clearly to them in ways they can understand, avoiding Christian jargon that may not make sense to them. Always remember that your true citizenship is in heaven, and choose God’s kingdom over the kingdom of this world whenever you’re faced with a conflict. Just as you would tell your children about life at home in the United States while you’re temporarily living overseas, be sure to tell them about their heavenly home and how they can get there. Recognize that homesickness is a good sign because it means that your heart is longing for another place. Spiritually, stay focused on the fact that you’re just passing through this world on your way to your permanent assignment with God in heaven. Travel light, giving your burdens to Christ regularly. Acknowledge that you need other believers just as much as they need you; do your best to be a good neighbor overseas. Just as you should learn where the American embassy is located in a foreign land, you should also find a good church and participate in it.
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