Guest author Rebekah Madren, is a military wife and she is sharing with us today some incredible encouragement and insight into being a supportive wife.
My fantastic husband is in the Marine Corps.
You probably know what hides behind the handsome uniform—deployments, crazy long hours, frequent moves, being a single mom.
The Marine Corps sometimes seems like large, loud man that moved straight in to your living room. He disrupts family life and can eat up your resources like there’s no tomorrow.
But, I know my husband is called to this profession at this time.
So, isn’t this God’s best plan for me, too?
I don’t have it all figured out. But I do believe God’s plan for me to be a military wife is for my good. As I’ve struggled to rest in His will for me, He’s given me lots of wisdom to help me make this USMC thing work.
1. Die To Yourself
When I’m questioning God about our USMC life, I hear this:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 11:24-25
A military wife dies daily to family dinners, a permanent place to live, and a stable community. What girl doesn’t dream of those things? In losing these dreams, however, we gain the life God wants to give us. And His dreams are bigger and more abundant than ours. For real.
It has been God’s mercy for me to have so little control. In that place, He can step in and wow me with the unexpected.
- Some gifts that have replaced the status quo I would choose for myself:
- Strong, diverse military wives as sincere, loyal friends
- Instant connection to a community who needs Christ
- Extended time with family or friends and travel while my husband is gone
- A husband who is trained to be a strong, sacrificial leader
- Living in places where people vacation
- A husband who is fulfilled by his work
I love what Kristen Strong says in her post “50 Reasons Why You, the Military Wife, Deserve a Standing Ovation and Medals.”
#50. [A military wife takes] comfort in knowing God – not Uncle Sam – has placed you where you are for a divine purpose.
2. See The Good In Separations
The night before my husband left recently, I lay in bed crying. God led me to the story when Jesus is in the upper room with His disciples. He tells His dear friends He must leave them, but it’s for the best.
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. – John 16:6-7
The same is true for the separations from my husband. Amidst the sadness, a gift remains.
Sometimes, we are healed of resentment. We might get more rest, see old friends, grow professionally or spiritually, pay off some debt. We remember why we are together, and not to take it for granted.
And of course—there’s the “I haven’t seen you in months” sex.
3. Be On The Adventure Together
Author John Eldredge presents the idea that men are created to live an adventure. We women long to play an essential role in that adventure. Think about a few Bible stories, and you can see this idea. When I feel included in the adventure of my husband’s work, like I’m playing a part that he really needs, everything is better. I just light up and serve with joy while I keep the home fires burning.
It takes some creativity and understanding on my husband’s part to include me, especially when he is away. This is something we still work on. The results he sees in my attitude are worth it, though!
I’ve also learned to include myself. I ask him questions about work, volunteer for unit needs like meals or events, and am a leader in our Officers’ Spouses Club. It’s a fun ride, and so fulfilling to invest in other military families who wrestle with the same stuff I do.
4. Throw An Arm Over
One of my older Marine wife friends told me this:
When he’s home but always working, and you’re tired or angry, at the very least–throw an arm over in bed.
Maybe that’s the best advice ever.
There are days when I fail and complain, and when the chasm of disconnectedness from my husband is my biggest reality. Those days I can’t make the most of my military marriage.
But when I am weak, Christ is still strong. In Him, all things hold together.
Blessings to all of you military wives, and to each wife who makes big sacrifices for her husband’s work.
By Rebekah Madren
BIO: Rebekah Madren is military wife and mommy, held together by Christ and as much support from other women (and black tea) as she can find. Getting married was a miracle she did not deserve. Now, she loves seeing marriages grow and women wowed by the tender heart of God through this divine arrangement. She blogs at rebekahmadren.com.