May 15, 2020
Pray for Military Marriages
“Military marriages face unique challenges. It is typical for deployments to combat zones to last six months or more, which is common knowledge. Being a military family, though, we have learned that the actual cycle of such separations begins well in advance of the deployment, and ripples into the months following. Spouses have to face the reality of getting affairs in order, such as updating wills and legal documents, in the weeks and months leading up to the ‘big day.’ Although it’s uncomfortable to think about, military couples recognize that an updated will is important in case the unimaginable happens. We all know that six months of separation can turn into a lifetime of being without your spouse. Stress and anxiety can build and spouses can begin to withdraw from one another emotionally in advance. Even after a safe return home, military marriages go through a period dubbed ‘reintegration,’ where the dynamics are again upended and families strive to find another new normal.
“An even more common type of separation is called a Temporary Duty Travel, or ‘TDY’. TDYs can resemble a business trip, where the service member is gone for a few days at a time to a safe location. Some TDYs, however, can be for a couple weeks to a month or more in length. These recurrent separations can cause additional stress on marriages as spouses have to frequently re-evaluate expectations and responsibilities in the home, and navigate the desire to be close to one another while physically far apart.
“As believers, we know that the Lord has declared us to be ‘one’ with our spouse. This is not only true in times when we are physically present with our spouse, but also in times when we are far from one another. Military couples must strive for oneness across great distances, which is only possible through Christ. We are also called to bring all of our anxieties before the Lord in prayer. Whether those anxieties stem from the dangerous nature of the service member’s job or the looming unknowns of separations during ever-changing seasons of life, we were not created to live in fear but to walk by faith. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into a cycle of self-reliance through the ups and downs of military life, and it’s important to be reminded that the Lord has not left us alone to fend for ourselves–even when we feel lonely because we’re missing our spouse.” (Becky Gifford)
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24; NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by, Becky Gifford):
- Pray that those in military marriages would be able to find creative ways to foster “oneness” even across great distances.
- Pray that believing military spouses and service members would be reminded by the Holy Spirit to bring any anxieties and fears before the Lord in prayer. This is a great privilege for those who are in Christ, and one we should be constantly mindful of!
- Pray that military couples would sense the abiding presence of the Lord through the inevitable loneliness that comes with military life.
A prayer you can pray (by, Becky Gifford):
“Father, I lift up military marriages before Your throne today. Lord, strengthen the resolve of military couples to truly be ‘one’ with one another, not only when they are together under one roof, but in thought, word, and deed while separated by great distance. Help them remember that they are not alone, even when the loneliness creeps in. As they notice fear and anxiety rising in their thoughts, remind them through the Holy Spirit to bring those thoughts before You, because You care for them so much. For military couples who have not put their faith in You yet, Lord, let these things–believers seeking true marital oneness, bringing anxiety and fear before you in prayer, and the peace that comes from knowing you are near–be a witness and a light to those around them. May You be glorified as You work in and through military marriages! In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
We decree a special grace for one-flesh marriages for our U. S. military.
Becky Gifford is married to a member of our United States Air Force. She grew up in our church in Colorado Springs.