We were discussing with a group of military wives their past struggles with deployment and the changes they could make as they approached another upcoming year apart. In the course of our time together around the table, one Army wife put her fist forcefully down and asserted, “My husband and I are going to thrive during this deployment—not just survive!”
She had learned through experience that a negative attitude of grumbling, complaining, and being fearful brings nothing but discouragement. But a positive attitude of purpose, encouragement, and gratitude brings hope during times of the hourly/daily/monthly challenges.
In the ongoing discussion with this military wife and her friends, we asked, “What does it look like to thrive during a deployment?” They shared these truths:
1. Couples who thrive are always looking for ways to grow personally and in their marriages.
2. Couples who thrive choose friends who are supportive of their marriages during the time of deployment.
3. Couples who thrive have faith in God and pray for each other.
4. Couples who thrive understand that God is in control. No matter what happens, He loves His children and has a plan for their lives.
5. Couples who thrive make God the center of their lives and have an eternal perspective.
What difference would it make during the pre-deployment stage if you used this time deciding how to make the very most of this period of geographic separation? How could you take steps now to plan for your marriage to grow, to surround yourselves with a supportive faith-filled community of believers, to have faith that God knows what you need and loves you, and to always have your mind on His goodness?
Ask others to pray for you as you discuss what you want your marriage to look like at the conclusion of your time apart. Then take five purposeful steps in that direction!
1. Name one way that you, as a couple, could progress in each of these five keys.
2. Share the doubts and fears confronting you during deployment. Knowing what your individual concerns are, how can you encourage one another?
As a couple it’s important for you to connect with other believers who can encourage and help you in your marriage and faith. Read “Don’t Do Marriage Alone” on FamilyLife.com.