God cares for the military family and military children. They are precious to him. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:19 NIV)
God Cares for the Military Family.
by: Andrea Plotner
Military families are not only precious but face unique pressures.
Military Family Month
This is the Month of the Military Family. Here at Planting Roots, we honor these families for their sacrificial service. Our youngest son (18) is pursuing an Army career. We recently talked about the pros and cons he experienced growing up military. The conversation centered around what he wants for his own family someday. The central topic of our conversation was the frequent absence of the military parent(s) from home and how each family member processes that differently.
Pros for the Military
There was an Army slogan, “Join the Army and see the world,” and our kids have traveled around the world and back. Each assignment brought new opportunities. We have explored the Lewis & Clark route in Kansas, played ice hockey in North Carolina, explored New Testament sites in Turkey, and enjoyed a Legoland membership in California, thanks to military discounts. Moving has the potential to expand our horizons. It allows us to meet new people and gain new skills.
Cons for the Military Family
The most challenging part of military life for our family was the extended work hours, whether due to the mission at hand, training, or deployments. Military life is also full of transitions that can build resilience but can also cause stress and fallout. If you’ve ever seen the Holmes and Rahe Stress scale (news24.com), all of these items affect military families directly:
- Change in living conditions
- Revision of personal habits
- Change in residence
- Change in schools
- Change in recreation
- Change in church activities
- Change in social activities
- Change in the number of family reunions
- Change in eating habits (cereal for dinner during a move, anyone?)
God Cares for the Military Family
Throughout the Bible, we see God caring for his children like a good shepherd (see Psalm 23 as a beautiful example). If I could go back and give my younger self advice as a military family, I would say this: What’s happening on the inside with each family member is way more important than what’s happening on the outside. Take every opportunity to grab that proverbial picnic blanket, find a green pasture beside quiet waters, and enjoy one another.
God is a “with-us” God, and I think one of the best ways we can stay strong as military families is by getting in as much “with-ness” as possible (yes, that’s a made-up word). Slowing down, to be together, helps us not only see the needs but also to also pour into them.
Suppose your challenges are different than described, or you struggle to manage military family life in loving ways. In that case, I encourage you to ask God for help and reach out to a trusted military mentor or wise counselor for insight.
Right now, I’d like to lift up a prayer for military families and look for opportunities that God might bring along to bless and refresh these precious souls.
Dear God, Thank you for military families with children serving our nation alongside their parents. We know this is a sacrificial service, and sometimes the costs are very high. Please bless and protect each one and lead them in the way everlasting. We ask these things for their good and your glory, Amen.