If you’re a dedicated military wife, or spouse, then more than likely you are also committed to supporting your military husband, or spouse. And that is not always an easy task. It’s a menu of many open-ended responsibilities and burdens that require numerous skill sets. Last week, for example, I gave a radio interview on my new book, Faith Steps for Military Families, which is on the topic of developing spiritual readiness into our military families. The radio host made a good point in that even though America continues to have an all-volunteer force, spouses and family members fall in the category of drafted. The backbone of the service member is you, the spouse and your family. But, as the acting chief of the home front in your husband’s absence, staying encouraged, motivated, and determined can quickly go from a small challenge to an all-out battle–spiritually. This is because when things fail to go the way we expect or we’re beset with problematic circumstances, we feel disheartened, sometimes even marginalized. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look at three assaults that Satan uses in an attempt to erode your faith and wear down your supportive role as a military wife, or spouse. If we lack spiritual muscle, these flaming arrows have the propensity to spread like a contagious disease to other family members. The first one we’ll look at is doubt.
Satan has been using doubt since the Garden of Eden. In the Genesis account, the serpent, Satan, called into question the goodness of God. Satan contradicts God by telling Eve, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it [the fruit from the forbidden tree] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…’” (Genesis 3:4 NRSV). The serpent misled Eve, planting the seed of doubt that perhaps God is withholding something from Eve. Satan didn’t come right out and say it, but he implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish for not wanting Eve to share his knowledge of good and evil.1 By taking her focus off of God’s goodness, protection, and provision, she focused on the things she couldn’t have, and began to focus on her desires. The seed of doubt causes us to lose our trust in God’s sovereign care. In a state of doubt, Satan tempts us to question God. Does God’s Word really say that I can do all things in His strength? Does He really expect me stay committed to a man that is gone so much when I need him home? What about my needs? Is this lifestyle really worth it?
Doubt is a natural human response. Opposite of belief, its purpose is to get you to mistrust, become subjective in your skepticism, and ultimately disbelieve the basics of your faith. When circumstances of your military lifestyle become problematic, they may trigger anxiety or feelings of distrust and lead you to question your role as the supportive military spouse. You may even question your overall ability to go the distance.
Recognize that doubt is a feeling and feelings are neither right or wrong, they just are. Your doubt may be reasonable, but it has the power to grow, distorting your true perception of your actual circumstances, spreading to other members of your family. Satan’s deception caused Eve to become discontent with her current circumstances. Like Eve, doubt undermines your contentment and commitment, even making an alternative lifestyle appear more attractive. Ask God to remove any feelings of doubt that would lead you astray. Pray He will give you the true perception of your circumstances.
Remember the television show, “Lost in Space” and the robot who signaled trouble when he yells, “Danger! Danger!?” If doubt becomes a welcomed guest for an open-ended stay, recognize you are in dangerous waters. Left to grow in our hearts and minds, doubt will mature into the second of Satan’s flaming arrows. It also begins with a “D.” Leave me a reply with your guess as to what could be.
For Part 2, click here
1 Bible Note for Genesis 3:1-6, Life Application Bible, (Iowa Falls, IA:, World Bible Publishers, Inc., 1989).