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Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:51

Stand Your Ground

Written by  Mike and Lisa Conn
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Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

(Ephesians 6:13)

 

All military commanders and planners spend a lot of time determining what “ground” they will defend.  In war, we stake the American flag and will defend that ground with our lives.  In marriage, whether military or civilian, Mike and I tend to view each couple as having either a red flag, yellow flag, or a green flag staked on their marriage ground.  What color is the flag staked in your ground? 

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him.  For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.  (Deuteronomy 24:5)

 

In this scripture, we see the magnitude placed on building and protecting your relationship with your spouse.  Here your relationship with your spouse is distinguished from everything else; that’s how important marriage is to God!

 

In Ephesians 5, Paul says husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.  In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  A strong marriage is built and maintained with a lot of, time, energy and hard work.  When the spouse has to be away, military commanders, units and bases purposefully invest in making sure that his dependents are taken care of.  Especially when deployed, a military member needs to know that his spouse and children have a support system in his absence, which helps him give his undivided attention to his mission.

 

When Mike was flying as a EC 130 navigator, for safety reasons, he had to have a certain number of hours of crew rest before each flight.  If he gave the wrong heading or altitude, the results could be disastrous.  Because he is “my ground” and he needed uninterrupted sleep so he could be at his best, I made sure the children didn’t wake him up.  In the early 80’s when he was training for a potential second rescue raid into Iran, all the crews deployed so they could give 100% to the mission.  Mike was able to prepare confidently because he knew his family (the ground he stands on and defends) would be provided for. 

 

Red Flag Marriages.  In all our years of teaching civilian and military couples, we’ve only had a few red flag marriages, where we had to stop everything and intervene.  Years ago, we had a wife who calmly told us that she was thinking about committing suicide and taking her four children with her.  Mike and I immediately stopped everything and focused entirely on caring for her children and taking her to mental health.  Her husband showed up hours later after he had taken a jog.  He brought several books with him to read in the waiting room.  We had been watching their children for hours while the woman was being counseled.  She ended up being hospitalized, and the husband received counseling as well.

 

Yellow Flag Marriages.  During our workshops for military couples, sometimes only one spouse attends.  There are always extenuating circumstances, but when we see a spouse coming alone each week, a yellow flag goes up.  Our first thoughts are, we need to be praying for this marriage--that both husband and wife will make it a priority to invest in their relationship.  In some cases, however, a previously absent spouse will start coming later with his wife.  The next thing you know, they are going to church together!  They’re taking down the yellow flag and raising a green flag.

 

Green Flag Marriages.  Most military couples we are blessed to work with are green flag marriages--they are moving forward, investing in their marriage and family together.  For example, in our last five-week Air Force Family Teams for Life class we taught in support of the Maxwell chapel, many of the 19 couples lit up the room when they walked in. Their marriage is strong, their parenting is strong, and they obviously love each other and the Lord.  They exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in their countenance--love, joy, peace, patience, etc.  (Galatians 5:22).  These couples stand their ground with a big green flag.

 

When you understand what your ground is and how important your marriage is to you and the Lord, it will be easier to stand your ground when the day of evil comes.

 

1.  Are you defending your marriage ground?  How? 

2.  Which flag represents your marriage?  Red, yellow or green? 

3.  What is one thing you can do now to stake a green flag or make it a BIG green flag?

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:56
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