Military marriage takes a couple on a journey that will test commitment, but each step can give trust the space for unprecedented growth
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:20–25)
Commitment is a word military folks know well. Joining the military requires an obligated time commitment. And for many military personnel, commitment includes not only a timeframe but an ideological ideal accompanied by a strong sense of duty.1
Joseph and Mary would have made a good military family. Individually and as a couple they rank high on the commitment scale. Consider the comment by Mary in Luke 1:38 following the angel’s announcement that she would carry a child conceived unnaturally: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” In that moment Mary made a commitment to yield to God’s will and to trust God with the next step. She rose from that place of divine encounter and set out on a journey of unprecedented trust.
Now consider Joseph, who took a colossal step of commitment in marrying Mary. This was no easy commitment—an angel had to appear to him in a dream for him to say yes! Yet Joseph too made a commitment to yield to God’s will and trust God with the next step. He too, rose from a place of divine encounter to set out on a journey of unprecedented trust.
Joseph and Mary started their journey together lacking the answers to some major questions. But isn’t that the way it always is when we make vows in marriage? Our commitment to each other says, “I trust you without knowing all the answers.”
Sara Horn, an author and military wife, reminds us that commitment must be a starting point to any successful military marriage. “Loving feelings can come and go,” she writes, “but commitment creates a bond that is hard to break. When you both wholeheartedly agree, for better or for worse, to be there for the other no matter what, you are that much stronger to withstand the problems that will come.”2
Military marriage takes a couple on a journey that will test commitment, but each step can give trust the space for unprecedented growth.
How has the military tested trust and commitment in your marriage? How are you allowing the military to grow trust and commitment in your marriage?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, commitment means determination and perseverance in the no matter what times in my marriage. Keep my spouse and me moving forward in our commitment to one another—especially in times when our commitment is tested. Thank you for this military life and the way you use it to strengthen my marriage. Amen.
1 Thomas C. Wyatt and Reuven Gal, ed., Legitimacy and Commitment in the Military (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990), 183.
2 Sara Horn, “Keeping Your Guard/Reserve Marriage Strong,” Military.com, http://www.military.com/spouse/relationships/military-marriage/keeping-strong-guard-reserve-marriage.html, accessed May 12, 2015.