Family Separations - The Warrior's Journey®

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“And Peter said, ‘See, we have left our homes and followed you.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or relatives or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.’” (Luke 18:28-30) 

Every Christian Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine should commit these verses to memory. The Lord is mindful of your sacrifices for His sake and He will reward you in such measure that heaven will erase all the pain your family separations have incurred.   

I have turned to these verses countless times in my 31 years of military service. During that entire time, nothing was as painful to me as being apart from my wife and children for months – and even years – at a time. True, I knew many soldiers (and spouses) who enjoyed and even depended on those times away from each other. But their marriages hardly qualified as ideal relationships. When together they barely tolerated each other and a long separation was a welcomed relief to them. But for most of us, family separations are painful. No amount of money is worth them. 

Why then do we endure separations? Out of a sense of duty to our country? Or, is there a far better motivation for enduring those painful separations? Do we endure them for God as well?  Yes. We kiss our loved ones goodbye, go to war, and endanger our lives for God. “But wait a minute! I don’t have any choice in the matter.  I go where the Army, Navy, or Airforce tells me. And I’m no missionary or chaplain. I can’t really say I’m serving God by serving in the military.”   

The Apostle Paul disagrees with you. When he wrote to Christian slaves he told them to look beyond their earthly masters and to focus on pleasing their heavenly Master. By dedicating their servitude to God and seeking to glorify Him by it, their secular tasks became sacred. And Paul promised that God would reward as generously as if they were preachers or prophets (Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24; Matthew 10:41-42). 

Think about it. If you are a believer in Jesus, then Christ calls you to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:14-16).  Then it should not surprise us if God uses our deployments to bring our Christian witness to the darkest places on earth, where the light is needed most. And our witness extends beyond our words to our behavior and job performance. By glorifying God in these things our every endeavor becomes holy and will be rewarded by God. The separations will be painful. But the pain cannot compare with the glorious reward that awaits us in heaven (Romans 8:18). 


  • Are you facing a deployment or now deployed and separated from your family? 
  • As a believer isn’t Christ ultimately in charge of your life (Psalm 37:23)? 
  • Acknowledge Christ as the Lord of your life and serve Him wherever you are. 

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