Married to the Military vs. the Bride of Christ
As a military spouse, you may not have a uniform issued to you, but you are just as much in the service of your country as your mate is.
There is no doubt that this is a huge part of who you are. In fact, your status as the spouse of a military member may be one of the first things you tell people about yourself.
We are proud of our spouses, what they do, and what our country stands for. But do you ever begin to feel like being married to the military has eclipsed all other distinguishing characteristics you may have? Like your identity has become almost entirely wrapped up in your spouse’s calling?
Saria, Abram’s Wife
In the Old Testament, Sarai must have felt the same way. In Genesis 12:1-2 God told Abram:
“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.”
Verse 5 states,
“Then Abram took Sarai his wife.”
This suggests to me that Sarai (later named Sarah) is just along for the ride. She was known as Abram’s wife, and not much more than that. For more than two decades, Sarai wandered the desert with her husband. What Sarai didn’t know for many years that she as an individual was important to God’s plan and would be blessed with a son, Isaac, in her old age.
Perhaps you can relate to how Sarai felt while wandering through the desert before she had Isaac. Maybe you know your spouse is called to be in the military, but you feel like you are just tagging along, following your spouse wherever the government sends him or her. Don’t allow yourself to believe that this is the sum of your identity.
Yes, you are married to the military and the implications involved in that can be far-reaching; however, if you are a Christian you are also the bride of Christ. For a much more accurate and eternal view of yourself, consider who you are in a relationship to Christ rather than just in relationship to your spouse:
If you are a Christian, you are also the bride of Christ.
1. He is the Creator—you are His pleasing creation:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
You were created in the image of God Himself. He is the Author of Life and the Master Artist, and you are His masterpiece! No matter what you think about how you look, no matter what idealistic standards the media portrays, you are beautiful and pleasing to God, who sees both the outside appearance and the heart.
2. He is the Lamb of God—you are saved by His sacrifice:
“The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John 1:29
Christ, perfect and blameless, allowed Himself to be sacrificed through crucifixion so that you would not have to experience eternity separated from God in the torment of hell. God deemed you worthy of the price which had to be paid: the innocent blood of the Lamb of God.
3. He is the Shepherd—you are under His watchful care:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11
Jesus compares His children to sheep- vulnerable, trusting, in need of protection. When you submit to the leadership of the Shepherd, you can enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. You belong to Him, and He lays down His life for His own.
4. He is the Source—you are strong in Him:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
As the True Vine, Jesus offers you a continuous supply of nourishment and strength when you stay connected to Him. Without Him you can do nothing, but you can do all things through Christ who give you strength (Philippians 4:13.)
5. He is the Bridegroom—you are His beloved bride:
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5
As your heavenly bridegroom, Christ pledges His faithfulness to you, and promises to be your provider and protector. He loves you unconditionally, and longs to be in fellowship with you. Think about how you ache to be with your spouse when a separation comes between you. That’s the same feeling Christ has to be in communion with you.
Being married to the military is certainly an important characteristic of who you are. But may your defining characteristic be your relationship with Jesus Christ. May your identity be staked so firmly with Him that others will notice a “family resemblance.” You are created in the image of God, atoned for by the blood of the Lamb, protected by the Good Shepherd, strong through the True Vine. You are the bride of Christ!