From soon after the Creation, in the garden of Eden, Satan has been a deceiver trying to replace his lies for the truth. Satan feeds us lies about ourselves and those around us. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we are able to discern God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. There are many lies military spouses believe.
Part of the battle against the lies is identifying them. Once they are identified, we have to replace them with truth. I identified ten lies that military spouses believe. These lies will be covered in a series of blog posts.
Lie # 1: The military is in control of our duty assignments, promotions, deployments, and moves.
One of the hardest parts of military life is the constant change and adjustments. Military spouses do have to surrender control over much of their lives. But, while we do have to let go of the reigns of control, we are not simply trusting them to the higher ranks of the military. God is ultimately in control. God outranks even the Generals who seem to be pulling the puppet strings of your life.
God is sovereign in orchestrating all things in your life for his purposes which includes your ultimate good and God’s glory (Romans 8:28). You have the opportunity to grow spiritually due to the increased challenges of the military life at usually a much greater pace. Forced hardships can cause you to lean into the Lord and learn more about Him if you let them. Many events and situations are out of your control, but there is one course of action you can and should take – prayer.
Surrendering worry and doubt through prayer reminds us that we are not alone. We can pray alone, with our children, and invite others to join us in praying for our military spouse.
Lie # 2: You don’t fit in or measure up to the other military spouses, women or men serving in uniform, or your civilian friends.
This is a common tactic of the enemy. During my twenty-five years as a military spouse, I realized that the enemy was whispering this to every single spouse. The thing is, we’ve all felt that way. We’ve all had times when we felt like the oddball. With 900,000 military spouses in the US alone, there is tremendous variety in the military spouse community. You aren’t expected to look, think, or act like everyone else. Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t change who you are to fit in; just be yourself.
Those other military spouses who look like they have it all together – it’s just an illusion. Every military spouse feels less than ideal at times and often serves as his or her own worst enemy. Don’t listen to these deceptions. Further, we should not turn to others who have a perspective that is limited to determine our worth.
God has an unlimited perspective, and He alone is the one who should be determining our worth. John 1:12 tells us that for those who receive Christ, he gave the right to become children of God. Romans 15:7 says we are to accept one another just as Christ accepted us.
I'd love to speak to your group about military life. To learn more about my speaking ministry, see this page.
Lie # 3: Your value and worth are dependent upon your career, your success, your family, your children, and/or your spouse’s rank.
If your identity is found in what you do, your kids, or what rank your spouse holds it will fail you. If you are identity is found in your job or success, then you will need to replace that with your identity in Christ.
When you find your identity in your success or job or anything else you do, it’s an idol that you are worshipping over God – the idol of self. None of these things define you. All of these things will fail. Christ will never fail.
The truth is you are valuable because Jesus chose the suffering of the cross to take the punishment on your behalf. Your identity in Christ is based on what He has done for you. Your identity in him will not falter because His word, not you, is flawless and worthy of trust. This is what his Word says about you:
· You are accepted (Romans 15:7),
· You are chosen (John 15:16),
· You are free (Galatians 4:7),
· You are a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17),
· You are a child of God (John 1:12),
· You are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27),
· You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20),
· You are protected by God (1 Peter 1:5),
· You are loved no matter what (Romans 8:38-39),
· You are precious to God (Isaiah 43:4),
· You are an heir of God (Romans 8:17),
· You are a part of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19),
· You are saved (Romans 10:13),
· You are blessed (Ephesians 1:3),
· You are treasured by God (Exodus 19:5), and
· You are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
Lie # 4 – You will not be able to pursue your own career.
Military spouses may encounter unique obstacles to pursuing work, including rigid and unpredictable demands of the armed forces member’s time as well as frequent reassignments and changes in location. Opportunities for employment for the military spouse can impact your armed forces’ spouse’s decision to stay in the military. Spouses with a stronger interest in the labor market may influence their husbands to leave the military if they believe labor opportunities are greater outside the military.  There are more and more companies that are specifically recruiting military spouses because they appreciate the military spouse’s flexibility, strength in the midst of adversity, and self-reliant traits.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) is a great starting point as it lists more than 700 companies that fit that description. The MSEP program has hired 275,000 military spouses as of December 2023.
During my first few years as a military spouse, I was able to transition a job from in-office to remote when a permanent change of station (PCS) moved us to a small town without job opportunities. My employer was willing to make it work to keep me as a valued employee. It just took me asking for accommodation and encouraging the company to think outside of the box.
Lie # 5 – Your spouse’s duty is more important than you or your family.
Although the military has improved, they can sometimes do a poor job of encouraging a good work-life balance for your spouse serving in uniform. At times, it can feel like your spouse prioritizes the mission over the family.
There will be times when duty calls. But, your spouse still values you more than the mission. I am firmly against the non-duty member spouse hiding problems or concerns from their military spouse to protect the mission. You should not hide the truth.
You do need a support system to help you weather the storm when duty does call, but you also need to be honest with your spouse. Your desires do matter. You do not need to squash your physical or emotional needs to benefit the military. You are your spouse’s first priority.
Part of what made my military marriage work was that I was open and honest about what I needed but balanced that with understanding the unique demands of serving the nation in the armed forces. It's a give-and-take. Don’t think for a minute that you are not valued and respected.
If you stay home when your spouse deploys, you likely have the harder job of juggling it all while they are away. Our marriage became easier once I found value in embracing my husband’s calling to serve as a joint calling and stopped resenting his military service. Read more about embracing the military life.
I'm releasing a book for military wives, published by B & H Publishing, called Another Move, God? 30 Encouragements for Embracing Your Life as Military Wife, based on the life of Sarah, to join the waiting list, go here. See this for more information on the book.
 James Josek, Beth J. Asch, C. Christine Fair, Craig Martin, Micahel G. Mattrock, “The Employment and Earnings of Military Wives,” Rand Corporation Research Briefs, accessed December 8, 2023, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB7555.html
 Renee Morad, “This Company Believes Being a Mom, Military Wife or Expat is a Major Asset,” Forbes.com, September 30, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2017/09/30/the-company-that-believes-being-a-mom-military-wife-or-expat-is-a-major-asset/?sh=a24abc1106d7
Go to Part 2 of this post.