Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Praying For His Past & Future

“Yesterday is History. Tomorrow is a Mystery. Today is a Gift. That’s why they call it the Present.”

We all have pasts. We all have futures. Figuring out what to do with them now can often be a challenge. Meeting someone, falling in love with him, merging your lives together and taking on the past and future of another person is even MORE challenging at times. Without God’s help, the baggage of the past and the unknown of the future would be impossible to handle.
Whether you met your military man before he signed the line or took the oath… or after he had already given his heart and life to service, the military most definitely plays a huge role in his past, his present and his future and in yours, too. If you’ve been by your man’s side since Day 1 of his military career, you have the upper hand. You know where he’s been, what he’s done and how it changed him. If you’re like me and you met him after 18 years of service and 3 deployments, it can be difficult to put the pieces of his past together. But either way, your prayers for him are essential.
Often times soldiers do things they’d rather not remember doing. Whether it’s killing an enemy on orders or having a one night stand, our husbands like every other person on the planet has things in his past that he is not proud of and does not talk about. As wives, these things are sometimes very difficult for us to understand, to accept, and sometimes to forgive. You may find that the things that continue to haunt your husband will begin to haunt you. Past mistakes and failures often come back to bring down an entire family. That’s because the Enemy is a coward. He will stoop to the lowest of places to dig into the deepest of closets and pull out the ugliest of skeletons from the past. Why? Because many times, the past hurts. And a marriage not centered on the hope and the promises of God will crumble under pain.
Let me give you an example of the Enemy’s tactic- a look into his playbook. Scenario #1:  GI Joe faced a brutal attack in Iraq and killed a handful of insurgents in a vicious fight. Four years later, he is still having nightmares about it. He tells his wife about the nightmares and shares with her the details of the  battle he was in. Hearing about the way her husband took the lives of other human beings frightens her. She begins looking at him differently, she no longer trusts him when he’s angry, she withdraws. He senses her fear and blames himself so he tries to stuff it down. He doesn’t get the help he needs and continues to be tormented. They start fighting because she doesn’t understand why he’s always angry and frustrated. Their marriage dissolves quickly.  Scenario #2: As a single man, GI Joe sleeps with a number of women. He participates in a number of inappropriate activities and lives a pretty wild lifestyle before finding God. Then GI Joe gets married. He discloses his past to his young bride and tho she is surprised at what she learns, she tries to be accepting. As time passes, his past begins to haunt her. Ex-girlfriends come back and cause problems. His stories of the past leave his new bride feeling inadequate. She knows that many of the women from his past has been more beautiful, more sexual, more exciting. She feels like she can’t compete. He doesn’t understand what she’s trying to compete with. He doesn’t understand her insecurities and wants her to “get over it”. He loves her and he married her and the women from his past mean nothing to him. But they haunt her every time they try to make love. Or every time she hears one of their names. She feels cheated, knowing that other women have had part of her husband that she can never get back. He feels guilty and frustrated and just wants to move forward. They fight. A lot. And their marriage dissolves.
In either scenario if GI Joe and his wife had God in their lives and at the center of their marriage, their stories could have ended like this: GI Joe and his wife realized that their issues were direct attacks from the enemy, so together they prayed for unity in the marriage. They prayed for mutual understanding, forgiveness, honesty, openness, love, grace and mercy. Mrs GI Joe continued to pray for her husband’s past. She prayed that God would use his past to bless their future and not harm it. She prayed that she would be the kind of wife he needed to help him over the hurdles of the past and that together they could create a beautiful future together.
Praying for your husband makes a bigger impact than you can imagine.
As difficult as the past can be to deal with, the unknown of the future can seem just as daunting. The decisions and the “what if’s” in life can be overwhelming. Will he deploy again? Are we going to stay here or do we have to PCS again? Will he ever get promoted? Will they medboard him out? Is he going to re-enlist? Should he go career? Should he re-class? What if we get orders and the kids have to move during high school? What if I get sick while we live overseas? What if the baby comes while he’s deployed? What if he gets hurt? What if he can’t find a job if he gets out?
No matter what questions, circumstances or decisions our husbands are facing, it’s CRUCIAL that we remain in prayer for his future. One thing that I’ve learned in life is that even if we make the wrong choice, God is faithful to bring good from it if we continue to seek Him. He allows His children to make wrong choices because it can bring us closer to Him. But if you want to spare your family the pain of learning lessons the hard way, I urge you to pray that your husband will seek Him first in every decision he makes.
Ask God to prepare the places He would have you and your husband to go. Ask God to bring a good church home, new friends and a good school to the new installation you’re moving to. Ask God to bring people into your husband’s command that he can minister to. Ask God to search your heart and rid it of selfish ambitions when you’re forced to make a major decision. Ask God to strengthen your marriage while you’re together so it will be stronger when you’re apart. God alone knows the plans that He has for you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that those plans are for our good and not to harm us. So, trust your future into the hands of the One who created you and created your husband. Ask He who has numbered your days to walk each day ahead of you so that you can follow Him closely. Ask the God whose plans are for your good what it is that He would have you to do. Pray that your husband would do the same and that together you would live lives that will leave a godly heritage for your children.

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