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Entries in Military Families (1)

Wednesday
Apr102019

Uplift the Military Child and Family

Morgan Farr is a remarkably strong woman, because she knows where her strength lies—in the Lord. In this special UPLIFT, she calls our attention to the special needs of military families, and how we might reach out to help them.

"Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said,  'If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much.' And You know what?, says Morgan Farr, "I agree with her."

I (Dawn) remember that comment by Mrs. Onassis. It helped me firm up my family priorities, so I'm glad to see Morgan use that quote in such a positive way in this special pro-military-family post.

(Note: April 2019 is the Month of the Military Child.)

Morgan continues . . .

This quote by Mrs. Onassis was on the wall in the military hospital’s obstetrics office where I found out I was expecting our first child.

The quote sat directly above a sign that said, “We chose this. We live this. We can do this."—which is a popular saying among military families.

I remember reading that quote and thinking to myself, how hard could it be?

Well, three children later I can tell you—raising kids in a military family is both incredibly rewarding and incredibly difficult at the same time.

We have been married almost six years and we are about to complete our fourth move. This move will be quite an adventure with a four-year-old boy, a three-year-old boy, a one-year-old girl and an ever-patient pup.

Thinking about that sign and my response makes me chuckle as I wrangle the kids and the dog as my husband is currently TAD—gone for a training event, for all you non Army folks.

The combination of those signs in the doctor’s office has stuck with me throughout our parenting journey for a couple of reasons.

I don’t want to mess up my kids, especially since they didn’t choose this.

My husband was in the military before I met him. I don’t want to say I fully knew what I was getting into as a military spouse, because you cannot know the reality of it until you live it; but I at least had the choice.

My kids didn’t get a choice in this life and yet they take all the challenges in stride. So today, I want to share with you:

How to UpLift Military Children and Families

1. Look at the Reality.

Military life often means that parenting is a solo job. When the servicemember is on staff duty, TDY, or deployed, the other parent has to carry all of the weight, alone.

So when the military wife comes into Sunday School pushing an infant in a stroller, trying to wrestle in a wayward toddler, and get the preschooler to the potty—don’t sigh that she brought her kids. Welcome them.

Mark 9:37 says,  

Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Offer to go reserve seats for them. Get her a cup of coffee. Distract the toddler. Hold the baby. Smile at them. They need it. 

2. Look for Needs.

When you move to a new place, your household goods almost never arrive at the same time. This means your family often end up sleeping on the floor and eating out until their stuff arrives.

Romans 12:13 says,

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Offer the new military family your crockpot, your air mattress, or the use of your washing machine.

Tell them which grocery stores have the best produce and which coffee shops are the cleanest. If the husband is TAD or deployed, offer to mow the yard or shovel snow.

Help to meet the tangible needs that military life so often creates.

3. Look for ways to pray.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! I cannot stress this one enough.

Shroud this family in prayer constantly.

  • Pray for the servicemember as they are TDY or deployed.
  • Pray for the parent at home keeping the homefires burning.
  • Pray for the children to lean on Jesus when they are lonely, scared or missing their service member. 

Ephesians 6:18 says,

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”

With the constant movement, the separations and the unsure future, it is easy for military children and families for fall out of the church and to get left behind.

Pursue them, encourage them, support them, pray for them.

The official flower of the military child is the dandelion. It is carried away by the wind and can bloom in the most unlikely of places.

Military children watch their parent leave for TDYs that can last days, weeks, or months. They endure months long deployments, last minute cancellations, and not being able to hear their parents wish them a happy birthday.

We as a community need to care for these families that sacrifice so much for our nation every single day especially because they didn’t chose this.

God chose them for this life. 

How can you reach out to a military child this week?

Morgan Farr is a Texas-loving, succulent-cultivating, book nerd. Currently stationed in San Diego, California, this Army wife is working to better love her husband, develop her three small children, and learning more about homseschooling. Morgan is a homemaker who dedicates her time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring, and physical training. Morgan writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood on her blog, The Forgiven Former Feminist. You can find her training programs, nutritional information and meal plans on her blog, Farr Functional Fitness

Graphic of military family adapted, courtesy of Stockpholio.net—image/id/6174782835#!Reunited.

Graphic of dandelion adapted, courtesy of domeckopol at Pixabay.