How can a Christian serve God when the military rules are not conducive to serving God?

Question:

My husband is a soldier in the military. Currently, he is on a 14 month deployment (technically, he's overseas for 9 months and training during the other time). He is adamant about not reenlisting being that he has not been able to worship, nor will he be able to unless he finds fellow soldiers who are Christians. Also, he isn't able to raise his child and be a husband other than provide financially. He believes he isn't in fellowship with the Lord because he isn't able to obey the Lord's commandments since he's not in the current state to do so. I am starting to believe that as well.

My question: How can a soldier serve the military and also serve God when the military's rules are not conducive to a soldier serving God?


Answer:

I agree that it is difficult, but it can be done in most circumstances with some effort. A 14-month deployment is unusually long and the fact that it forces him to leave his wife and child behind for that long is not good. I don't blame him for deciding to find another career when his enlistment is up.

A brother in Christ and a friend of mine, Darryl Treat was an officer in the Air Force. He wrote an answer just before his retirement on a similar question: Should a Christian serve in the military? There are several points that he made that I think are important:

  • You need to be a strong Christian because there will be many temptations to let service to God slide since you are in an area where no one knows you.
  • You need to actively search for a local church or fellow Christians near the post where you are assigned. Let me know where he needs to find other Christians, and I can try to locate someone in the area.
  • You need to get actively involved in the work and not be just a pew warmer.
  • Conduct Bible studies with whoever you can find who is interested.
  • If there is no local congregation, often you can set up a worship service at the base chapel. There might not be many of you, but it is one way to get the word out that there are Christians in the area.
  • If you are isolated, but have access to the Internet, many congregations, including La Vista, broadcast their services for their members. You can always listen in. It is not a substitute for being with fellow Christians, but it is better than nothing at all.

In regard to family life, take advantage of modern technology. Use Skype or Facetime often. Text frequently to let each other know you are thinking of the other. Even if he can't get them immediately, they will be waiting for him when he does get back on-line.