Separation/Staying Connected

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Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
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Scriptures
Hope
  • Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 (Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteous.)
  • John 10:10 (Christ has come so that we might have abundant life.)
  • John 16:33 (Christ has overcome the world. He gives peace in the midst of tribulation.)
  • Mark 10:9 (What God has joined together, let not man separate.)
  • Matthew 18:19-20 (If two or three are gathered, there am I among them.)
  • Proverbs 24:26 (An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.)
  • Ecclesiastes 7:8 (Finishing is better than starting.)
  • 1 Corinthians 11:9-11 (Woman is not independent of man nor man of woman.)
  • 1 John 3:16 (This is love: Jesus laid down his life for us.)
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 (The greatest of these is love.)
  • Romans 15:4 (Scriptures give instruction and hope.)
Help
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Conversations
Starters
    • Tell me about your marriage.  How long have you been married?  How did you meet?
    • On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being AWESOME, how satisfied were you with your marriage prior to deployment?  How do you think your spouse would answer that question?
    • When you are together, how well do you and your spouse communicate? In what ways do each of you need to improve in this area?  How do you plan to go about doing that?  Are you both in agreement?
    • Is this your first time being separated?
    • If this is not your first deployment, what went well during the previous separation?  What challenges did you experience, and how did you deal with them?
    • Compare your level of communication from past deployments to this one.  Describe how your present communication has affected your relationship (either for better or for worse).
    • How connected are you to a local church family at this time?  Describe your attendance and level of commitment to worship, activities and any service opportunities.
Deeper Questions
    • What is the greatest challenge this deployment poses in regard to your relationship with your spouse and family? How do you plan to meet that challenge?
    • How would you describe the general tone of your conversations with your spouse? If you could change one thing about your conversations with your spouse, what would it be?
    • How happy are you with the level of communication and sense of closeness you feel with your spouse during this deployment? What could you do to improve this?
    • How do you stay spiritually connected to your spouse and family during deployment? Describe how you would like this area to improve.
    • What kind of spiritual and emotional support do you received from other married Christians?
    • Do you have an accountability partner, someone who helps you stay focused on the Lord and His will for your life?
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Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
Books
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Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Montgomery/Morgan, Deployment Ready, p.87

    “When you work to connect with God and with each other, you have the opportunity to experience true oneness—the type that comes from spiritual intimacy.”

  • - Gary Smalley, For Better or For Best, p.164

    “Lasting friendships are built in foxholes. Nothing binds two people together faster than a common struggle against the enemy.”

  • - Linda Montgomery, 40 Days of Deployment Dare, Day 35

    “Wise counsel can be found in those who have weathered the storms of life and can steer you away from bad decisions. They can pray with you and for you when you feel discouraged. They can encourage you not to give up when all seems hopeless. They can be your cheering section—your “fan club”—to encourage you to persevere under trial. They can offer perspective when these days of being geographically separated during wartime seem like they will never end.”

  • - Stephen and Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, p. 133

    “Make a commitment to daily let go of unrealistic expectations and become your spouse’s greatest encourager. And the person they’re created by God to be will begin to emerge with new confidence and love for you.”

  • - Shellie Vandervoorde, Separated by Duty, United in Love, xiii

    “Separations are the times that will make or break your marriage. They are the times you will be asked to be the ‘selfless giver.’ Your service member may ask you to sacrifice your career, schooling or friends and being close to family—the list could go on. Mostly, you will be asked to give of yourself and your time. As a military spouse, you will make these sacrifices as your part in supporting your service member’s patriotism, courage, and commitment to something he or she believes in.”

  • - Bekah, “Waiting…Waiting…Waiting,” www.excellentorpraiseworthy.org

    “It’s so okay to be sad about deployments or infertility or any kind of disappointment. But it’s not okay to drown in them. We have to help our kids learn how to lean on Jesus. And we have to be willing to share our hearts a little when they’re heavy so that our friends can help us bear these loads. No matter how old you are – Jesus is your best friend and He will carry all your cares. Let Him do so now. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)”

  • - Montgomery/Morgan, Deployment Ready, p.42

    “Communication is an essential aspect of marriage, because everything else depends on it, especially during a deployment.”

  • - H. Norman Wright, Communication, Key to Your Marriage, p.16

    “A Christian marriage involves more than the blending of two people. It includes a third person—Jesus Christ—who gives meaning, guidance and direction to the relationship. When He presides in a marriage, then and only then is it a Christian marriage.”

  • - Joe Stowell, When the Going Gets Tough, p.30

    “Counting trouble a thing of joy does not require that we feel happy about our difficulties but that we understand that ultimately and finally God’s good hand will make the experience worthy of joyful praise and thanksgiving. This mental outlook keeps our focus not on the moment of pain but on the culmination of the process.”

Next Steps
    • Recognize the importance of staying connected with your spouse during this deployment and continue to work at it.
    • Read any of the online articles listed in the resource guide it with your spouse or a mentor.
    • Memorize one of the scriptures of help and hope in this guide.
    • Choose a chapter from one of the books in this guide share your thoughts with a friend or mentor.
    • Attend church services regularly and where possible, join a study group.
    • Find other married Christians whose spouses are deployed and meet together for support and encouragement.
    • Find an accountability partner or a mentor; a more mature Christian who can help and advise you, keeping you accountable for your behavior during the deployment.
    • Pray for your spouse—his/her physical, emotional and spiritual being– every day and pray with your spouse when you talk.
    • Maintain consistent, positive communication with your spouse, even if you feel hurt or anger toward him/her. Confess those feelings to the Lord and to your spouse and explain why you feel that way.
    • Realize that communication breakdowns can more readily occur due to distance, so be patient, giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt.
    • Focus on positive, good, pure, right, noble thoughts, not allowing Satan a foothold in your marriage (Phil 4:8).
    • Discuss with your spouse ways you can both work toward staying connected.
    • Be transparent with your spouse. Share your joys, sorrow, surprises and concerns.
    • Dream about the day you will be reunited and share the excitement of this long-anticipated event.
    • Use the same devotional, such as Our Connection, and discuss via the phone or e-mail.
    • Be supportive and encouraging of your spouse and above all, be verbal in your praise and expression of love and appreciation.
    • Remember that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).