By: Sheri Prescott
"Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they've suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us." - President Ronald Reagan
I recently spent several days with a group of 10 combat-wounded veteran’s wives. We came from all across the United States, but our bond was instant. Listening to stories so tender and shocking, yet with a similar thread of hope running through each word shared, because Jesus is Hope, and these women all knew Jesus.
I learned even more about the price of freedom, and the cost of protecting the marriages affected by war.
The love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, starts out, “ Love is patient, love is kind.”
Love is patient during the years our husbands fought for freedom far away from home. Patient love that remained faithful through tears, taking care of sick kids alone, having every responsibility of home life, and pulling up the blankets around us with prayers for our husband’s safety whispered into the night.
Love is kind when the welcome home banners have been put away and the realization that the man we love is home, but not the same. For many, it’s physical wounds that change the shape of marriage for a lifetime; for others, it’s mental, emotional wounds from trauma, survivor guilt, or just the realization of how fragile life is. Kindness reaches out, gives grace, and doesn’t nag when a new normal is created in a veteran’s home.
As wives who follow Jesus, who is Himself the definition of love, we are all called to love our spouses with patience and kindness. That might be by saying nothing as we patiently wait for the Holy Spirit to do work in our man’s heart. It could be that God has been waiting for us to ask for patience, so He can do a work in our heart first. It may be by offering kind words after a really hard day. Serving up his favorite comfort food, watching a football game with him when the to-do list is still long, or offering tenderness that is a kind touch with no words at all.
So this Veteran’s Day, if you know a service member, offer kindness to them by saying Thank You! It will mean more than you could ever know. And if you know a Veteran’s wife, please give her a hug, send her a note, and pray for her, as she understands in a very deep way the cost of our freedom, too.