Flourish in Marriage – Reintegration

hey there my name is Liz Kurtz and I am a staff writer here at planting roots before that I served nearly ten years on active duty in the Army and was assigned to some fun places like Bosnia Korea Kuwait Iraq and Germany and in one of those really fun places I met my husband we are coming up on 15 years of marriage and he has nearly 21 years of active duty service now so we are also barreling toward retirement which I know is going to be another fun adventure and transition for our family I am very excited to be here talking with you about military marriage today it wasn't always that way though when I first felt God's call to speak and write about marriage I did a lot of kicking and screaming that's hot nobody talked about marriage my own can be pretty messy sometimes I don't have it all figured out surely there's someone out there with way more wisdom than me and then one day God sort of smack me upside the back of the head which he has to do often and said it's not what Liz Kurtz has to say about marriage it's what I have to say about marriage and believe me as the author and creator of marriage God and His Word have a lot to say about it so the research and the writing for the projects that he's called me to have really been such a blessing to me personally to my relationship with him as well as to my own marriage and one of the things I realized when I started was that way back when in the beginning of our marriage not long after I got out of the Army I did something really right and I didn't even know it I asked my husband what his expectations of me were now that I was out of the army I wasn't working 12 14 16 hours a day anymore I wasn't putting on the uniform every day I was not gonna deploy and less stuff really got bad I was simply staying at home with our son at that point and so I said what your expectations of me as an army stay-at-home wife I don't remember all of what he said but one thing that stuck with me was he said I don't want to grocery shop on the weekends anymore okay that's not so hard I could probably handle that and I have and I think that he really appreciates the fact that I honored that commitment to him now I would love to say that since then I have always been really good about managing expectations in our marriage but that is just not the case in fact when I published my first marriage resource I had some expectations of how I thought my husband should celebrate that occasion or honor his new author wife but I fail to communicate those to him and when he didn't live up to them I threw an epic temper tantrum in fact a fit wasn't all I threw I actually tossed my marriage workbook at my husband I mean yeah home if that doesn't show just how much of a struggle a constant daily battle it is for us to fight against our flesh and honor the commitment we've made to our husbands and the commitment that we've made to God because really quite honestly the Holy Spirit is the only one that's gonna change my heart and soften it toward my husband and show me what is true and what is right and what is good and so after my temper tantrum that's kind of what the Holy Spirit did he convicted me that I hadn't communicated my expectations and I really had no right to be upset with my husband for not doing what I thought he should in a situation that was so near to both of us that he couldn't have predicted what I might have wanted so that brings me to the fact that communication and commitment are also key to marriage and overcoming the mass that unmet expectations makes in marriage so there are a couple of other really great resources here in video form Hilary has done on communication and joy has done one on new military marriage but I think even for some of us veteran spouses it could be a good refresher about how the changing expectations in the military environment affect our marriage so I would encourage you to take a look at those and I also want to share with you the two resources that I published for marriage the first is when marriage gets messy overcoming ten common messes married couples make and it's an 11 week workbook for wives that talks about the top 10 things that make Mars marriage messy one of those being unmet expectations it also includes daily prayer some Bible study reflection and journaling space and we even talked about SPX so if you're looking for a way to really deepen your commitment to your husband in a godly and biblical way I would encourage you to take a look at that the second marriage resource that I published came about during my husband's fourth deployment when I realized that reintegration is all it's cracked up to be all the time you know the greater public sees all the beautiful welcome home ceremonies and that first kiss and the embrace and it's beautiful but most of us know that there is more to it than that that reintegrating a soldier back into family life can be messy for lack of a better word and it's not always what it's cracked up to be so I wanted something to help my husband and I reconnect after that time apart and all the smart people I asked had lots of resources for what to do before a deployment and how to stay connected during a deployment but there was really very little out there for after a deployment to help husband and wife reconnect so through much prayer I came up with marriage maintenance tune-up after time apart for him and for her so their companion workbooks that walk couples through 11 key conversations they ought to be having you answer questions individually and then come together as a couple and what I really like about these workbooks is that not only do you get some really good quality discussion with your husband but you also have the opportunity to use this time of transition to help you look forward and create goals for what you want your family to look like in the future because our marriages are meant to outlast military service whether it's our husbands or our own and that's just the way God intended it to be so understanding that unmet expectations play a huge role in making marriage messy but that learning communication and honoring our commitment to our husband goes a long way to overcoming that mess so I want to just encourage you today that we ought to be fighting for our marriages instead of fighting with our spouses and the best place to fight for your marriage is on your knees in prayer because God honors marriage God is for marriage and he's for your marriage he's for my marriage too and I know that he is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever expect him to do and so when we pray for our marriages he changes our hearts he changes our husbands hearts and he brings us together in a way that only he can so right now I pray that God would bless your marriage

Glenn Chapman

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