Retreat is an option when when ‘it’ happens to you

| May 2, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Jonathan Smith
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment
728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

What does the word “retreat” mean to you?

Webster’s dictionary gives four definitions starting with “the act of retiring or withdrawing one’s self, especially from what is dangerous or disagreeable.”

In the military, there is more emphasis placed on resiliency and charging ahead in the face of adversity, especially from what is dangerous and disagreeable.

The idea of retreating can also be viewed as cowardice or overwhelming fear that prevents mission accomplishment.

Remember, it is difficult for a Soldier to lose ground, back up, back down or turn from a position they once held.

The motto of the French Foreign Legion states, “If I falter, push me on; If I stumble, pick me up; If I retreat, shoot me.”

Marriages often stumble and falter under the pressures or stress of life. Forrest Gump said, “It happens,” and sometimes “it” hits the fan and a marriage is suddenly in danger of falling apart. At that moment of time, in that season of frustration, what is said and done can damage the bonds of love between a couple.

To prevent or repair the threat of divorce or separation, a retreat may be a helpful solution. Not a retreat from each other, but with each other. Not a retreat of surrendering the vows or promises made, nor the temptation to forget the pleasant memories of the past. The retreat I am suggesting is defined by Webster’s as “a special season of solitude and silence to engage in religious exercises.”

Now subtract the solitude and silence, add marital enhancement classes, and you get a Strong Bonds training event. These retreats are designed to strengthen marriages by providing training through topics, such as communication, loyalty, trust, understanding, problem solving, forgiveness and commitment.

Unit ministry teams (UMT) consisting of a chaplain and a chaplain assistant lead Strong Bonds events. If you’re interested in having a better marriage and want to attend a Strong Bonds event, please let your UMT know. The team will be glad to have you sign up.

The Bible says,“Marriage is to be held in honor among all” (Hebrews 13:4).

I love to see couples dedicated to staying together and willing to look beyond the momentary troubles they are facing. All of us could use the encouragement and support from those around us in keeping the vows of marriage.

Most, if not all of us, have participated or attended a wedding ceremony as witnesses to the promise given of “till death we do part” or the enlistment ceremony where you hear the plea “so help me God.” These statements need to be remembered through the obstacles and changes of life when, not if, “it” happens.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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