Spiritual Battlemind for Military Wives
The Army has a plan for training its soldiers to have self-confidence, courage and mental toughness so they can courageously face fear and adversity in combat. It’s called “Battlemind Training.” This training involves a mindset that helps them survive and succeed in their mission.
As the wife of a combat trauma sufferer, you also need a mindset – a spiritual Battlemind based on what God’s Word recommends.
The Bible makes it clear that our mindset is foundational for survival and success. “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Prov 4:23 NCV). “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom 8:6).
The word “flesh” in Romans 8:6 refers to our indwelling sinful nature – the part of us that is self-centered, impure, angry and ready to fight. For many wives of combat trauma sufferers who are just trying to negotiate the eggshells, landmines and despair of day-to-day living with an angry, moody, soul-wounded veteran, it’s hard not to focus on the things that are not from God. That’s why we have to make an intentional effort to shift our mindset from the negative aspects of our lives to the positive ones that God supplies. (See Phil 4:8.)
A Spirit-focused mindset includes numerous elements. Here are five that are very important. No one can give them to you – no one but God. If these elements are not already a part of your personality, or if they were burned out of you in the weeks or months since your husband came back, start asking God to supply them for you. God has freely given us salvation through His Son, so why would He not also freely give us all things necessary to help us to survive and prosper (Rom 8:32)? It’s as simple as saying, “Jesus, give me courage.” He’ll give you what you need for today. All of these mindsets are built on who He is… not on who you are.
Mindset #1: Courage
The wife of a combat trauma sufferer must make up her mind to be courageous. As God told Joshua, He will be with you every step of the way (Josh 1:9). He is by your side as you interact with, love and serve your husband. Your courage is in Him.
Mindset #2: Truth
Post-traumatic stress is a dark place. The wife of a combat trauma sufferer needs the light of God’s truth to shine into her darkness every day. As you read His Word, hide it in your heart and obey it, His Holy Spirit will bring to mind all that He has said to you (John 14:23-26).
Combat Trauma sufferers don’t always see situations as they really are. The present and the future can be overwhelming, full of doom and gloom, hopeless. Therefore you need to make up your mind to listen to God’s truth and to speak His truth to yourself at all time.
Mindset #3: Gratitude
Those touched by the constant darkness of PTSD need to develop hearts that are consistently grateful. The path of least resistance invites a vet’s wife to become bitter and hopeless. The path less traveled invites her to look for her blessings in the mess, knowing that Christ is in there with her.
Mindset #4: Forgiveness
A vet’s wife said, “My approach now is that when I wake up, I forgive my husband, even before my feet hit the floor. I project it into the future! I am absolutely positive, based on his track record, that something in our day will require me to forgive him.” As the wife of a wounded warrior, you are wise to develop and maintain a constant attitude of forgiveness and grace toward your husband. This mindset softens the sharp edges of daily life with someone who suffers from PTSD.
Mindset #5: Joy
Spend some time remembering what brings you joy. Surround yourself with reminders of these things. Listen to music that lifts your spirit and infuses you with energy and hope and faith. Take a walk down a favorite lane. Do at least one of these things each day. Cultivating a mindset of joy will help push out the sorrows PTSD brings to your marriage, family and home.
Adapted from “When War Comes Home,” chapter 6, written by Chris and Rahnella Adsit and Marshéle Carter Waddell