Tips for maintaining Faith in the Military

Working, sleeping, and eating in a giant floating grey box (aka Navy ship) can be exhausting. Especially when you don’t have many opportunities to escape and spend time with the Lord. It’s easy to get pulled into the routine and disorganization of it all.  These are some tips and things to look out for as a Christian woman in the military.

**The Navy has been a wonderful place for me and full of opportunities.  In fact, I thoroughly enjoy my job and I will write more on that later. **

1: Be careful not to get sucked into “normal” military talk.

Recently, while standing watch on my never-ending duty day (24 hour period where you are confined to the ship) I was listening to a shipmate talk about his favorite sexual conquest while on deployment. When the story took a turn for the worst (involving a donkey and 3 women) I am not proud to say I was intrigued. It hit me mid-story that I wasn’t even phased by what my shipmate was saying. After hearing the crude language and “locker room talk” for so long I had begun to become numb to it. Immediately, I began praying that God would restore my sensitivity to the worldly things around me.

2: Avoid “Boat-Boo’s”

It is completely normal for single and married sailors to link up and become friends with benefits AKA  Boat-Boo’s with fellow sailors on the ship. YES, this is wrong not just in God’s eyes but in Big Navy’s eyes as well. It’s still a social norm. Being the new girl on the ship makes you a target for unwanted attention. Be on your guard! It can be so tempting when you’ve been confined in a metal box with the same people for months on end. And I don’t mean you need to leave port!

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch, standfast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

3: Refrain from the negativity

Practically everyone and their mother onboard the ship is going to be negative. The most popular thing I heard after initially joining was “Oh, you like your job? that won’t last long.” It is so easy to fall into the negative with everyone else. You’ll find that people thrive on it. They will bond over their mutual hatred of their lives, the military, or their fellow sailors. Do not be deceived. It’s a trap that the enemy can use to separate you from God. Remember that the root of our joy doesn’t come from those around us (although it does help) but from Jesus.

John 15:11

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

4: Find a church!

This is one that I personally struggle with! I am an introvert and going to church and the common greet-your-neighbor-custom is painful. I don’t want to shake your hand and I definitely don’t want to hug you! However, I still need that support and fellowship with other Christians. I would like to talk more about the importance of church later from the perspective of someone who dislikes it.  For now, all I can say is when you are surrounded by non-believers it is tremendously important to find a Christian community to become a part of. It will help you grow more in Christ, learn more about God, and help build strong relationships with other like-minded Christians. Having those relationships and worshipping with others will help prepare you for the battlefield within your own work center. Who you surround yourself with influences you the most!

Proverbs 13:20

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know what you think or if you have any more advice!

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