There is an old saying that states, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”  In some ways, it is true when it is over a few days, and you appreciate all that your spouse does for you.  However, when periods of absence are longer in duration, lonliness and temptation become an ongoing battle in a marriage.
Ask any military spouse, and they will tell you how challenging it is to watch their loved one go off to war for long stretches of time.  You miss them deeply, and your heart aches for their return.  You constantly pray that God keeps them safe while you raise your children on your own.  In the back of your mind, you secretly wonder if you will be able to hold them in your arms once again, and time together is precious.
Time together is not taken for granted, but cherished more than most have ever experienced.  However, absence makes the marriage challenging, and can harden the heart if you let it.
Marriages where there are prolonged periods of absence- whether it is military duty or business- are hard on a marriage.  Lonliness can be hard on a spouse, and Satan begins to whisper that their husband/wife is selfish for constantly being absent.  Satan will tell you things like, “They are never here”, “They are avoiding their responsibilities”, and “They don’t care about you”.  Not only that, but affairs on both sides can happen out of that separation if you don’t strengthen your marriage.
In these cases, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, but can make the heart hard.  Once lonliness creeps in, and the longing for togetherness creeps in, the heart needs to be guarded because resentment lies just around the corner.
In our next issue, we will discuss how to overcome feelings of lonliness, and how you can support your spouse when they are away.  We will teach you how to keep your marriage strong, and free from temptations that may be lurking.
Absence isn’t a marriage death sentence, but just a different way of connecting when you are apart and together.  However, if it bothers you greatly, you need to speak with your spouse about your concerns.
I pray strength into each one of these marriages, and a firm foundation.
For further tips for handling this situation, prayer over your marriage, encouragement and more, our next issue will be coming out December 27th, 2016.

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