Firefighter Marriage Training: Are you All in?
Firefighters spend countless hours training and mastering their craft. We work, we sweat, we read and we teach. We repeat this process not because we ever master it but because we know that if we stop learning and training our knowledge, skills, and abilities will begin to fade.
We invest in this so passionately so we will not fail those who are depending upon us and because we care so deeply.
Let us ask ourselves the following questions:
If we realize the importance of training in the fire service how much more should we realize the importance of training to become better husbands or wives?
If we were to conduct an honest self-assessment based on God’s word, how would our performance as husbands or wives be graded?
So where do we begin?
“85% of all wives surveyed said the most important prayer their husband could pray was that he would become the man, the husband, & the head of the home that God wanted him to be. This is the most important place for a man to begin praying” (The Praying Husband by Stormy O’Martian).
Prayer begins our journey in the proper direction. It keeps us focused on the goal and through God we stay equipped and encouraged to continue to grow in the role that we are called to lead our families.
In the fire service, we all follow the same basic process:
• We go through our recruit or basic training.
• We take intermediate or next level training.
• We begin to teach, mentor, and begin the process of moving up the ladder of leadership
• And at each step we continually review the fundamentals, practice them, and “seek continuous improvement” in our lives (John Dixon).
So let us consider the application for our lives:
When we began pursuing our spouse how far did we go to win their affection? Since that day have we continued this pursuit?
Most of us would answer no for a variety of reasons: ambition, career path, children, or a myriad of other reasons have caused us to stop focusing on our marriages. If we apply the same logic to our marriages as we do to our fire service lives we can see that we are beginning to become complacent in our marriages. And complacency kills marriages just as it does firefighters.
So what can we do? We need resources, training, and marriage mentors. Let us begin a new and as we did in our recruit schools let’s look to our fundamental skills and education that come from God’s word, our teachers (marriage mentors), and begin to become as focused on our marriage as we are on our passionate professions.
What resources are available to assist us in this journey? The Bible, marriage ministry books such as: the power of the praying husband/wife by Stormy O’Martian, The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott and many more such as Fire Prevention for your Marriage by our friends Lori & Dan Mercer.
Where can we continue our training? Training sessions are available such as: Flame Fest by 24/7 Commitment Fire Family, The Art of Marriage & Weekend to Remember get-away’s by Focus on the Family, Marriage retreats by Fellowship of Christian Firefighters, and many more.
And another step that will help us all in our marriages is to become involved in marriage ministry by becoming a part of an accountability group. This is Peer Support for husbands and wives, stress first aid for our martial difficulties, and solid advice from those who have been through greater struggles than our own.
As firefighters we know the danger of becoming complacent. Let us not allow complacency to enter anywhere into our lives especially our marriages. Our families are depending upon us and our great devotion for the fire service ought to be ought of our greater love for God and our families. Keep these priorities in order, stay accountable, and never stop training.
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries