When pastor, author and radio host Michael Easley comes to The Cove this weekend, he will get to minister to a group of people very close to his heart: military couples.
Easley and his wife, Cindy, developed a passion for military couples several years ago when they lived in the Washington, D.C., area and were part of a church that had a great number of military service people.
“Cindy and I fell in love with these men and women who were in service to God and with our church. During this time, we grew a great love and appreciation for men and women in uniform.”
And now, Easley wants to serve them. He is leading a marriage seminar for military couples, just like the ones he served alongside through the local church in the Washington area.
“For those who faithfully serve our country, this is a great need today,” said John Parrish, director of programs at The Cove. “Our desire in providing this seminar is to encourage military service men and women from God’s Word and to also say thank you for their service and sacrifice for our country.”
During the seminar, Easley will take a look at how the roles change when a husband or wife gets deployed.
“These deployments are tough on families and marriages,” he explained. “There are a lot of transitions. It’s hard to get a handle on what it looks like to recalibrate when they come home and need to assimilate back into the fold of the household.”
Military couples face unique challenges, such as post-traumatic issues, and Easley believes that getting back to the basics—the very words of God—is the best way to help them address these challenges.
“We will cover passages of Scripture from Genesis to Ephesians to Revelation. These all explain what a marriage is about. We will go back and see what the text says about the roles of men and women and God’s intention for marriage. I want this to be refreshing and recalibrating. I want God to expose what the Scriptures tell us beyond the noise of culture.”
Whether you are military or civilian, Easley points to Ephesians chapter five as one of the best lessons on marriage in the Bible.
“Notice that the wife’s instructions are about a fourth the length of the husband’s,” he said. “The primary message here is for the husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. We have no personal rights in marriage as men.”
There is an important message in this passage for women, too. In a culture that vilifies men and makes them look foolish in sitcoms, for example, Easley explains that it is a big challenge for wives to respect their husbands. The best way to encourage wives to genuinely respect their husbands, he says, is to point them to Scripture.
“This, in turn, will encourage a husband to become the man God intends him to be,” he said.
Parrish also wants to see couples living out their potential.
“Our hope is that as the military couples attend this seminar at The Cove, God will customize the teaching, the quiet times, the conversations between each other as well as with other couples in such a way that they say, ‘God spoke clearly to me this weekend about what I need to do next in our relationship to honor Him and to honor my spouse,'” he explained.
“Our desire is that God shows up in some amazing ways that will transform how they do life together—and that God gets all the credit.”