I recently had a younger woman who is about to marry an LEO, email me asking me if I could write more on what it’s like being a police wife. I don’t really write about being a police wife. Why? I think I’ve answered this before, but with a blog that has 500+ posts, I’ve even forgotten when and where I gave that answer. So I’ll give it again.
I don’t write about it because there are so many other blogs out there that do it much better than I would probably.
That’s it, lol. They do a really great job, especially on handling the emotional side, and my focus was more marriage advice anyway, which applies to all wives because it’s general enough and true enough to apply on a broader scale. The blogs solely for police wives are great though! I’ve linked to a couple in the past I believe, and again I just feel they do a much better job than I would. I learn from them and go to them when I’m looking for something specific.
Some of the awesome police wives I know in real life who read here, were adamant that I needed to adapt the Proverbs 31 series I had up, to make one specifically for police wives. So I’ve been adapting it to fit a police wife’s version… but you probably won’t find it here when I’m done 😉 There’s too many people looking to destroy books Christian women write. So it will be incognito.
But back to the question… is there anything I could say about being a police wife – to other police wives? Yes! Let me come up with a few things that may be of interest….
It’s funny that I just got this question. I’m our event chair for our wives’ organization, and I just got back tonight from our annual Halloween event where we served around 1,000 Police Officers and their families. As exhausting with 3 littles as coordinating all of that was, it was SO fulfilling and wonderful. To me, all that work to pull off that kind of event, coupled with the difficulty of doing it with small children, and the immense fulfillment I get from seeing so many families enjoy it today, kind of symbolizes what it’s like overall in being a police wife. Exhausting… overwhelming at times… fun… lots of hard work… and tons of pleasure at seeing your marriage grow in all of it through the years.
Being a wife to a Police Officer has been incredible, think of it as a beautiful opportunity that will be filled with a lot of sacrifice for you, and unfortunately also for any children you have. Sacrifice is by definition, painful, so being a police wife is filled with a lot of unseen pain at times. This is also true for your children, which is hard. But it’s the kind of pain that produces beauty of character if it’s harnessed well. Often it’s not, and I believe that’s why the divorce rate is higher for our marriages. I’ve seen a lot of blue-marriages end in divorce. I’ve seen quite a few Police Officer men go on to remarry younger, sweeter, kinder, 2nd wives who handled it all much better than their 1st wives did. It all comes down to attitude and character and how you learn to handle the daily stresses that often go with supporting your husband in his calling.
Oh yea, that reminds me… it IS a biblical calling.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Because Police Officers have this biblical mandate, I believe being married to one is well described in this way of being married to a prophet – in the biblical sense (I know it’s abstract… stay with me here). Debbi Pearl describes it well in this video:
She mentions many things that apply to what police wives need to be prepared for:
- You have to be strong. Mentally strong, emotionally strong, definitely spiritually strong, and yes, even to some degree physically strong in order to handle all the things you’ll have to do by yourself because of his schedule. This one point is immense and could be written into a chapter, so I’ll keep it short for here.
- You have to be confident in yourself.
- You have to be self-sufficient. I wasn’t really raised to be as self-sufficient as I needed to be being married to a Police Officer, so this part has been a learning experience where I’ve failed in the past at times and had to change. In truth, I actually never wanted to be married to a Police Officer, it’s kind of funny how God certainly has a sense of humor in that He hears you say “I’m NEVER going to do XYZ…” and He answers, “Oh yea? Watch this!” You can make many plans for yourself, but ultimately God directs your steps. 😉
- You have to be able to support your husband by having faith in him and his calling – even when he may not feel it himself. Even when you are tempted to get him to do something less dangerous, it’s your job to support him fully – that means getting past those temptations and strong emotions and being his true help-meet. This is actually incredible that we are capable of being there for our husbands on that kind of level, when the world is up against them or when they start to lose faith in their calling or in themselves. It is an extremely high calling to be married to a Police Officer because of this. You are so important to his soul and to his effectiveness as a minister of God. It is amazing and such a blessing to be a part of something so crucial. God’s trusted you with something important, and because of that I think Satan often tries to attack our marriages in ways other couples may never come to face.
- Supporting him and having faith in him, means for us, that we also have to learn how to live our lives without fear. Yes, that’s hard, it’s so easy to give in to fear when his job is that dangerous and has become a million times MORE dangerous after the whole Ferguson incident. It requires taking your feelings and emotions daily to the cross and asking God to give you the grace you need to be the wife HE needs you to be. Your feelings and emotions are able to change (thank God!). Your inner strength is able to grow overtime, so take heart! You can **become** the wife he needs through prayer and asking God for the Spirit’s direction.
- You have to be able to keep the home-front going – as Debbie says. This is part of the “being self-sufficient,” but even more so on a mental-strength level. You have to have a sense of purpose and direction for your family that is beautifully matched with what your husband wants – even though he’s not there most of the time to see it through. This means your communication with him has to be very effective and complete – making the most of your time together. You have to keep the home a sanctuary for him and your children, keep everything running smoothly and calmly as best as you can – and doing it mostly alone.
- You have to have a great attitude and optimism. This is something that may be hard for some types of women who aren’t naturally optimistic. I’m lucky in that I’m generally very optimistic and love to plow through what needs to get done, but what can a woman do who has a hard time keeping optimistic? Pray and ask God to change your heart toward whatever you are negative about. Also start a gratitude journal where you write down at least one thing a day you are immensely grateful for (preferably at the end of the day). It is so worth it to develop an attitude of gratitude in your life if you haven’t already. Your marriage will flourish and life will be so much easier even when getting through the tough times if you can keep it all in perspective with gratefulness and optimism.
Hope that gives some insight for any LEOWs out there reading. Thanks for the question, it was great to work through tonight!