Hous and Tami Waring: All transitions in life are brought about by God for our good. They take us outside our comfort zones, our skills and resources, and keep us grounded in remembering God will take us through transitions we don’t know we need. They force greater communication in marriage, take us out of the quiet atrophy of a daily normal, and reveal that we are people with besetting sins who must daily preach the gospel to ourselves. Our obvious transitions included: singleness to marriage to parenthood, and job changes, such as Tami’s toughest “shock” from active duty captain to wife and mother.
Simpsons: Promotion-related transition, with or without relocation, often stresses already strained marital relations. The intention of placing a higher priority on the spouse, spending more time with the kids, or more faithful church attendance as a family suddenly slips priority-wise—career again demanding the best, family and faith settling for leftovers. A spouse may feel unappreciated for their demanding job, while the other may be losing hope that the marriage or family will ever come first for their active duty spouse.
Arnolds: Depending on the service culture, promotions can have a dramatic transition affect. All of a sudden your friends are no longer your peers! PCSing is another significant transition, and the effects vary by personality type and life experience. Well-handled PCS stressors within the marriage have a concomitant positive affect on the children. Parents must prayerfully, carefully bring their kids along on what can be an exciting family adventure.
Simpsons: An optimistic, expectant attitude can provide relational boosts. Traveling between assignments—spending quality time together on the road, with car games and mini vacations in hotels—can serve as a life-line to help loved ones reconnect and get back on track.
Warings: We wanted our kids to know the same truth about change that we hold fast to—that it is God’s good providence for them to experience change, to endure long days of packing and unpacking, to learn how to say farewell to dear friends, and to love new kids who aren’t exactly like them.