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Guiding principles for military families

Did you know that stars are always in perfect balance? Despite tremendous inward pressure from their gravitational force, they are able to counter that pressure with the amount of light going outward. This phenomenon allows for stars to endure practically forever by our standards.

Without visual aids, your eyes can see Deneb, a star in the Cygnus constellation, despite it being 1550 light years away from our earth! That is an unbelievable amount of light that has helped sailors and navigators for millennia to find their way in an oceanic world devoid of any other navigational markers.

Like constellations, there are guiding principles that all of us use to make decisions in our lives and find our way in what can appear to be a world without reference points. Some of these principles you may have learned in your home, church, social groups or in the military. Not all of these principles are created equal and some should be prioritized over others.

The expression of charity and love is one principle that directs families toward the other principles of sacrifice, compassion, hard work and forgiveness.

The military prioritizes honor, discipline and obedience in every branch, and these are hallmarks of success that have been proven over and over in the field of battle.
What guiding principles are most important in your family? If you haven’t taken time to think about these principles then you may want to discuss them in a family council and research them in family help books. My book Deployed! The Survival Guide for Families at War discusses many of these principles in depth and gives solid examples and suggestions for balancing your family in opposition to the stressors that are inevitable in war.

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Stanley Hall, PhD, LMFT is currently an Assistant Professor of Marriage & Family Therapy at Pfeiffer University’s Graduate School located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is both an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and licensed marriage and family therapist … Read More


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