May 18, 2012

Selfishness during deployment

So a friend told me that Christians shouldn't live alone.

Interesting, I thought.  Given that so many of the military spouses I know are Christians and have all had their fair shake at living alone.

Apparently, according to my friend, it makes you selfish and Christians shouldn't be selfish.  Well, duh.  Selfishness is a bad quality.  But I never thought of my living alone as contributing to my selfishness.

 Growing up as the oldest of three, I was selfish to an extent, but I clearly knew how to share.  I guess I just never thought of my selfishness as going farther than "I want to sleep in" or "I want control of the t.v. remote". 

It's weird that, as a grown up, selfishness means something completely different than it does as a child.  As an adult, you control your own time.  "No thank you.  I won't be coming into work early.  I have things to do in the morning.  Like sleep and blog.".  Or "No, I won't be staying extra late for that meeting.  I have to go to the gym."

That's essentially what selfishness means to me these days.


Now selfishness during deployment is a whole 'nother bag of tricks.  Surviving deployment as a military spouse is about self-preservation.  It's about over-scheduling.  It's about always having something to look forward to.  And rewarding yourself along the way.

Christian or not, my first instinct is do whatever I can to get through it.  If that means watching 36 episodes of True Blood, so be it.  If it means working out everyday to feel like I'm achieving a goal, then fine.  If it's consuming a vast amount of marshmallows and tequila on a Sunday afternoon, then whatever.

So maybe living alone does contribute to my selfishness.  Maybe I secretly relish in the fact that I don't have to clean the bathrooms every week.  Or do the dishes everyday.  Maybe I love the thought that I can eat ice cream for dinner.

Still, I'd willing do the dishes everyday (and eat vegetables for dinner) if it meant Scott didn't have to be deployed.

But, to the idea that because I'm a Christian, I'm not allowed to cope in these ways while living alone?

I don't know if I can agree with that.  The Bible also says that a man who is a soldier is not allowed to leave his new wife during the first year of marriage.  I think we can all agree that that's a bunch of b.s. because it happens everyday to Christians and non-Christians.  It happened to us, twice actually.

What do you think?  I cope by wasting time in Target on weeknights and spending way too many hours at the gym.  Then I eat ice cream for dinner and do laundry when I get around to it.  Is what I'm doing that bad??  Do you do the same things to cope when your significant other isn't around?


  1. I would totally disagree with that statement. Even if your spouse isn't deployed or traveling, etc. what if you're not married and live alone? That is ridiculous! and I don't think you are being selfish at all with any of those choices!!!!

  2. I totally agree, that statement is b.s. for sure. I think your ways of coping are awesome! I'm not Christian myself but I've also never heard that living alone isn't something Christians should do. You can't really avoid it as a military spouse though. Self preservation is what gets people through deployments without going batty.

  3. Sooo what the heck should you be doing as a Christian?! I totally disagree with that!

  4. Yea, that statement makes absolutely no sense. I have no idea why if being a Christian should decide if you live alone or not. I'm a Christian, and I love living on my own, it's taught me so much about myself. You're not being selfish at all, I also love the fact I dont have to do the dishes if I dont want to or clean the toilets every week. If that for some reason makes us selfish, then damn. I love being selfish!

  5. What the ....? What does living alone have to do with being a Christian? Seriously. I don't understand.

    I wish people would focus less on what others are doing that is Christian or un-Christian. That, for sure, doesn't seem very Christian. Maybe they need to look at themselves.

    All that said, I love living alone. I will have a hard time giving that up if I ever get married. Fortunately, it doesn't look like that'll be any time soon.

  6. Not an ounce of ridiculousness! I do these kinds of things when I'm bummed about my day or when I need alone time. Seriously, I go to Target to wander ALL the time. Keep your chin up. I think you're rocking this, even though I'm sorry you're having to experience it.

  7. I completely disagree with that standpoint! I almost find it offensive, both as a Christian and as someone who lives alone.

    There are man contrary points that could be made, but first and foremost, there are stories ALL throughout the bible of people being alone. Sure, Christ spent time with people, but he craved ALONE time. He frequently went off on his own to pray and sort of "recharge".

    And to even HINT that you're doing anything selfish while your husband is deployed is borderline cruel. I'm sorry, but your friend says living alone makes you selfish and Christians shouldn't be selfish? Well, we're also called to not point out the speck in someone else's eye while ignoring the plank in our own.

    (I'm sorry, I didn't mean that to sound mean toward your friend, I just don't like that someone put the idea in your mind that you're doing anything you should apologize for - military families are my heroes)

  8. Um...not selfish at all by living alone. We're all different, and you're alone because your other half is serving our COUNTRY! :) I used to over-schedule myself too when I was in a long distance relationship, so I can kind of relate to shopping, gym, and junk food dinners.

  9. I don't think you're selfish at all and I admire you for being able to handle your husband being deployed. That is incredible to me and I think you're awesome and strong.

    Also, it could never be selfish for anyone to eat ice-cream for dinner. Never.

    And lastly, I love that titanic image thing. too funny!

  10. Ummm, no offense to your friend, but she/he sounds ridic.

    How are being a Christian and living alone even relevant to each other? I have a lot of respect for military spouses and think how you cope with it sounds perfectly fine to me!

  11. While I do not understand what going through a deployment is like, just imagining it makes me really sad.

    As a Christian, however, I completely do not understand how living alone makes you selfish. I mean, what are you supposed to do? I think that you need to do whatever it takes to keep yourself occupied.

    There are times when my Scott works night shift and I have ice cream or nachos for dinner. Is that supposed to be selfish, too? I truly admire the strength that you show.

  12. Dude, your friend is bizarre.

    I don't really understand the connection between being a Christian/living alone/selfishness. The dots just aren't connecting at all for me.

    (And can I just tell you that your ability to even get out of bed every morning knowing your husband is away is award-worthy to me?)

    I'm totally Team Kristin on this one! :)

  13. It most definitely is NOT selfish, if anything it is selfLESS! Being a military spouse myself, I know what it is like to go through deployment and try to fill the time. I think deployments are a chance to strengthen your faith. You pray on a daily basis that your loved one comes home safe and sound. You are not living alone by choice, you are living alone so your husband can fight for our country.

    Also, it is okay to be selfish from time to time. If wasting time at Target helps get you through your day, or week, or even just that time you're in the store. Do it. Enjoy it! Buy some really awesome care package stuff for your husband and spoil yourself some too. You deserve it!


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