by Bailey Cummins, Guest Contributor
When I met the man who would become my husband, I was living in a civilian community and knew next to nothing about military life. Once our relationship began to “get serious,” I knew I would need to prepare myself for the adventure ahead. Being far away from a military base meant I wasn’t able to engage in the military community in-person and gain advice through that avenue.
Being a bibliophile, I did what most book-lovers tend to do: I turned to books for information and encouragement.
At that time in my life, I was working at a Christian bookstore. While that job wasn’t great for my wallet (hello, entire paychecks going back to the store), it provided me the ability to learn about faith-based books.
I was especially excited to discover Bible studies and Christian books that focused on military life.
The books listed below are perfect for any military spouse facing a deployment, PCS, newlywed or wanting some encouragement in this overwhelming lifestyle.
I have read a majority of the books on this list, although I can’t vouch for any specific beliefs held by the authors. Also although I recognize that there is diversity in the military community, the majority of these books are written from the perspective of male service member with a female spouse.
5 Bible Studies And Devotionals For Military Spouses
You Are Not Alone by Jen McDonald
This 30-day devotional was written by a military spouse who has been married to her service member for more than 25 years. In addition to discussion questions and Scripture references, it also features a prayer prompt based on the day’s topic and a “Basic Training for Spouses” with practical action items and journaling prompts.
I read this devotional through an online Bible study for military spouses and had the pleasure of meeting Jen at the 2017 Military Influencer Conference.
Psalm 91: God’s Shield of Protection (Military Edition) by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angelia Ruth Schum
As the title suggests, Psalm 91: God’s Shield of Protection is a study over the 91st Psalm, which is a compilation of all of the protection promises in the Bible. Inspired by readers who prayed using this book for their service members, a military-specific edition was released.
I’ve always loved intercessory prayer and specifically using Scripture (such as the Psalms) as prayers for intercession.
Called to Serve by Tony and Penny Monetti
Written by a service member of 23 years and his spouse, “Called to Serve” features 30 devotions focusing specifically on the top five stressors of military families. Each devotion includes relevant Scripture references and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter for small group or personal reflection.
Journey of a Military Wife (series) by Brenda Pace
Dr. Brenda Pace’s husband spent 28 years as a military chaplain, and her experience ministering to military spouses led her to write the Journey of a Military Wife series. This series consists of four themed devotionals: Devoted – Steps Toward Healthy Relationships; Directed – Steps of Peace in Times of Transition; Deployed – Steps of Hope in Times of Uncertainty; and Dedicated – Steps of Faith in God’s Plan.
This series provided encouragement to me as a newlywed military spouse.
Tour of Duty by Sara Horn
This Bible study helps military wives deal with the emotions of deployment and learn to lean on God through the trials ahead. It can be done as a personal study but is best suited for a small group so that spouses can share their experiences and form a connection that will help get them through deployment.
Although my husband and I haven’t faced a deployment together, I have had friends who did this study in a small group before deployment and found it very helpful.
3 Books And Devotionals To Read With Your Service Member
31 Creative Ways to Love and Encourage Him/Her (Military Edition) by Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke
“The 31 Creative Ways” series by New York Times bestselling author Jefferson Bethke and his wife, Alyssa is written as a “his and hers” devotional: Jefferson writes to the husbands, Alyssa to the wives. Realizing that military couples needed relationship resources, they consulted with military families to develop the Military Edition series of this book.
Since this series was written by a millennial couple made famous for their YouTube videos, it’s a great resource for younger spouses who may be reluctant to take advice from more seasoned spouses.
Faith, Hope, Love and Deployment by Heather Gray
During her husband’s last deployment, Heather Gray sought a devotional that they could do together to emotionally bring them closer despite the distance. Discovering there was no book that met their needs, they began writing this book together. Sadly, her husband was killed in action, but Heather continued writing this devotional to encourage other military couples.
The 5 Love Languages Military Edition by Gary Chapman and Jocelyn Green
If I could only recommend one book from this entire this, this would be it! The 5 Love Languages is a New York Times bestseller that was originally published over 25 years ago that describes the 5 primary ways that couples give and receive love.
With the help of Jocelyn Green, the book was adapted into a military edition that includes tips on how to show love languages while apart and a FAQ section with military-specific questions. Regardless of religious affiliation, this is the one book that I believe every military couple should read.
The Warrior’s Bride by Kathy Barnett and Carrie Daws
This book is filled with Biblical strategies on how to handle military life and anecdotes from the authors’ personal experiences in military life. There is an accompanying sequel series called Beyond Warrior’s Bride on specific military topics: family, reintegration, moving, finances, friends, and retirement. I personally found the advice in The Warrior’s Bride to be incredibly helpful in my own life.
Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me a Better Wife by Hope N. Griffin
When her husband was sent overseas for a year, Hope questioned God’s faithfulness in her life and the strength of her marriage. She chose to use that year apart to dive deeper into Scripture, finding strength from the Biblical stories of Esther, Ruth, Bathsheba, Sarah and Hagar. This book features what Hope learned through her Bible study as well as her personal experiences and thoughts from her husband’s deployment.
Mission Ready Marriage by Claire Robertson Wood
Claire’s adventure with military life began after her husband (a seminary student) felt a stirring to become an Army chaplain. New to the military lifestyle, Claire shares her emotions and experiences on adjusting to active duty life, and how she is learning to be submissive to both God and country.
I enjoyed this book because it’s relevant to me as a newlywed military spouse, but also because it gave me a better understanding of the unique role that chaplains’ wives have in ministering to military spouses.
More Christian Books and Devotionals For Military Spouses:
- God Strong by Sara Horn
- Hope for the Home Front by Marshele Carter Waddell
- Loving Your Military Man by Beatrice Fishback
- Faith Deployed and Faith Deployed…Again by Jocelyn Green
- Pocket Prayers for Military Life by Max Lucado
- Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle and While My Soldier Serves by Edie Melson
Even now with a few years as an Army spouse under my belt, I still turn to these resources when I am struggling with military life, missing the military community (due to my husband’s current recruiting assignment) or need a refresher in handling military life with grace.
Regardless of how long you’ve been a military spouse, by reading these military-focused Christian books and Bible studies you will gain knowledge and wisdom.
Bailey is a twenty-something newlywed military wife from Kentucky currently living in the (cold!) Midwest with her husband, dog, and cat. She’s currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and aspires to work in Human Resources to help military spouses and veterans find professional employment. On the weekends, you can find her accomplishing one of her numerous goals, reading a book, or writing another post for her website, Becoming Bailey. You can connect with Bailey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.