The Days Are Long...

The Days Are Long

Landon was a feisty little boy in his first five months. He was colicky, had acid reflux, and slept in two-hour cycles—all of the time. I remember someone telling me shortly after he was born to cherish these moments. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she said.

I was unexpectedly reminded of this moment last night. Landon’s selfless and stunningly beautiful mum and I decided to see Lone Survivor for our weekly date night. The parental connection was providential.

As we sat together holding hands, staring at the screen as the credits still rolled, there were no words. Just tears. Pictures of the brave soldiers (and their families) who sacrificed their lives for our freedom transcended from the screen into our souls. We sat somber, yet grateful. So many questions. So many thoughts. Still no words.

On the drive home Christi tearfully broke the silence, “How can an all loving, all powerful God who watches over me in what seem like trite daily struggles and joys with Landon be the same God who watches our soldiers endure such hellish long days in intense combat?”

The tears turned to crying.

“How can God’s heart take so much?” she asked.

By the time we arrived home Landon was safely asleep. After locking all of the doors I turned the corner in the kitchen to switch off the light. As the brightly lit room went dark, I suddenly felt the intensity of my thoughts.

“As we sleep comfortably in our beds at night, there are battles raging around us we’re completely unaware of…

…Soldiers on the other side of the world fight for my safety and freedom. And I rest—peacefully.”

As I crawled into bed I could tell Christi was still burdened by how God feels watching His creation kill one another.

I was left wondering what more I could do.

Getting situated into bed, I couldn’t get the thought of the Pashtun people out of my mind. One of the central themes of the movie is the hospitality of these Afghan villagers, who risked their own lives against the Taliban to save a wounded American soldier. In the name of Pashtunwali, an ethical code passed down from centuries ago, they will risk everything to protect others at all costs against their enemies.

I lay measuring my own heart against this code and the battles I see having the greatest threat on society—battles against our marriages and our kids’ hearts, minds, and souls.

Since I firmly believe healthy marriages lead to healthy families; healthy families to healthy communities; and healthy communities to healthy societies; I think the enemy subtly goes after our marriages and children first.

To honor the men and women who sacrifice their lives for our freedom, it’s my duty to preserve the very society they’re fighting for—a society where our kids learn to love others, live in peace, and to appreciate the sacrifice it takes for that to happen.

In the principle of Pashtunwali, and in the Spirit of God Himself who sacrificed His Son so you and I may know love and peace, may we as spouses and parents protect our families at all costs.

We are fighting a battle much bigger than we know.

I know the days are long, but the years are short.

And without loving kids, there will be no love in the world.

Without peaceful kids, there will be no peace in the world.

The sacrifice is worth it.

 (Dedicated to the men and women who sacrifice their lives for our freedom)

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Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is a speaker, author, counselor, and life coach. Coauthor of God Attachment: Why You Believe, Act and Feel the Way You Do About God and The Quick Reference Guide to Counseling Teenagers, Josh specializes as a relational bridge builder between the generations. He enjoys combining scientific research with biblical wisdom to provide practical insight and inspiration for today’s families. He serves on the teaching team at Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, MO and is married to his favorite Canadian, Christi. Together, they are the proud parents of Landon. You can find Josh on Twitter @joshuastraub or on Facebook.