“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” – Winston Churchill

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Bible

Tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 11, has been set aside as a day to remember and honor those men and women who have served in our armed forces. We call the day Veterans Day.

As a general term the word “veteran” means a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. When I think of our military veterans, the word “commitment” always comes to mind.

Whether those in the military have been in for a long time or short time, have joined because it’s a job or for more noble reasons or simply think it would be exciting, they all make a commitment to something greater than themselves.

This commitment consists of time, family, abilities and skills, health, and often their very lives.

One of the primary purposes of government is to provide for the protection of its citizens and their way of life. This requires a commitment that perseveres through good times and bad.

Often during the good times we don’t see the need for such commitment and we slack off. Not a good idea. There are a variety of opinions regarding Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor during World War II, but there is consistent agreement that the United States was unprepared for the attack. We slacked off.

Although our defenses were momentarily inadequate, the long-term commitment and persistence of the U.S. ultimately brought that horrible conflict to an end. We owe our freedom to those who have fought in that and other wars around the world.

Having said the above in appreciation of our military veterans, I would like to bring the focus down to another war that is being fought today a lot closer to home, the war within and for our families.

In this war our political governments should serve a very different role. The primary governing body of importance is the husband and wife. The amount of commitment and perseverance needed when conflict arises in the family is at least as great as that necessary to protect our nation.

The conflict involving in the family will determine the ultimate fate of our nation. As the FAMCO motto says, “Saving Families Saves Communities.”

Most cohabiting (unmarried) and many married couples enter into the relationship with minimal commitment. In fact the primary purpose for the commitment seems to be their own personal pleasure and happiness.

Commitment to the success of the mutual relationship is obviously essential for any marriage. Another essential element is perseverance. Perseverance affects the level of commitment.

Suppose our military personnel “committed” to serve in the military, but their level of commitment was low. They enjoyed some of the benefits of the military and didn’t even mind the rigors of basic training. But then they were sent overseas. Conditions became more difficult, and someone shot at them.

This was more than they bargained for. They didn’t persevere under pressure and when the going got tough, they quit. The success rate would be low!

The battle for marriage is being waged today. It’s not easy in the home or in society. Commitment and perseverance are needed. We can’t afford to lose this war, either individually or collectively.

Just as our military veterans committed to a cause greater than themselves, marriage requires commitment to something greater than self. God’s design for society is based on the husband and wife maintaining their relationship and raising their children through the good and the bad.

We thank God for our military veterans and our marriage veterans, those who remained committed and persevered for what is right. Our way of life depends on them.

The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc. (FAMCO) provides resources for you to succeed in your marriage and families. Roger Rollins, executive director, FAMCO, 803-640-4689, rogerrollins@aikenfamco.com, www.aikenfamco.com.