How to Love and Support Your Cop
About the Guest
Victoria NewmanVictoria M. Newman is Founder and CEO of How2LoveYourCop, an organization that encourages and equips law enforcement families to thrive relationally, emotionally, and spiritually. She is author of three books, including A CHiP on my Shoulder and A Marriage in Progress, both books on law enforcement relationships. She speaks all over the country to law enforcement families, mentors several spouses, and works with wounded law enforcement couples through marriage retreats in Monta...more
Victoria Newman, reflects on the days when she first met and dated her husband, Brent. Newman talks about the circumstances that first lead Brent to the police academy.
How to Love and Support Your Cop
Dennis: Most violence occurs in homes—it’s domestic violence that officers see. As you are sharing your story, I couldn’t help but think a couple of things. Number one—
1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, [verse] 33, says, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” I could see a police officer, who is a follower of Christ, actually, get caught off guard; because he’s living almost in a foreign land.
Dennis: The second thing that hit me is what you’re pointing out; and it’s where you went for safety when you began to experience this trouble in your own marriage and relationship with your husband. You went to the church to find a safe place to be real/authentic and share what’s going on: “Share my reality,” but reality wasn’t necessarily welcomed there.
Victoria: It’s funny. Those early years, we were going to EvFree Fullerton, where Chuck Swindoll was, actually, our senior pastor and—incredible. I actually worked there, early; I had wonderful support. I was working for Family Ministries, there in the College Ministries. I had all kinds of wonderful resources, right there at my desk; but at the same time, I didn’t really talk much about what was actually going on. It just didn’t seem appropriate.
Dennis: Too raw?
Victoria: Yes; I remember going to a little retreat with our Sunday school class. There were a couple of gals, and there was something that we had heard—I don’t even remember, at this point—but I do remember being overwhelmed by the fear.
Normally, I wouldn’t entertain that fear; but at that particular time, it brought up feelings of, you know: “Is my husband going to die? Is he not going to come home one of these days?” I did open up to some gals, who were not law enforcement wives at all. I just remember the look—wide-eyed, looking at me—going: “Whoa! I don’t know how I could handle that,” and just feeling a little isolated; but at the same time—and it was safe / it was safe—but they had no idea.
Bob: Well, that’s the point—when an individual or a couple get isolated in the middle of high stress and trauma, that’s where Satan has a heyday.
Bob: You’ve been around this enough to know that the right response, in the middle of the stress and the trauma, is to get help / get support—
—get other people, who understand what you’re going through, and go through it together. “To bear one another’s burdens”—that’s Galatians 6:2—“and so fulfill the law of Christ, the law of love, with one another.”
I’m envisioning you, as a young wife, married to the guy you had—this was your dream guy; right?
Bob: And here he is, and now you’re fearing every day when he goes off to work; and he’s coming home—he’s a different guy. I mean, early on, you had to be going, “What have I gotten myself into?”
Victoria: Yes; yes.
Bob: And who do you talk to about that?
Victoria: I didn’t talk to anybody.
Victoria: And I don’t know how I did that; I really don’t. I think I was just looking for answers, and compartmentalized it, and worked and spent time with people on—I remember going over to somebody that I didn’t know for Easter, because he was working—
—you know, through the holidays.
Bob: You gritted your teeth.
Victoria: I did, and I just—
Dennis: So, in a survival mode, you built walls, not bridges; and you were isolated. In isolation, the enemy can convince you of anything; and we have a number of listeners, right now, who know exactly what I’m talking about. They’re isolated / they’re alone—they’re locked in a state of fear and paralysis: “Don’t want to let somebody into my life; because if they find out what I’m going through, they’re going to be shocked.
Dennis: “They won’t believe it.”
Yet, as we’re going to hear the rest of your story—and a great story of redemption—it is as you risk rejection / as you get open and honest with another safe person in the church—same-sex person, I might add—
Bob: Yes; right.
Dennis: —it needs to be women talking with women / men talking with men—or a couples group, where you can get real and get honest. That’s where the pressure is released; and finally, you can exhale. Others will have access to the interior of your lives—they can coach you; they can build into your lives; they can disciple you and, maybe, help bring your husband back to the faith.
Bob: And there can be any number of factors that can lead to stress in a marriage relationship that can lead to couples being isolated; but you stop and think about law enforcement, and that’s a profession that is going to be a more dangerous profession because of the exposure to stress is daily.
Dennis: And that’s what we talk about, Bob, at the Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. We talk about isolation, and oneness, and “How do you avoid isolation in your marriage?”—but also—“How do avoid isolation with other couples and not allowing people to have that access to your lives?”
We’re going to hear a story, here, of how God led this couple, Victoria and her husband Brent, to a Weekend to Remember and how God used that in their lives.
Bob: It occurs to me that there are probably listeners—you may not be married to someone in law enforcement—but if you think about people you know in your church, or in your neighborhood, or just people in your sphere of influence, you probably know somebody who is involved in law enforcement. To get a copy of Victoria’s book and give it to them as a gift could be a great blessing and a great way to open a door for deeper conversations around spiritual matters. The book is called A CHiP on My Shoulder: How to Love Your Cop with Attitude. We’ve got copies of Victoria Newman’s book in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. You can order it from us, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to order your copy.
I’m also thinking—to scholarship a couple, you know, who are in law enforcement—
—give them a scholarship / a gift card to attend a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway—again, what a great way to bless that couple. They are in a high-risk occupation when it comes to marital health. To be giving them an opportunity to focus on their marriage and to strengthen their marriage—that’s a great ministry you can have. You can find out more about how to get a Weekend to Remember gift card or get a copy of Victoria’s book—go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com; or call us if you have any questions at 1-800-358-6329—that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
I know we’re talking about kind of a specialized area of ministry today when we talk about people in law enforcement, but our goal at FamilyLife® is to effectively develop all marriages and families. Where there are unique needs and challenges, we want to be available with practical biblical help and hope for every couple.
We believe God’s design for marriage and family is for couples to thrive, and to grow, and to experience joy in the context of what He’s designed. The resources we create / the events we host—like the Weekend to Remember marriage giveaway / like the Blended & Blessed® one-day event that we’re going to be hosting in April that’s going to be livestreamed all around the world—all that we do, here, at FamilyLife—this radio program—all has the same objective and that is to help build stronger marriages and families.
When you invest in this work, you’re investing in those marriages and families. You’re helping moms and dads figure out how to resolve their issues to stay together and to keep the family intact. We’re grateful for all of you who partner with us in this effort.
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Now, tomorrow, we want to talk about the stress point that you came to in your marriage, Victoria, where you didn’t know if the marriage was going to survive. We’ll hear the details on that tomorrow. Hope all of you can be back with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas; a Cru® Ministry.
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