Ranger Beads and Marriage

"Move a bead for every compliment you offer to your wife." Charles Crouch

I love learning tricks and hacks. Especially when it comes to marriage and relationships. In addition to officiating weddings and working with couples, I host a podcast. The goal of the podcast is to help couples navigate engagement. At WeddingChaplain.com, we want to help couples prepare for the event of their wedding and also prepare for marriage. The podcast allows me to share a little of my knowledge and experience. But selfishly, I enjoy the conversations. I meet interesting people, and truthfully, I learn more from the guests than anything I have to share.

Ranger Beads

On a recent podcast, I was interviewing Charles Crouch. You can listen to the episode here. He is a brilliant and accomplished leader. Charles is a former Navy Seal who now works with married couples. His approach to relationships is called Seal Your Marriage. We had a great conversation, and during the interview, he gave me a simple throwaway nugget of wisdom that has stayed with me. Partly because I have children in the military, but mostly because it is such good advice. Use Ranger Beads to help in marital conflict.

Ranger Beads or Navigation Beads

Interestingly, I had never come across Ranger Beads before. This was surprising, considering my personal connection to the military world. My oldest son serves in the 75th Ranger Regiment, and my second son is in the101st Airborne Division. Yet, they had never mentioned these beads to me. Intrigued, I decided to do some independent research and also asked my oldest son, Camden, to share his insights.

Pace counting, or tally stepping, is a long-practiced military technique. Pace beads are popular with Army Rangers, Army Special Forces units such as the Green Berets and Delta Force, Navy Seals, and the British Army's SAS (Special Air Service). The photograph on the left shows a set of Ranger Beads.

The English mile is based on the ancient Roman soldier's mile. The Latin phrase mille passus, or milia passuum, means "A Thousand Paces" The phrase was eventually shortened to the English word "mile.” The average soldier walked 5,000 "foot-lengths" or "feet" in a mile. Much like today's pace, a Roman pace consisted of two steps equaling about 5 "foot-lengths."

Why do soldiers count paces? My son Camden explains in this video:

Michael Nieger explains, “Pace counting is an essential technique used by advanced-level land navigators who travel cross-country through challenging wilderness. In certain situations, a map and compass alone just aren't enough.”

Ranger Beads and Married Couples

Now, where was Charles taking me with all of this? He uses pace counting beads when he works with married couples. Specifically, he gives them to the guys. He explains in this video clip:

When I heard that advice, I thought it was brilliant. Use the beads before criticizing, instructing, complaining, or saying whatever you feel is needed. You must compliment or lift up your spouse 10, 15, 20, or 30 times before you can say anything corrective or critical. It is just excellent advice and very practical.

You have to compliment or lift up your spouse 10, 15, 20, or 30 times before you get to say anything corrective or critical.

As unique as this sounds, the wisdom behind it is ancient. I lead a weekly Bible study at my church, and one of the books we worked through is the Book of James. James is famously the brother of Jesus, but the Book of James has a lot of practical advice. It is the kind of book I always recommend to husbands. It is not heavy on theology or philosophy; it just calls out things we do and tells the reader to work on them.

In the first few verses of chapter one, James hits us with a powerful statement.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19)

If husbands can handle this one thing, think of how it could transform marriages. If bosses, employees, fathers, mothers, children, politicians, teachers, and students could get this one thing straight, it could change our culture. And if I am honest, if I can get this one thing straight, it would save me from stepping into it often. Admittedly, I get lost in conflict. I forget how I got here, and I have no idea where I am going. Foolishly, I think criticism or proving I am correct is the way out. I need something to remind me where I started from and what the goal is. My goal is not to win. My goal is to love. The beads can help a soldier return to camp and help a husband find the bed instead of the couch.

The beads can help a soldier return to camp or help a husband find the bed instead of the couch.

While I know what the Book of James says is true, there is a big difference between knowing and doing. What I like about the navigation beads is that they are a visual and tactile reminder—something that you can carry and hold to nudge you. Most of the time, when I say something I regret, I wish I had a tangible reminder.

I know that God is speaking to me constantly, reminding meto listen, be quiet, and not get angry. However, the visible, tactile discipline of the beads is extremely helpful.

Guys, do you need help in the area of conflict or confrontation? Get a set of Ranger Beads. That’s an order!!!

In closing, one more time from the mouth of James the brother of Jesus, “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

To get a set of Ranger Beads Click Here

To learn more about WeddingChaplain.com and our services for engaged couples, please click here.

Click Here to Listen to my interview with Charles

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