Do’s and Don’ts For When Your Spouse Is Depressed

Do’s and Don’ts For When Your Spouse Is Depressed

Sarah wasn’t sure if she was feeling down because of something wrong with her, or if she was simply feeling her husband’s depression. His recent health problems had led to the loss of his job, and he was taking it very hard. Many days Sarah found herself feeling guilty that she wasn’t being a better support to the man she loved at such a difficult time.

When you’re married, your spouse’s mood can affect you a great deal. If the one you love and live with is depressed your own emotions can take a severe beating. Especially if you have been strongly connected in your marriage you may find it hard to separate your own feelings from those of your spouse.

God’s plan for marriage is that husband and wife be a support to each other in good times and in bad. When your spouse is struggling with depression you will likely need to draw on the full range of physical, emotional, and spiritual coping strategies in order to do so.

During such challenging times, there are two goals to keep in mind:

  1. Maintain your own strength.
  2. Be a helpful support to your spouse.

It’s possible to fall into the ditch on either side of this path. Ignoring your spouse’s extra vulnerabilities and needs, and refusing to help where you can, may well destroy your marriage, and certainly is not the Christian model of love. But ignoring your own vulnerabilities and needs in favor of your spouse’s will leave you completely spent and unable to help in any meaningful way.

A few things to do and not to do that will help you remain sane, strong, and supportive:

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How to Find the Freedom of Forgiveness

How to Find the Freedom of Forgiveness

You’ve been wronged. Badly. Someone stole a lot of money from you. Your spouse cheated on you. Someone told horrible lies about you. You were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. You were purposefully passed over in a business deal. A loved one was killed.

There comes a time after every such horrible wrong where you must make a decision. And it’s yours alone to make. You have only two choices. Do you:

  • Remain hurt and miserable, or
  • Do the hard work of forgiveness.

Remember, it’s your choice. Before you quit reading, let me acknowledge the depths of your pain. I may not know exactly where you hurt: pain is a very private thing. But I can give you the respect you deserve and need. I only ask that you think about what I have to say.

Forgiveness sets you free. It does much more for the one doing the forgiving than the one needing to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is also one of the hardest things for most people to do. There’s a sweet misery in nursing your wounds. Having been hurt is a wonderful excuse for all kinds of bad behavior.

Forgiveness is a process much more than a one-time event. It’s been misunderstood and made light of far too much. Here’s what forgiveness is, what it is not, and how to do it.

Forgiveness is:

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How A Christian Faces Trouble and Tragedy

How A Christian Faces Trouble and Tragedy

We live in a world where there is no shortage of trouble. And that trouble often presents a great challenge to our faith.

Perhaps it’s a natural disaster, such as the recent floods in Colorado, or the tornados just a few nights ago in the mid-west. Perhaps it’s an accident, such as the church bus that crashed in Tennessee last week, killing eight and injuring 14 people.

Then there is the almost unspeakable violence both near and far, such as the shooting in the US Navy yard recently, the slaughter at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, or the systematic killing of Christians in certain parts of the world.

Or perhaps it is your own private trauma, such as for Janet and Paul who have been trying for years to have a baby. Finally, a few months into her pregnancy, they discover their prayed-for child has life-threatening birth defects. Or for Brian, whose father, a pastor, is fatally shot by a parishioner while in his office at church. Or for Evelyn, the widow whose life savings is stolen by her dead husband’s business partner, and is now left with nothing.

No, there is no shortage of trouble in our world. And when trouble happens, it’s normal to ask questions: Why me? Did I do something to let this happen? Couldn’t God have kept this from happening? Where is He now? In the face of unexpected tragedy, the challenge to faith is real.

When trouble comes, here are three things to do:

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When Broken Vows Break the Heart

When Broken Vows Break the Heart

Forsaking all others, keep yourself only for him (or her).” You said that, or something similar, in your marriage vows, didn’t you?  Now perhaps that dream has become a nightmare. If you are facing infidelity in your marriage, you know how devastating that nightmare can be.

Adultery almost never begins with a physical act. It begins in the heart. It begins with a lingering glance, a flirtatious comment, a fantasy of connection. It grows with a search to fulfill something one feels is missing – perhaps adventure, emotional intimacy, or sexual contact. The heart finds a way to rationalize, and you cross that line. Sooner or later the pain, loss, and trauma of broken vows catch up with you – and those you love or loved.

If you are married and NOT facing infidelity right now, let me encourage you to do these things:

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Pain at Christmas

Pain at Christmas

Christmas is a time for joy. It’s the wonder in a child’s eyes, the family you don’t get to see any other time of year, and the celebration of the best Birthday of all!

But for some, Christmas is anything but joyful. A friend of mine lost his mother this past February, and he’s dreading this first Christmas without her. Add to that the fact that his father is very ill and may not be alive when Christmas does come this year. Christmas just won’t be the same for him.

Another friend of mine was looking forward to spending Christmas with her first grandchild for the first time. Sadly her grandson was stillborn, so instead of joy at baby’s first Christmas there are empty hearts and an empty crib.

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