This past week I sat with a girl friend who was reeling with pain. Her life had been turned upside down by the actions of her father. She explained how he suffered from depression this past year after losing everything he'd worked so hard for through this struggling economy. The thoughts of living his twilight years in despair instead of comfort were too overwhelming and shameful for him. Instead he chose a bullet to end his life while his bride of many years slept in the next room.
My heart just breaks for the pain he must have felt, and the incredible grief that suicide leaves for the family that lives. I'm so sorry for their pain. I've never seen my friend's countenance so heavy.
When the family talked to the officers, they said that unfortunately this was a common call of recent days. They've been seeing more and more cases among men since the increase in job loss and the decline in the economy.
Men are wired to be the provider. Their identity is wrapped around their job and how well they provide for the family. When a job is lost and things start to unravel, men feel like a failure. Often when they fail to provide, they feel they've failed as a man altogether.
Wives play an important role in this. We need to encourage our husbands and believe in them and their ability to provide as we struggle through changes in employment together.
They need to know that their wife still respects them and that she will stick by him no matter what.
You might think, well...my husband is a Christian...he should know that his job is not his identity- he is a child of God...
Ok, but he's also human, and God did set it in his heart to be the provider, it's instinctive for him.
We need to be especially vigilant to watch over our husband's heart and emotions.
Encourage, encourage, encourage!
1 Thess 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
According to Sampson Blair, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo:
Living through a tough economy not only increases the risk of suicide, but other family dysfunction as well, including family violence, substance abuse and childhood neglect. According to Blair, "The economic situation also portends a significant increase in other forms of family violence, including spousal and child abuse, child neglect and other forms of dysfunctional behavior like substance abuse."We can change this for our family! We can help by de-stressing the home. That will mean different things for every individual home.
Dr. Blair says suicide rates are likely to increase two to three-fold because of the economic depression. Job loss, combined with loss of savings, and other family responsibilities are identifiable risks for suicide, and murder-suicide, and economic stresses can take its toll on other aspects of health.
Blair says, "Financial stressors are among the greatest risk factors for emotional disturbance and such physiological reactions as insomnia and high blood pressure."
As wives, we start by de-stressing ourselves and that will happen through prayer and trusting God's Word in our lives. God is ultimately your provider. Look to Him in your time of need and let your husband see the peace that you walk in...that will be huge to him!
Set your heart on this passage, let is become hope for you so you can walk in peace:
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 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.
As your heart is filled with peace, let them pour out onto your husband and family. The Lord admonishes us to respect our husbands:
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
They need it now more than ever ladies! Use your influence to encourage other women to understand this also...we can make a difference in our families.
Let your husband know that he is worth more than just a paycheck.
I must add that ultimately we cannot control people's emotions. We must do everything we can to encourage, but we are all personally responsible for our own actions and we cannot blame another person if a loved one takes their life. If this tragedy has happened in your family, I am so very sorry and pray that the Lord brings comfort and hope to your home.
I'm praying for our marriages.
FYI...I'll do the March drawing for Praise and Coffee tomorrow so you have one more day to enter if you haven't already.