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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two shall become One ~ Tuesday


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, 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.

Heb 3:13
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."

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."
We can change this for our family! We can help by de-stressing the home. That will mean different things for every individual home.

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:

Romans 5:1-5
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:
Eph 5:31-33
"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.


TammieFay said...

Oh, Sue, thank you so much for this post. What a timely word for me. As you may or may not know, I am a pastor's wife and due to heartbreaking conflict in the church, my husband's "job" is in jeapardy. He is trying to hold a flock together, plus care for his family, which he has always placed aboved his ministry. Thank you for the reminder to be vigilant to watch over our husband's heart and emotions. "Vigilant"....that's my word for the day.

Amydeanne said...

what a harsh reality of theses times.. praying for our lights to shine brighter through this dark time.

MJ said...

Beautiful post and a good reminder to us.

Susan said...

What a ministry the Lord has given you to help woman through so many different things they face!! I'm glad you are here in Blogland for them.

km said...

Thanks for sharing this. My husband was out of work for 10 weeks. That was a crazy time in our house. I can't imagine what those who are out of work for much longer are going through.

Unknown said...

Your post hits home to our society. I would like to add that we must assist our spouses that their jobs are not who they are.
My husband was very upset when we lost our home despite him making $22 a hour. The reality was that he wanted to control everything and not look at the fact that more then half his salary went to taxes and benefits.
The new realization is that we found a new home and jobs, once we turned over our lives to the Lord.

Praise and Coffee said...

TammieFay, I'm so sorry. I pray the Lord turns that situation around for His glory.

Rona, Thank you for sharing that with us :)

Angela Baylis said...

Thank you, Sue for this post today. You are right on target. We need to encourage our spouses and you are so right to remind us to de-stress ourselves first so we can have a peaceful home. I'm praying for us wives to go to Him for all of our needs. You are such a blessing. Thank you for your obedience!
Angie xoxo

p.s. I chose to memorize Romans 5:5 this year. "Hope does not disappoint..." I think God wanted me to hear it again today!

Anonymous said...


What a great and timely post!!

My husband and I also do something from time to time we call the "What If" talk. We sit around the dinner table after the kids go do whatever it is they do after dinner and we just discuss "What If's." But really should call it the "What if...Then..." talk!!

Please don't get me wrong. We aren't dwelling on what could possibly go wrong in our marriage, our parenting, our finances. We have made this a healthy exchange about preparation.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I was feeling particularly stressed about "what if he lost his job." So we had our talk and we came up with a plan on how we would practically walk through that journey (steps to find temporary employment, what we do without, how to trim the budget, etc.) AND we glorified God for how He has provided for us thus far and how we would be better stewards of what He has given us.

By the time our conversation was over, my fears were calmed and I was praising God!

Then follow that up with Beth's Esther Session 4 lesson. She had us complete a blank in the phrase: IF (this happens), THEN GOD...He will be provide, He will be faithful, He will protect, He will love, He will be enough!

Great post!! Thanks for praying for our marriages!!! You are a blessing.


Melissa in Mel's World said...


Your words encourage, inspire, and challenge me. In a world that seems to be falling down around us we need to RISE UP and get battle ready.

For ourselves, for our husbands, for our kids, and for families.

It is so terribly tragic for your friend and her heart breaks for them, I am so glad to hear that they have you and now all of us praying for them.

I told the girls in my Bible study last week we could spend hours going round the circle sharing our stories of hurt, heart break, and prayer requests. We'd end up on the floor rocking back and forth in the fetal position eating chocolate together. BUT...we have to be victorious in the midst of these storms, lean on the ONLY One who can provide safety and shelter for us, and love our families with a fierce/intense love.

Thank you for your words...they are honest, transparent, and from the heart.

Much Love,

Anonymous said...

What advice can you offer a newlywed whose husband is unable to work (and therefore provide) because of a health disability? I know he's struggling, and I try to encourage him in different ways, but when it comes down to it, he continues to feel worthless because I am the one who must earn our income right now. I lift him up in prayer daily and will continue to do so, but also want to find other ways to encourage him.

Jenny86753oh9 said...

What a great post! A year and a half ago we were in a similar situation as TammieFay. We ended up having to leave the church. My husband went through a long depression because 1) he wasn't providing as a husband/father and 2) he felt like a failure in the church. That stripped a lot from our marriage. Now we're on the other side and he's got a wonderful job (outside of the church) and we're rebuilding what was lost during that shaky time. It's not easy supporting a husband that goes through that, but it sure pays off in the end. Now all he wants to do is meet my needs. I'm a lucky woman!

Unknown said...

We do have to be bold in our faith and be as salt and light to all.
wonderful post

Zaankali said...

How sad! My husband and I were just talking about how important family is during hard times and how do dysfunctional families cope now that they have so much more time together to be dysfunctional.

Linda said...

What a timely post. I am so sad for your friend but you are right the times are certainly going to produce more of theses types of situations. We definately need to be affirming our husbands and praying without ceasing.

Simply Blessed said...

Such a great post and timely as well.

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