Saturday, June 2, 2007

Helping Your Husband Through the Storms of Life

By Zoe Elmore

Over our 25 years of marriage, I've enjoyed the privilege of being a helper to my husband each and every year. I had no idea, however, how important my role as helpmeet would become in our marriage until his job of twenty-eight years was eliminated earlier this year. As many months have passed without employment in this difficult economy, I have learned much about what it means to support your husband in good times and bad, for richer or for poorer. Allow me to share some of my tips with you.

Creating an Oasis
Creating an oasis to come home to has always been important to me as a wife. I want our home to be a place of refreshment, renewal and restoration. Now that we are in this time of transition, I make a special effort to pour life into my husband as the world seems bent on draining it from him.

First, I give my husband time and space to be alone with the Lord every morning. I also willingly leave his "meeting place" (our dining room) untouched.

Second, I love telling my husband that God's choice for an employer will appreciate all of the gifts and talents he possesses. It brings me great joy to fill my husband's face with kisses before he leaves the house, telling him that he will be a blessing to everyone he meets with today.

Third, I try to be home when my husband returns from his job search in order to greet him with a big hug and a kiss; to begin filling up the empty places that the world has stolen with their rejection. Remembering that it takes ten positive statements to undo one negative statement, I relish this opportunity to be my husband's biggest cheerleader.

Finally, it is critical that I remind my husband with my actions as well as my words that he is my beloved - that he continues to be a valuable and desirable mate in my eyes. I look for opportunities to practice the "art of being a newly wed."

Bearing and Sharing Fruit
The best way for me to be the helper my husband needs is to be reading God's word and be in constant prayer. The Lord has lessons he wants to teach me during this difficult time and the best place for me to learn those lessons is on my knees.

I want my life to bear the fruit of those lessons learned, and I try to be sensitive to know when to share those lessons with my husband - in conversation versus lecturing tones of course.My goal is to listen to my husband twice as often as I speak; after all, the Lord did give me two ears and one mouth. The more I listen, the better equipped I am to "speak" the love language my husband responds to best.

When "storm fronts" of grief approach, I gently remind my husband that this is normal and temporary. We have been told by a grief counselor that both of us would circle in and out of the first six stages of grief until my husband "lands" his new job. This has been helpful information; to be reassured that it is normal and expected to have feelings of denial, anger, guilt, depression, forgiveness, and acceptance before we reach the final stage of recovery.

Being my husband's cheerleader is exciting and exhilarating. It could also become exhausting if I'm not careful. I learned early on in our marriage that if I'm going to pour into the life of my husband, I must drink from the fountain of spiritual strength and energy on a daily basis. The living water I receive from God's Word and the Holy Spirit not only quenches my thirst, but allows me the joy of fulfilling my husband's desire for a true helper.

Being my husband's cheerleader is exciting and exhilarating. It could also become exhausting if I'm not careful. I learned early on in our marriage that if I'm going to pour into the life of my husband, I must drink from the fountain of spiritual strength and energy on a daily basis. The living water I receive from God's Word and the Holy Spirit not only quenches my thirst, but allows me the joy of fulfilling my husband's desire for a true helper.

2 comments:

Nella said...

What an inspiring lecture this was. I am anxious to put into practice what I have learned because I want to be my husband's helper and supporter.

Diane said...

I too want to be my husband's helper and supporter. I've been cheerleading him through his unemployment for almost 10 years now. I work full time myself and wonder how long the for worse part of marriage really lasts. I too look at him as I did when I fell in love with him over 30 years ago, but the depression and bitterness he lives through is tough.