Maybe he feels defeated due to things beyond his control. Or, he just might feel a bit discouraged that things are not going as he had planned in other areas of his life aside from marriage. In times like these it is especially important to think of ways to encourage your spouse.
My husband and I had a hard day Monday. Our ten year old daughter started running a temperature of 102 degrees at school. Seeing as how we’ve heard so much about the flu running rampant in our state causing several deaths, we were greatly concerned when she complained of her head hurting, body aches, as well as vomiting. We took her to the doctor where, thank GOD, they determined that she does NOT have the flu. Praises, praises, and MORE praises to God above!! While that was one concern that was put to rest, we were still very much concerned with her symptoms and fever.
There were several other things coming at my husband that started last week and has the potential to threaten our future. When we all finally arrived at home Monday evening, he disappeared. I looked around in the house, but I did not see him right away. I figured he may have needed a minute and may have retreated to his emotional man cave. After a little while, though, my worry got the best of me, and I had to check on him. I tiptoed down the hallway to our room where the light was off, but I sensed that he was sitting there in the darkness. Sure enough, he was. I flipped the light on to find him sitting on the edge of our bed with his head in his hands. He was feeling a bit defeated due to recent events, so I just walked over to him and put my arms around him. He let out a big sigh, and I knew he was struggling at that moment. I held him for a few minutes, tightening my hold around him as I felt him deflate in my arms as he finally let go of what was bothering him. He spoke of his concerns, and while I don’t have all of the answers, I can reassure him with my love. No matter what is going on, we are in this together. We are a team, and we will walk this road hand in hand, side by side, a united front!
After a few minutes, he felt enough relief from his mental anguish to join me and our children at the dinner table. As we sat down to eat together as a family, we stretched our arms out to join hands as we always do. My husband bowed his head and began to pray. He prayed a simple, yet heartfelt prayer. God knows his struggles, and we also know that our GOD is bigger than any thing that comes at us that threatens to steal our joy. We know that we don’t have to walk this road alone, and we don’t have to try to figure all of this out. God was already there when this situation was unfolding, and while the fear of the unknown grabs us at time paralyzing us, God knows what the future holds. We just have to trust in God, and we DO … and we ARE … and we will CONTINUE to do so! I have often reminded my husband of a bible verse that I cling to in hard times:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If your spouse has had an extremely hard time as of late, reach out your hand and take theirs firmly in your own. Look them in the eye, and tell them that everything is going to be okay. Maybe not today … maybe not tomorrow … but it will. We have God’s assurance, and we are holding on to God’s word and His great and mighty hand!
How can you encourage your spouse today?