“Lord, please send him some rainbows and sunshine.” My husband hit a bump in the road and his derailment seemed to have spilled over on the whole family. I understood his frustrations. I recognized his discouragement. Despite that, I was struggling to find an ounce of compassion and I had determined that God needed to make it right.
God had different plans. Or maybe my prayer was so selfish that God just shook His head and sighed. “Again I say unto you.” I think He says that to me A LOT.
I returned to my regularly scheduled routine of work, home, study and prayer. It was in the last two that I began to find that compassion that I had struggled to uncover just hours before.
Surviving a Discouraged Spouse
- Remember you will never fix it. I can do everything right, but discouragement will ALWAYS find fault. That is part of its job. I have to stop trying to fix it if I want to keep my sanity (and that ounce of compassion that will let me pray a humble hearted prayer for my spouse).
- I can only do what I can do. If I do what I know to do and I do it as unto the Lord, then I stop worrying about what discourage points out. If I can, I address that concern – but always with a focus on what God wants me to do and not that doing it will drive discouragement away.
- Encouragement may not be the key. I used to think that the right mixture of rainbows, lollipops, and hope would cure any ailment. I am learning that discouragement throws them back in my face. I will share encouragement when prompted, but I am learning to discern when it will be a blessing and when it will be a curse. Sometimes I still get lollipops in my face.
- Avoid adding to the discouragement. Negative words and negative attitudes only fuel the strength of discouragement. Follow the advice given throughout the ages. “If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.” Even when negative comments are thrown at you, hold back those negative comments.
- Speak love. In all that you say and all that you do, let love be the guiding force. Discouragement does NOT like to hang around love.
- Pray the scriptures. Find positive and hope filled scriptures. Pray those scriptures over your spouse by putting his or her name in the scripture. Praying the Word of God specifically for your spouse will help your heart.
It can be a challenge being around a discouraged spouse. The deeper the discouragement, the more you want God to fix it already. I have learned that if I take time to think positive, to pray hope, and to speak love then I can survive the discouragement and even help to drive it away.