In these times of economic crisis and catastrophic events that we see daily on the news, it is easy to see why so many of us get depressed. Depression is a hard hurdle to cross in a marriage. Frequently one or both partners can suffer in the areas of fear, anger and confusion over what to do or how to manage life’s situations. Long periods of sadness accompanied by lack of interest in life are a sign that something is not right. Just think though, you can be your spouses greatest prayer guard!
Never before has there been a need for a prayer partner as there is now. If you have a marriage partner that is willing to sit down and pray with you, you are a blessed person. Talking things over with the Lord is one sure way to bring a couple together and fight this battle. However, I have found that there is a time when that isn’t possible. You can still pray by yourself. Not to worry, God listens to your prayers either way.
My marriage tip for today is ‘Do not fall in the pit together’. So often, I discover myself on edge when my Shermy is down. I have had to shake myself from the urge to be depressed with him. The joy of the Lord is my strength, not the depression of my Shermy or vice versa. He can’t help me if he jumps into my depression with me.
That doesn’t mean we don’t empathize and show love and affection. It simply means that we cling to the Lord more than the situation. Women have a tendency to let it all hang out and love to talk while most men tend to keep things inside. It festers in there and grows sometimes. Vain imaginations set in as the devil sets his net over us in a cloud of depression. You will hear things in your mind like ‘It’s never going to get better’ ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ ‘No one understands’ ‘I don’t feel like trying anymore’ ‘I just want to be alone’ ‘Nobody likes me.’
If you hear things like that, go into action. Ask your spouse if you can pray with them. If they are not Christians, don’t be alarmed if they balk. Pray for them by yourself. If they are Christians, don’t be alarmed if they say very little. You keep yourself in a place of interceding on their behalf. Let them know you are there if they need to talk. Don’t try to fix them! This is so hard, because we naturally feel like we are Jesus Junior and want to fix whatever is wrong. Do not go there.
The best thing you can do is to not fall in the pit with them. Keep yourself in a good place. Prayer changes things. Do all you know to do. Love your spouse and gently remind them that they are loved no matter what the situation is. Encourage them to think of good things. Remind them of how they overcame things before. Remind them gently how the Lord was there in the past.
This is a Christian blog and so I will speak as though you all know the Lord is good. When we pray we are talking to our creator. We do not need to memorize special prayers. Talk from the heart. If you make a mistake, God is able to understand your heart. Start your prayers always by thanking him for what you have. Have you eaten today? Can you see, hear, walk, talk, converse, touch, move, and breathe? I’m sure you are doing at least two of those things. Thank HIM!
During the day as you go to work or through your day , pray silent short prayers for your depression situation in the marriage. I usually pray ‘Deliver us from evil.’ For make no mistake, it is an evil thing to be depressed. I’m not calling the person evil, I am calling the depression evil. Depression can be disease and disease is not a good thing.
Often, your spouse might be quiet and you’ll wonder what they are thinking. I have learned not to ask what is on Shermy’s mind. Most of the time he isn’t thinking about anything. He in turn, is great when I am quiet. I learned this tip from him. It does no good to constantly hound someone with ‘What are you thinking?’ Often times, a quiet time is just a way to relax the mind.
As we live with a depressed situation keep yourself tuned into good things. Philippians 4:8 says it well. This is how we do not fall into the pit. ‘Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.’ I enjoy a clean home so I think of upkeep and it brings me to polishing and dusting. I enjoy music so I turn on the radio. I enjoy people so I try to be involved in something worthwhile. Cooking can be a great way to keep yourself joyful too. Sports is another good way. Find an outlet for yourself but also a source for joy to come in.
Finally, I Thessalonians 5:16 states what I’m trying to teach here for wives. ‘Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ It’s hard to stay depressed when peace and joy live with you.