Encouraging your spouse when life is difficult – during grief or loss – takes perseverance.
If we look carefully, life is also filled with God’s love. Maybe, we can even be an example of God’s love…
I was listening to a minister talk about the person whose faith he admired most – an elderly widow. When he came to visit her, all she said was, “Tell me about God’s love.”
Her life with her spouse didn’t turn out the way she expected. She was married young, and her husband loved her dearly. He promised he would work hard and build her a big house, and he began by building the garage. The young newlywed couple moved into that garage, and lived there while he worked to earn money to build the rest of the house. Unfortunately he had an accident. His injuries were so severe he ended up spending the rest of his life in bed – in that garage. And she remained with him, in that garage, all their married life. Still, as a widow, she lived there. Yet, when a minister would visit, she looked to be encouraged by hearing about God’s love.
Life is made up of so many occurrences. It really is like the 3rd Chapter of Ecclesiastes; happy times and occasions when tears flow freely.
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 NLT
Laughter is good. Grief… not so much.
It’s easy and fun to join your spouse in laughter, dancing, and celebration. But what about those time of deep sadness?
How do you encourage your spouse in times of grief?
It’s hard when your spouse is grieving – when they’ve lost something or someone, and you can’t do anything to change the situation.
Though encouragement can be seen as “rah-rah” fluff, it’s actually more. It’s adding hope, sharing your faith, loving without prerequisites, lifting up with prayer, and taking action to support.
Brian Lindner, a counselor, who loves helping people build, improve and restore their marriages, wrote about what your spouse really needs in a time of loss.
In his post he gives four ways to mourn with your spouse. The third way is key, I think. And one we sometimes might be tempted to gloss over…
But it’s the best way to demonstrate God’s love to our spouse in a time of loss and grief.
It’s a post I’ve bookmarked to re-read.
I think you will too.