The Bad News
I heard the garage door opening. It was only 5 o’clock. Don certainly was home early.
Lately he had been working long days, much too long. “I sure hope they appreciate his hard work,” I often thought. “He deserves to come home early one day. I’m so glad he’s finally doing it.”
But as I glanced up from the sink full of dishes, one look at his face told me something was wrong.
My smile faded and before I could say anything, he painfully murmured, “I got a pink slip today, along with 150 other people.”
The company had been hiding its financial problems until now.
We were stunned. For a man, especially one in his early fifties with two kids in college, news like this can be devastating.
Supporting Your Spouse Emotionally and Spiritually
What can you do to support a spouse as he/she goes through unemployment — or any difficult time? He/She needs more than just platitudes like, “Oh, it’ll be all right. You’ll find an even better job soon.”
There are five ways you can give the kind of support that is really needed:
1) Make him/her your priority
He/She needs you near at this time especially.
Be aware of the petty things that cause tension. You’ll soon see how insignificant they are and how important your relationship is.
Be alert to ways you can encourage him –a spontaneous hug, special meals, notes on his desk, etc.
2) Remind him/her that worth is not determined by a job
It’s so easy, especially for a man, to feel like the whole world is crashing in on him and that he is not needed.
Help your spouse remember that his/her worth is not measured by money or the opinion of others.
We are worth so much that Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could spend eternity in fellowship with God. We have God on his side.
“But let him who boasts, boast about this: that he understands and knows [the Lord]” (Jeremiah 9:24).
3) Encourage him/her to spend time daily with the Lord
Bible study and personal prayer will make a difference between a growing despondency and a growing witness as you trust in the Lord’s provisions.
No matter how urgent the job search is we should not neglect our time with the Lord.
“But seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
4) Together ask the Lord for guidance, wisdom, and His provisions
And not only for a new job, but also for managing finances and related stress.
Encourage him/her that the Lord will provide for your needs as you make decisions on what your next steps are.
If your spouse will be seeking new employment or trying something new, stand together.
Besides your individual time with the Lord, spend time on your knees together. If you have never prayed together, now is a good time to start.
Anything new feels awkward. But you will soon come to treasure these times in prayer.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all” (James 1:5).
5) Enlist a few close Christian friends to pray for you
God uses the prayers and intercessions of His family to accomplish His purposes (1 Thessalonians 5:23-25).
God may not answer your prayers as you expect. But speaking from experience, I guarantee you that He knows you and your needs better than you do (Philippians 4:19).
Trust Him. Let this be a time when you draw nearer to God and to each other.
You may look back one day and count this trial as a real blessing in your relationship with each other and with God. Thank God for what He is going to teach you about yourselves and about Him.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Why not start today?
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