In (Mental) Sickness and In Health
By Laura Way
“Every day doesn’t have to be a good day,” my husband graciously said as I lay deflated on the couch after he returned from work.
It had been a hard day. More accurately, it had been a hard few years. Unexpected and unwanted transitions. Unanticipated challenges with our kids. And uninvited struggles with depression and anxiety.
When we get married, we vow to love our spouses for better or for worse, in sickness and in health—but we can’t plan for mental illness, cancer, car wrecks, housefires, the death of a child, or infidelity.
So when we find ourselves in a worse-rather-than-better spot, it’s an opportunity to give (and receive) unconditional love—to live out the vow we made when we got married.
- Believe the best about yourself and your spouse. Except in rare cases, your spouse is not trying to make your life more difficult. They’re just hurting.
- Believe the best about the God who sees and cares for you both. He has grace and a strength prepared for you for this season (see Psalm 84). He is able to sustain and bring wholeness when we find ourselves (or our spouse) weak and broken.
- Don’t expect perfection. There is no perfect way to respond to tough days and seasons. You are two imperfect people, doing your best to let Christ’s strength shine through your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
- Don’t do it alone. You need support from people other than your spouse. This is especially true when you both find yourselves weak or struggling at the same time.
“Every day doesn’t have to be a good day,” was the best thing my husband could’ve said to me at that moment. It reminded me he chose to love me through the bad days and the bad years, through sickness and in health, forever.
The Good Stuff: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)
Action Points: Is your marriage going through a tough season? Search your heart. Do you believe the best about your spouse? What do you believe about God? Is it time to ask a trusted friend for help?
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