3 Ways to Support your Spouse in Tough Seasons

There is so much that I could say but I will attempt to be brief. If you have been following our blog, you already know that our lives had had a major shift. Cancer has not redefined our roles as husband and wife, but it has reinforced them. Questions like "How do you submit to a sick husband?" and "What is it like to be a full-time mom and caregiver for your husband?" have been unraveled in this journey. It has been and continues to be a tough journey.

However, like anything else, the circumstances of life must adjust to your marriage and not vice versa! Here are three ways that I have been able to support my spouse during this tough season of medical hardship in our family.

1. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ONE BODY

First, know that your God-given position as a spouse is never the issue. The issue is the test or situation that seeks to either reassure your marriage foundation or crumble it to pieces. Our marriage is rooted in Christ. Period. So when the doctors said that HE had cancer, we already knew that WE had it together. We are one body. And truly what happens to one us happens to us both. We were going to get better or we were going to get worse, but we were going through this together from the start. We were so thankful for the friends that did realize that I was also suffering even though my husband was the one with the official diagnosis. Strong marriages support each other first by realizing that this thing is a "WE" thing.

Everything that Jesus did was for his bride. He lived for the Church, then suffered and died for the Church. It was never all about Him and that is the same mindset that we suggest for other couples. Once both spouses are reassured that neither is leaving on account of hard times, there is a great relief and exhale in the marriage.

2. FOCUS ON THE ONE GOAL

Maurice kept saying over and over that if this is God's will then so be it. I agreed. We didn't accept that this was our fate. We accepted this as God's will. Why? For His glory of course. Our faces were always set on the outcome, the victory, the testimony.

If we didn't look towards the finish line, we would never have had hope.

Life is temporary and fleeting. We know that, but it doesn't make life easier to deal with when your spouse is going through a difficult time. As followers of Jesus, we have to go back to the Word and get our focus right. Suffering is not an abnormal condition in a christian marriage. O dear, sweet friends, let us set the record straight for you right now! The Bible tells us that God's glory is our ultimate aim and that we should NOT hold this life in high esteem. As a matter of fact we are dead already and our lives are hid in Christ. Death is relative. Life is eternal.

So in addition to understanding that we function as one body, we must focus on the one goal and aim which is to glorifying our Father whether sick or well, in good times and in bad.

3. SUPPORT IN PRAYER

As redundant and obvious as this sounds, people who say that they are praying for their spouse are often not really doing it. I wasn't praying as fervently as I should for Maurice at first. To be honest, I was still in shock. I needed people to pray for me for a season, then I worked up to spending dedicated time in prayer for my husband. At first, my prayers were tears and moans. Simply sitting at the feet of Jesus is where I had to start. Later on, I was able to put specific scriptures to my prayers for my husband and pray daily in that way. I prayed some of these:

Psalm 103:3  - I prayed that the Lord would forgive him of his sins and heal any and all disease

Matthew 8:17 - Thanking Jesus for taking my husband's infirmities on Himself and carrying his disease

Exodus 23:25 - We told God we would serve Him and asked the Lord to bless our food, water & medicines and to take sickness away

It helped me as the caregiver to remember that perhaps even my husband may be struggling to pray at this time. It was my job to be strong and to pray for both of us. That actually encouraged me. I would often be the one to lead us in prayer because my husband had many medications on board that would make him tired, or weak or forgetful. 

Don't be afraid to step up and help in spiritual leadership for your household.

You want to be sure that the verses that you are praying apply to your situation and that the scripture is right in context. Every promise listed in the Bible is not personally yours, or it may require some prerequisite on your part. Pray for wisdom even as you pray. We also had many people praying for us and that was a blessing. There were two chaplains at the hospital, our family and friends as well as our church family that prayed with us. Ask for help. Ask for prayer.

Lastly, I prayed for God's will to be done no matter what. Not my will, O Lord, but yours be done. Whether healing takes place on this side of heaven or not, we have committed ourselves to praising Him - at all times, in all seasons.



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