MARCH 22

I’m Here for You

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. GALATIANS 6:2

Barbara and I admit that we’ve never experienced depression in its rawest, deepest form. Yes, we’ve had seasons of intense discouragement. We’ve had our share of valleys, crying out to God in the agony of our souls. We know what it means to suffer. Still, there are ravages and depths of depression we don’t know
about firsthand. But if one of you suffers with depression’s telltale signs—low self-esteem, severe fatigue and sleeplessness, lack of concentration—we know it affects you both. And the strain of it has the potential to steadily increase the distance you may feel from one another.

So we encourage you today to love your husband or wife in ways that are intensely real, genuine and sacrificial. Instead of taking all of this personally, realize that the emotional darkness your mate is experiencing likely has little or nothing to do with anything you’ve done or not done. This is simply your chance to listen, to be patient, to go to him or her without accusations or piously offered “overly spiritual” answers. Rather than urging your mate to “snap out of it!” or flip a switch that allows you to get on with life, this may just be a time to crawl up in bed and hold each other. To pray, offer comfort and read the Scriptures. To remind each other of what’s true and eternal and longer lasting than any earthly suffering and hardship.
Do you want to be a hero to your wife? Do you want to be the gleam in your husband’s eye? Then be your mate’s most faithful encourager. Be his or her rock to lean on when everything seems dark and cold and purposeless. Don’t lay blame. Don’t become short-tempered. Don’t come down hard and
make demands. Just carry the burden . . . “and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”

DISCUSS
Talk about what you need most from each other when you’re down or depressed.

PRAY
Ask Christ to shine His own love and comfort and patience and power through you.

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