My wife is depressed- how can I help?


Someone asked, my wife, is depressed she
isn’t herself anymore and she doesn’t really contribute around the house in
the way she did. I want to help her but I’m also frustrated with her. How do I
help her? You know it’s often difficult in marriage when one or the other spouse
disappoints the other. It’s difficult when our expectations are not met. When
suddenly or maybe even progressively things change, attitudes change, heart
attitudes change, functionality changes and we find that our spouse is becoming
weaker in areas maybe we took for granted in the past. In any marriage
there are expectations that a man has of his wife and a wife of her husband and
they’re not the same for every single marriage they’re different depending
upon the personalities involved. Clearly in this particular case, your wife is
struggling with something. She may not even be able to put her finger on it but
something in her psychological makeup has changed. Maybe it’s some
disappointment or some fear or something that has been accentuated in her that
she never anticipated or expected to happen.
There are so many different reasons why people become depressed. The question for
you is how do I help her? What do I do to minister to someone who is struggling
with depression where the expectations are not being met and where frustration
has set in? You know in the Old Testament there is a wonderful passage of
Scripture Psalm 84 which speaks of a pilgrimage that Jewish people took to go
into Jerusalem to enter the temple perhaps once a year to dwell in that
place that they had heard of that place they were separated from and they would
emigrate from all over the area to go to Jerusalem on some day during the course
of the year to worship in the temple. It was something they look forward to their
Christmas if you will. There was a sense of expectation that was there but to get
from point A to the temple was a dangerous, dangerous and difficult
journey. A journey they could not make alone. A journey they had to either
travel in groups or with a dependence upon others to help them get through
these dangerous points. Places where they could be robbed or even murdered but
their eyes were fixed on the goal the goal was to dwell in the temple of the
Lord. The imagery in Psalm 84 even talks about how the traveler, the pilgrim saw
the birds nesting in the temple and how beautiful it was to spend one day in the
temple than a thousand days anywhere else. But right in the middle of that
passage the writer of this Psalm makes this incredible statement, he says,
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart
are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it
a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from
strength; to strength each one appears before God in Zion.” Now that’s
interesting imagery if you know exactly what he’s talking about. In order to get
to the temple they would have had to travel through the desert and in the
desert there was no water it was a long arduous journey and what would happen in
the desert is that there would be these sudden storms these sudden downpours and
pilgrims would dig holes so that the water could collect in those holes and
they would drink out of those little ponds that were made by these sudden
storms and they would dig a second hole and a third hole that they would not
drink out of and then they would move ahead because the pilgrims coming behind
them had the full expectation that ahead of them, someone has dug the holes.
Someone has provided the rain for them, the drink for them. That someone will
have helped them by being ahead of them in the game and so they would travel as
the scripture says here from strength to strength. That’s literally from pool to
pool to pool depending on someone ahead of them to have done their job and dig
the holes. In this particular case the one who is depressed and the one who is
not depressed are in two different stations of life. One is back here the
other one is up here and the one who is further ahead in the game needs to dig
the pools. Someone needs to dig the holes and pull
the weary traveler along. Making decisions that make it easier for
your wife to move from point A to point B. Making it easier for her to get up in
the morning. Making it easier for her to function by taking away from her burdens
that she can’t even conceive that she would be able to accomplish in that day.
And so you move from strength to strength as you are moving her from
strength to strength, with your eyes fixed on the goal. The goal is a victory.
The goal is the victory that comes only in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is the temple we seek to be a part of. He is the one we seek to inhabit as he
inhabits the praises of his people. So it might be something as simple as fixing
her breakfast or asking her what can I do today to help you take the next step
forward. Rather than becoming disappointed and frustrated and maybe
even angry with her perhaps you can look at what you could do, what you can do to
dig the holes that are necessary for her to find the refreshment in the desert
she finds herself in. Friends that’s what marriages are all about it’s when one is
weak the other is strong when one is strong the other is weak and we build, we
complement each other and we pull each other along as we learn to dig those
holes. There have been times in my own marriage where it has been difficult for
me to function and vice-versa for my wife to function. It’s always comforting
to know that she or I whichever one is in the functional depression role is, is
finding the other picking up the slack. Taking the steps forward that are
necessary to keep the home moving as the other emerges from their depression.
That’s what marriage is all about. It’s one pulling the other along, digging
those holes, filling those holes with the necessary nutrients that
help to build the marriage and help that functionally depressed person to move
along in the next step. I want to encourage you that’s what love is all
about. That’s how Christ has loved us. If Christ
gave up on us every time we were low or even when we failed to take on our
responsibilities he would have given up on us a long time ago and I know you can
say amen to that. So as Christ has loved you so you must
now love your wife.

6 thoughts on “My wife is depressed- how can I help?”

  1. HOLY HEBREW! This ministry hit me right between the eyes. I've often wondered through the years, why so many of my loved ones, including pets, crossed over before their time. I never questioned God, but simply wondered what the long term meaning was. Now I believe I know, thanks to this. Thank you again Doc for your blessed and gifted insight. God speed.

  2. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. đŸ’™â€

  3. Thanks for the information. I want to help my wife, we are in this together.

    I will pray for her and not get angry.
    With Christ all things are possible.

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