Loving Your Spouse During a Loss

The dreaded call came.

“Your mom has been life flighted to the hospital.”

We weren’t sure exactly what was going on.  We knew she was sick, but we really didn’t know how bad.  When we received the follow-up call a few hours later, I knew we had to go.  My husband’s mom didn’t need to be alone.

It was a choice we will never regret.  We live a couple of hours away, so we gathered a few things and headed to the hospital.  We arrived in the middle of the night.  Jaymi was able to talk with her as she responded with her eyes.  She knew he was there.  He was the last person she communicated with.  He was with her when they took her off the ventilator.

Have you walked with your spouse through a loss?

Loving Your SpouseWe will all encounter one of these hard days at some point in our lives.  Maybe it’s the death of a parent, a child, or another loved one.  Maybe it’s the loss of a job.  Or maybe it’s the loss of a dream.  When you do, the love and support of a spouse is a key to making it through the difficulty.

God gives us marriage relationships to experience His love and grace in a special way.  Your spouse can comfort you in many ways because he or she knows us better than others. If your spouse experiences a loss, the things you do and say will encourage him or her to keep walking through the hard time.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

5 Steps to Loving Your Spouse During a Loss

Loving your spouse during a loss takes intentional thoughts and purposeful actions.  Here are a few steps you can take to be a tool of God’s comfort to your spouse:

1.  Pray. Ask God to clearly show you how to show love to your spouse. Ask God to allow you to comfort your spouse in ways that only a spouse can.

2.  Be flexible. Some days are harder than others for those who are grieving a loss. Grieving a loss can also take longer than we realize. Your spouse will need you to allow him to grieve the loss on his own time.

3.  Watch. Grief is not linear. It is a cycle. Take time to learn the five stages of grief so that you can understand where your spouse is in his grief. You will need to be understanding of the various emotions that are related to grief. Watch how your spouse is responding to situations in life and know that some of his responses may be tied to this grief even though the circumstance is unrelated.

4.  Be still. Pray for your spouse throughout the period of loss. Use your observations of what your spouse is experiencing to pray specifically for him or her. Consider praying these prayers:

Father, show my spouse more of who you are today. Teach him to seek you for the comfort he needs. You are our shelter in the storm. Please shelter him from additional stresses that will prevent him from growing through this.

Father, guide my wife through this difficult time. Strengthen her by your righteous right hand. Shower her with your peace, and let her know that she is loved.

5.  Love. How many different ways can you show your spouse love? Use them all during this time. Spend time with him. Listen to his heart. Tell him how much you appreciate his continued perseverance. Leave her notes in unexpected places. Bring her flowers. Hold his hands. Help her find time to rest.

God will use this loss as a time to grow your marriage if you will allow Him to do so.  He is also using this difficulty as a time of preparation so that you can show His love and comfort to others.  You can love your spouse during a loss.

What other steps could you take to love your spouse during a loss?

Share your thoughts with the Rooted Families community by leaving a comment below.  We need each other!