What can I do if our marriage or family is in crisis?
Take a deep breath: You will survive, you are not alone and it has happened to someone else, there is hope. You feel like your world is out of control right now and it probably is. Remember it won’t stay this way forever. Think of another time you felt overwhelmed, what did you do to handle it in a healthy way? We all handle stress differently some need to talk; some need a quiet walk, others write, you may exercise. Stay away from negative ways of handling stress. Consider your best go to response to handle stress and make sure you build this into your life.
Get help: We all need help at times. Help is not a sign of weakness, but strength. Make sure to reach out for help when you need it. Find a pastor, trusted friend, or mentor and ask for help. Let them know you are hurting and what you need from them. If your crisis is severe, you may need them to get you to the right help, counselor, coach, intervention etc. Often in severe crisis making simple decisions is overwhelming, much less making big decisions. Make sure this person is wise and makes good choices. Help comes in many forms: a meal, someone to talk to, someone to remind you of a different perspective, a gift, (money or food), a place to stay, babysitting and many others. You need help now so accept that from someone who cares. If you have a home church this is a good starting place. Or we can connect you with one of our mentors who will help give your some guidance on-line.
Focus on Now: What needs to be done today? Don’t focus on the long term, focus on today, if that is too overwhelming, focus on the next hour. What can you do today? The thing about today is that we have enough energy for now, not enough to figure out the future and all the different scenarios. The Bible has some wisdom on this topic Mathew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Control your emotions: It is VERY easy to let emotions make your decisions in a time of crisis. Use your emotions as an indicator rather than a decision maker. Emotions are important as they are a barometer of what is going on, that being said, they can greatly lead in the wrong directions if left untamed or shut out. So the bottom line is, don’t ignore emotions but don’t let them rule your life and decisions.
Make a plan: What needs to be done immediately? Is physical safety an issue? Can you function? Do kids need caring for? Make a plan, you may need someone who cares to help with a plan. Educating yourself about your specific crisis may be part of your plan. Know what you are dealing with, but don’t assume worst case scenario.
Understand the problem. It is important to realize that every marriage or family problem involves at least two people: you and the other person. How might you have contributed to the problem? How might you need to change? What attitudes and actions need to be addressed? The more you understand the problem, and how to address it, the better prepared you are.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established. Proverbs 24:3
Be comforted: Prayer and God’s word can be very comforting in crisis. Prayer is a big help. You are not alone, God cares about you and your situation. One of our prayer mentors is available for you.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.