Ever feel stressed like you are in a tight place…that every bit of your brain cells or energy is being used to deal with all that you have to do?
I love this verse:
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”
Strongs describes enlarged as “to broaden, make room, make wide” and distress as “narrow, a tight place.” So, when we are feeling rather squeezed out, God can be our de-stresser, providing the relief we need!
Every Wednesday, I see that verse on my prayer list because one of the items I pray for is that my husband would look to God in times of stress. At the same time, I also see the comment I made about praying for our husbands:
Yes, our husbands definitely have much on their plates! I can’t remove the stress from my husband’s life, but I can help him by hugging him and praying for him.
Each time I see that, I think….ya know, I can sometimes remove SOME of the stress…or at least be careful to not add to it!
Removing His Stress
On a recent weekend when I sensed my husband was overloaded with things to do, I decided to ask him, “What can I do for you today? Is there any way I can help?”
“Yes,” he said. “Could you write a blog post?”
Hmmm…that wasn’t exactly what I was thinking….
So there I sat trying to think and pray about what to write about….thinking again about all that my husband was trying to get done…..there really are ways besides hugging and praying that I can help remove some of the stress when my husband is feeling overwhelmed.
Here are some ideas:
- Take the direct approach like I did and ask him, “What can I do to help you today?” Of course, be prepared for a different answer than you expect – like in my situation.
- Don’t bombard him with the day’s problems as soon as he comes home. It’s so easy to greet him when he walks in the door, telling him about everything that happened – the good and the bad. The good will probably be welcomed, but the bad will most likely just add to his stress. So that’s not the time to tell him about all the trouble that little Johnny got into or about the broken bunk bed and the computer that won’t turn on.
- Don’t allow the kids to complain about dad’s current busy schedule. He already knows he’s busy, and he already feels bad about not spending more time with the family. Hearing it over and over and over again is not going to help.
- Don’t disturb him when he’s busy focusing on one of his projects…especially to tell him about something that needs to be done. Yeah, I unwisely did that, and it doesn’t help his stress level at all!
- Take care of projects yourself, or teach your older children how to do them so that the problems don’t need to be added to your husband’s list. Many times I’ve cleaned out clogged sinks, researched repairs on-line, or had my boys help with or even do repairs. Don’t get the idea that Steve never does those things. He does plenty of repairs! Hopefully though they don’t get added to his list when he’s feeling overwhelmed!
- Let him know you are thankful for him and proud of him. You can do this verbally or with little notes – maybe a note in his lunch bag, at his computer, in his computer bag, in a suitcase when he goes on a trip, or written on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.
- Make yourself available for some time of physical intimacy. Sometimes going further than just a hug is just the type of stress relief needed.
- Remove an expectation. For example, “Yes, I signed up the family to help with a certain event, but I wasn’t expecting you to help since I knew you were already busy.” Whew! There’s one less thing on his list than he thought!
- Plan some fun light-hearted time together. This could be watching a funny show together as a family, playing a game, or going out for dessert – just some time for him to step away for a little bit.
As I type this list, I have to admit that these are suggestions that I still need to work on. I’m sure there are some other ideas out there too!
How about you wives? What have you found to be helpful to your husbands in those stressful times?
Husbands, what have your wives done for you when you are feeling overwhelmed?