Tom and I have had this “rule”/understanding between us that we both can’t “freak” (regarding his job search/unemployment) on the same day. There are mornings that I get up and am just overwhelmed with fear – and while I know that is not where God wants me, it’s just where I am sometimes. So – we have agreed that we can “call the day” – meaning I can say “Today is MY day” (to freak, be a little cranky, need some reassurance, be MAD, etc.). Tom has the freedom to do the same…sometimes he “calls the day” and that means that he doesn’t need me to be “on him” about “who did you call/contact?”, “did you send any resumes out?”, etc. It’s a “freebie” to let me know that he might not be “all in” that day – and might just decide to spend the morning mowing the yard instead of sitting at the computer or waiting by the phone all day.
I encourage all of the wives out there to offer some grace/freedom to your husbands who are out of work. This is an area that I haven’t/don’t always do “well” (like I BITE at it often). There are moments that I want to jump in, offer “suggestions” (a.k.a. – take matters in to my own hands and tell him what he SHOULD be doing), or just scream “WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING ANYTHING?” I’ve come to realize that that reaction is coming from a place of gripping fear. I’m blessed to know that he really IS doing all that he knows to do…sometimes there just isn’t much that can be done – but wait and pray.
I also want to encourage you to be real with your husband. Let him know when you need an extra hug of reassurance, ask him to pray for you as you struggle with trusting that God DOES have a plan….and it’s for GOOD, or let him know when you need an “update” on how things are going (just to encourage you that “something” is happening…however, sometimes “something” is just posting another resume on a job board!).
Now, I don’t suggest you constantly walk around sharing your feelings of “OH MY GOSH…WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?” or “WE ONLY HAVE A MONTH LEFT AND THEN WE ARE GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH?”, ETC. While you might FEEL that way (and I do understand, believe me, how fear can take over our thoughts and sometimes cause us to go places God does not intend), I have learned it best to find a girlfriend to “vent”/freak with – especially someone that will listen but then ENCOURAGE me. I know that Tom FEELS the stress/weight/reasonability of providing for our family…I need to make sure I’m ENCOURAGING him and letting him know that I believe in him…that I still think he’s the GREATEST provider/husband. It doesn’t do ANY good for him to have additional “I can’t believe you don’t have a job” feelings coming his way – believe me, the enemy is quick to point out to him his “worthlessness” in not having a job. A man’s self-worth is so tied up in what he “does” (not who he IS, in Christ) that Tom feels bad enough – without me giving him ANY indication that I am not trusting that he will be able to provide for us.
I came up with this little “sign”, for Tom, that I needed some reassurance – I tap on his arm or back (when he gives me a hug) 3 times…and this means that I need him to say/remind me, “It’s GONNA BE GREAT”. (The funny part is that I think I did it initially thinking that that sentence had THREE words in it??) Regardless, there are times I just walk up to him and tap him 3 times, and he knows I just need to hear it! Come up with something similar that you both could use to alert the other that you need some encouragement.
I need to be honest and say that I need some accountability with the above…this is ANOTHER area that I’m struggling with…keeping my mouth SHUT and not adding pressure/stress on him. If you see me, feel free to ask me what I’ve done to ENCOURAGE my husband lately.
“IT’S GONNA BE GREAT” – I can’t wait until “great” (in regards to a job) arrives!