WHEN RELATIONSHIPS SUFFER
Posted by April Boyer, April 2017. This week’s “When Relationships Suffer” is contributed by my guest: Shelley Howland. She and her husband own “Abundant Blessings Homecare”, http://www.abundantblessingshomecare.com. Shelley manages “Faithbloggers.com” and writes 2 personal blogs as well.
When a person becomes ill and receives bad news from a doctor, this news is often met with a flood of emotions.
Unfortunately the emotional turmoil from such a diagnosis often results in the ending of a relationship. I’ve seen times when a spouse can’t handle the stress and leaves, or a friendship is abandoned. Either way, when you add the loss of a relationship to the emotions of a difficult diagnosis, the heartbreak can be overwhelming. Relationships suffer.
LOVING in ILLNESS is a BLESSING
On the other hand, if the person who is ill has the benefit of a loving relationship, this can be an incredible blessing. As Christians we are called to be that for one another. In suffering relationships, it can be the healing balm.
Romans 12:10-13 says we are to “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” (NKJV)
There is tremendous opportunity to show love when someone is suffering.
Following the guidelines in the above scripture, here are some ideas to show healing love to someone who is ill:
HOW YOU CAN “BE KINDLY AFFECTIONATE to ONE ANOTHER”:
- Educate yourself. If you take the time to learn about their illness it shows you cared about them enough to take the time to learn.
- Show you are thinking of them. Small kind gestures can go a long way. Pick up a little something to show you thought of them. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few suggestions: a small pot of annuals, a treat (healthy snacks or even chocolate, etc. it this is ok for them to have), a book, a cup of coffee. If you do this regularly it will mean more.
- Take them out. If they are able to leave their home you could take them for coffee, to the store, or just for a walk. A change of scenery can be incredibly healing, breaking up the monotony to take the mind off the illness for a time.
and be “FERVENT in SPIRIT, SERVING THE LORD”:
- Provide healing touch; place your hand on theirs, hug them.
HOW YOU CAN “GIVE PREFERENCE to ONE ANOTHER”
- Give time. When you take time from your busy schedule to spend it with someone else, you are showing that you “gave preference” to them over other things you could have been doing. Just watching a movie or playing a card game can mean so much. Treat relationships as your priority.
HOW YOU CAN “REJOICE IN HOPE”
- Share encouraging scripture.
- Write out scriptures and hang them around their room.
- Send them notes of encouragement.
- Pick up a biblically based book for them (a devotional or other book).
HOW YOU CAN BE “PATIENT in TRIBULATION”
- Follow the lead of the person who is ill. Do not ever push your ideas or suggestions forward if they are not comfortable with them.
- Be a listener. Sometimes all they need is someone to listen. Often the most frightening times are in the alone hours such as late at night. Listening is the solid foundation of all relationships.
- Respect their privacy if there is anything they do not want to talk about.
- If their appearance has changed, never appear shocked by it.
HOW YOU CAN “CONTINUE STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER”
- This one is fairly obviously…get busy praying. Then keep at it and let them know you are praying for them.
HOW YOU CAN“ DISTRIBUTE to the NEEDS OF THE SAINTS” .
- Help financially if you are able. Medical expenses can be an overwhelming burden.
- Is there a piece of clothing they need? If they are bed bound a new nightgown or PJ’s could really make them feel better.
HOW YOU CAN BE “GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY”
- Invite them for dinner if they are able to leave their home
- Bring them a heathy home cooked meal (hospitality doesn’t have to be in your own home)
These are some practical ways you can show the love of Christ in a situation which may be full of hurt, fear and frustration. You can provide a healing relationship for a friend or loved one. If God is bringing someone to mind as you read this, I encourage you this very day to plan how you are going to be a blessing to them.
What other practical ways can you think of to show love to someone who is ill?
By Shelley Howland Aug. 2017, Posted and arranged by April Boyer Aug. 2017 for “Resting in His Shadow – Hope in Life’s Storms”. All Rights Reserved
Shelley Howland is a wife and mom of 4. She is a writer, entrepreneur, and business owner. She can be found living in the Mountains of New Hampshire down the end of a ridiculously long drive way with a trio of Weimaraners.
In addition to owning businesses with her husband Shelley runs Becauseliada.com a creative/art based ministry to encourage women to be all God created them to be. She also runs Faithfulbloggers.com where she connects and equips Christians to reach the world with their message.
Shelley can be found at: www.becauseliada.com
Or at: www.faithfulbloggers.com
On facebook: http://www.facebook.com/becauseliada/
On Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/faithfulblogger/pins/