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Am I Normal?

When a loved one dies, scores of emotions flood our lives. We may be so overcome by grief that we wonder, “Am I normal? Am I losing my mind? Is there something wrong with me?”

We need to understand what happens to us in a time of grief. Here are some of the emotions that usually come to us:

1. Shock. We simply cannot believe what has happened. It seems like a dream and we keep expecting to wake up and find out that it is not true. Numbness is normal and serves as an emotional shock absorber to help us take the stunning blows of life.

2. Anxiety. We feel that the whole foundation of life has crumbled. We are frightened. We wonder, "What am I going to do now? How am I going to live? Who will take care of me?" You feel lost and alone. 

3. Depression. We may find ourselves sitting day after day staring into space with a sense of futility and emptiness. We may feel fatigue or restlessness, and be unable to concentrate. We may even wonder if God hears our prayers. This feeling may linger over us like a heavy fog for many months.

4. Regrets. We are apt to say such things as, “Oh, if I’d only done more for him while he was alive" or "If I had only called the doctor sooner.”

5. Self-pity. We are apt to cry out, “Why me?” Or, “It’s not fair.”

6. Bitterness. We may feel anger and resentment toward almost everyone—other family members, the physician, and even God.

7. Mixed emotions. Sometimes death is a relief. When the illness has been prolonged and there has been intense pain, we may welcome death. However, if we aren’t careful, we will feel guilty about feeling grateful.

All of these emotions come to us in a time of sorrow. Understand that they are normal. Face them, deal with them, and then get on with the task of living. 

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

What a Husband Owes His Wife

The Bible is the greatest textbook on marital relations ever written. All other books are but amplifications, illustrations, and applications of the basic truths in the Bible.

In many places the Bible sets out the duties of a husband to his wife. Here they are as a good reminder to every husband.

1. Love her. The first and most often–mentioned responsibility of the husband is to love his wife (Ephesians 5:25). The kind of love that the Bible talks about is the kind of love that Jesus showed when he died for us on the cross. Real love puts the interests, desires, and wishes of the other person first. This is the way that husbands are to love their wives.

2. Be understanding. We are to be reasonable, sensible, and understanding of our wives (1 Peter 3:7). We are to try to see things from their point of view. We are to try to put ourselves in their place. There is no substitute for sweet reasonableness in marriage.

3. Support her. The Bible says that if a man does not provide materially for his family, then he has disowned the faith and is worse than a nonbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). 

4. Live joyfully with her. Marriage is to be a joy and a delight. The Bible teaches that the man is to enjoy life with the woman he loves all the days of his life (Ecclesiastes 9:9). There are no more valuable qualities than laughter, humor, and good-naturedness in the marriage relationship. Learn to enjoy every day together.

5. Avoid bitterness. An irritable, quarrelsome, fault-finding nature can destroy any relationship. It can change a marriage from made in heaven to hell on earth. It is so easy to become a sour, bitter, and sullen person. Don’t let it happen to your marriage (Colossians 3:19).

6. Assume leadership of the family. The husband is to be the head of the wife. This is not a privilege to be abused. It is a responsibility to be assumed. It means that the husband is to lead his family in all things, including spiritually.

At least one-half of the marital problems could be solved if husbands would treat their wives right. Our duty is clearly set out in the scriptures. Now let’s do it.

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