A Day in the Life: When a Parent is Depressed

“How did you sleep last night?”

“Not at all…the baby woke up 5 times.”

“Well, I didn’t sleep, either. You were so loud getting out of bed, and you didn’t turn off the monitor, so I could hear the baby crying the whole time you were with him.”

“Oh…I’m so sorry that I disturbed your sleep while feeding our child.”

“Well, I’m the one who has to work all day.”

“So what I do isn’t work?”

Skip ahead 8 hours. Hours that I took care of the kids and hours that my husband worked in a stressful and high-pressured office.

“Why does the house look like a bomb went off? What did you do all day?”

“It wasn’t like this all day. The kids have been playing while I was cooking dinner. You know, you don’t have to come in and start criticizing us.”

“Well, I don’t want to have to come home from a long day at work and clean the house when that is your job.”

“Thank you for ruining my day yet again!”

Dinner was spent with very little talking. We put the kids to bed and kept to ourselves until we went to sleep.

I’m not proud to say that these were almost daily happenings for years in our house, and the fights got worse and more personal. Hurtful things that we can never take back were said and done. We were caught in a snare of tearing each other down, and it started to weigh on us. We were like hamsters in a wheel. Satan was playing us with ease.

My husband stopped wanting to talk to me, and I don’t blame him. He began to lose interest in doing anything other than work or watching sports. Intimacy came to a halt. He told me he was depressed, and regrettably, that made me annoyed more than compassionate. I felt like accusing him for making me feel the pain he caused me rather than supporting him in his vulnerable admission to me.  And unfortunately, that is what I did. I accused him when he was feeling low, because I was hurting, too, and maybe depressed myself.

We can’t change our spouses; only God can do that. But we can submit to the Lord with our words and actions and fight for our spouses in prayer.  And that is just what the Lord convicted me to do. He led me to the following passage from 1 Peter 3:1-4:

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:1-4)

My pride was destroying my testimony, and the worst part is that it was destroying it with my husband and my kids. I was being a hypocrite, and they saw it firsthand. God opposes the proud. Pride robs him of the glory that He deserves, and it robs us of peace.  The Accuser (Satan) pridefully wanted to be God, and here I was pridefully accusing my husband…ouch. I want to be like Christ, not Satan, so I finally got angry with the real enemy and fought against Satan with weapons that work: the armor of God and prayer of specific promises in His Word. Here is my humble prayer that I welcome you to pray with me.

Lord, 

I can do nothing without You, BUT “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” as You promise in Philippians 4:13. Help me to live as one of Your chosen people. Thank You for calling me out of the darkness and into Your wonderful light, for once I had no identity; now I am one of God’s people. Once I received no mercy; now I have received God’s mercy, as You promise in 1 Peter 2:9-10. Forgive me for selfishly seeking my own way in pride, when humbly submitting to You is my heart’s desire. I am clinging to the promise in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 that You, Lord, will lead my heart into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

Here are some other passages to utilize in prayer when your family is being attacked:

Romans 15:4-6, Colossians 1:9-11, Hebrews 12: 1-2, Romans 5:3, Ephesians 1, Romans 8.

After praying His Word into my specific circumstance, my perspective is aligned for the eternal joy in Christ and not fixated on my temporary discomfort. But it’s a daily battle—a battle that is worth the fight!

Ashleigh Ruzicka is still in awe of how the Lord led an imperfect soul like hers to minister to children and their families for His glory as the Early Childhood Ministry Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and taught English in Frisco ISD for eight years until following the Lord’s plan to stay home with her three energetic children by the support of her gracious husband, Brad. She quickly realized her need for connection and found joy in being vulnerable and trying to figure out life with other women by digging into His Word at Stonebriar Community Church.

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