Question: We’re the parents of 6-year-old twin boys. My husband has been hospitalized with COVID-19 going on three weeks. He had no underlying conditions, so this was a surprise to us. He also was working from home and the only time we went out was to get groceries. He’s getting a little better and the twins and I have been doing short FaceTime with him.
Our challenge is how does a good, loving Christian man get so ill so sudden? We’ve discussed this in detail over the phone and he keeps asking, “What have I done wrong? Is God punishing me?” I remind him of Job in the Bible who had many problems and God brought him out of them. Also, our twins miss their Dad so much. I don’t let them watch TV except for kids’ programming because I don’t want them to see the death toll from the virus.
My question is: How can I support my husband and children in a more comforting way that can ease their fears and concerns? ~ Perplexed Mom
Dear Perplexed Mom,
I am sorry to hear about the challenges you are going through. Unfortunately, there are quite a few individuals and families experiencing the same challenge from contacting COVID-19. Make no mistake about it – the pandemic shows no favoritism and it affects people from all walks of life and faiths. Contacting COVID-19 is not a consequence for doing something wrong that we are to be punished for.
While we cannot always control the circumstances that we are faced with we can choose the way that we respond to them. Science of Mind is built on the theory that there is One Infinite Mind that is an Invisible Presence, a Loving God that is always available to us. This Presence is the spiritual essence that we are all made of and from. The principles of Science of Mind teach that to rely upon that Invisible Presence in everyday circumstances, especially in our hour of need, is essential and will provide the solution to all problems.
Your family may be wrestling with how to deal with the circumstance and may not know the right words and actions, but God knows. The “how” of something is not ours to deal with. Our charge is to get clear, through prayer and meditation, to allow the perfect healing to take place. While we may think that we are dealing with an external world, the solution to all experiences is found on the inside, in the clarity we experience from quieting our mind and staying centered on the invisible presence of God. When you take your mind off the problem and shift your attention from what you don’t want to what you do want, change happens. That is because we live in a spiritual universe that responds to the energy of our thoughts, feelings and actions. Energy follows thought. Thought does not create, but it either places us in the universal flow of life or it blocks it. At the same time, the presence of God functions on the principle of belief. As the Bible says, “It is done unto you as you believe.” It is important to note it says “as” you believe. The law of faith acts on your belief. It is important to keep steadfast in your faith of healing thoughts and let prayer and love be your guide.
Rev. Mary Morgan
Dear Perplexed Mom:
I so appreciate your heart in wanting to both support your husband and ease your children’s fears and concerns. What a great mom and wife your children and husband have!
Let me address your children first. I commend you for protecting your twins from the devastating news. I think all of us would do well to limit our exposure to the upheaval all around us. It’s important that you only share with them enough information for them to feel that their father is going to be all right. And, of course, when you FaceTime with him and the kids that will encourage them to see his progress and give them an opportunity to hear from him that everything is going to be okay. His words of reassurance will be very important to the children.
I would also encourage you to continue to pray with your kids for their dad that the Lord would heal him. Another practical thing you can do (if you aren’t already doing it) is help the twins express their love for their dad in creative ways. Like making large get well cards for him that they can show him on FaceTime. These are simple ways to engage them in expressing hope and love for their father. And I’m sure that will lift his spirits as well.
As far as supporting your husband, the most important thing he needs to know right now when going through this difficult time is how much you love him and how much God loves him. We all need to be reminded now and then how much God loves us with an eternal love, and He says, “I will never leave you nor abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
I would encourage you to read to your husband Psalm 34, which is a tremendous message of hope. For instance, verses 15 and 17 say, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” And in verse 19 the Psalmist declares, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” These can be encouraging words to you and your children as well.
Another thing that we need to remember is that God’s love and grace is unconditional, and it is not based on what we do or don’t do. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and all of us, whether believers or not, are subject to the pain and sorrow that comes from living in this world. Jesus taught His followers, “He (God) causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.” (Matthew 5:45, NCV) It is true that God sometimes uses difficult circumstances to correct and direct us but never to punish us.
I encourage you to hold fast to the words of Psalm 91:1-3 (NCV), “Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you.’ God will save you from hidden traps and from deadly diseases.”
I will be praying and believing for God to continue to restore your husband to full health and give you and your children hope as you trust in Him.
Pastor Randy Foster
Question: I have what used to be a best friend. We met when we were 10 and continued at the same schools and classes throughout high school. We even opted to go to the same college, although we did select different vocations. Somewhere along the line we made an agreement that, no matter what happens, we’d be friends forever.
We married within months of one another and our families are almost like one family because we’ve done so much together including vacations. Our friendship was fractured when I learned he was having an affair. I told him of my disappointment and also told him how hurtful this would be to his wife and children.
To my knowledge, his wife doesn’t know. Shall I tell her? I’d like to cut ties with him, but I’m fond of his family. I’ve lost sleep over this. Is there anything I should do? ~ Crestfallen Friend
Dear Crestfallen Friend,
This is certainly a difficult situation for you with your longtime friend. We all make choices that sometimes others don’t agree with. The main thing to realize is that we do have choice. Your friend has made a choice that is hurtful and disappointing to you. With choice, we always have an outcome – good or seemingly not so good.
Ask yourself what do you have to gain by telling his wife what you have learned? It is possible that she already knows and is not revealing it to anyone, maybe even her husband. There is a saying that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. And, it really isn’t our business. And, sometimes, when an indiscretion is revealed the revealer becomes the bad guy.
Since you have had a long relationship with the whole family, that is something that could continue in spite of the husband’s behavior. At some point, the information could come out, perhaps even by the husband. And, if needed, you could be moral support for the family.
Keep your ego out of it. Think of what the long-term outcome could be for the best interests of the family and your relationship with them. Let them sort out the situation. You may not like or approve of your friend’s behavior, but you can still value your relationship from the perspective of love. It feels so much better.
Go into prayer and meditation and listen for an answer that gives you some peace in your heart. My go-to prayer is that there is always divine right action and divine order in process, with love prevailing. That releases my ego from trying to figure out the “how” things will work, and puts my heart and mind in a place of trust and faith that any outcome will be for the best of all involved without me trying to fix it. It takes the pressure and weight off my shoulders.
Just as your friend made his choice, you now have a choice. Take some peaceful reflective time and make your choice for the highest good of all, without playing “God” in trying to fix it. Let God handle it.
Blessings for peace of mind,
Laney Clevenger, RScP Emeritus
Dear Crestfallen Friend,
The gift of a friendship that has such a history is rare indeed. You are to be commended in continuing to build and strengthen this relationship over the years. And then, the expanding of that relationship to include your families is truly a blessing. Unfortunately, having such a close relationship also creates greater pain when the other makes choices that fracture the spirit of the friendship.
Sources from the Biblical witness and ancient wisdom communities to that of modern science have told of the importance of friendships for creating a place of safety, acceptance and accountability that helps to support our wider lives in this world. I think of Job’s friends and the help they are trying to provide, even if not fully effective, it is offered in love. My advice to you is to not tell his wife of his infidelity, but rather support your friend in making that confession himself. Having this knowledge is difficult as your relationship will truly be strained until the truth is known by all parties. Remind your friend that you cannot accept the situation but you are willing to support him as he makes things right. If he is not willing to confess his indiscretion, you may need to curtail your interactions until such time as that happens. Confession will not immediately “fix” everything, and it may even cause a deeper rift, but it is necessary to be true to the relationship he has with his wife, with you his friend, and with those others who will be impacted by a choice he has made. Knowing that you will stand in support of his truth-telling may give him the strength to confess.
Standing with you as a friend,
Pastor Scott Peterson