Husband Caregiver Day

  • June 14, 2013
  • #8120

Do you know a man who is caregiver? Listen as Joni shares how her husband Ken stays strong in the Lord and offers advice to all men who are caregivers for their loved ones.

Husband Caregiver Day

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and this Sunday is not only Father’s Day, it is Husband Caregiver Day, because a lot of men, yes, are caregivers to their wives who’ve incurred an illness or injury. My husband Ken is in that camp.

Now, for the most part, a lot of my get-up-in-the-morning routines are covered by friends and other helpers, so Monday through Saturday I’m pretty much taken care of, but every Sunday morning, my husband is the one who helps get me up for church. That means exercising, toileting routines, bathing, dressing, breakfast and all the rest—plus, he has to then shower and get himself ready for church. That is a lot for any man, and Ken gets my double thumbs-up from my perspective. And the reason is, this guy really keeps his focus. Halfway through my get-up routine, we will pause and he will pray for grace and strength and a prepared heart for Sunday services. So this Sunday on Husband Caregiver Day, he’ll be getting of accolades and gratitude from me, his wife.

Ken and I know a lot of couples where the husband is the caregiver; husbands who help their wives who have MS or fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome or maybe they deal with daily pain. And we know that unless that caregiver husband practices being still before God, they will soon forget that God is their refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. So in the midst of the many pressures of caregiving, Ken always tells these men to make sure they don’t give up simply sitting at Jesus’ feet and learning from Him. For many husbands who are caregivers, there’s no opportunity for a long, extended 45 minute quiet time. Lots of caregivers have to scale down their individual study and prayer to several ten-minute blocks of time—‘cause sometimes that’s the only way they can get it done.

Also when you’re a caregiver, it’s good to practice the presence of God, as Brother Lawrence put it. Voice out loud (or even silently) in the midst of any activity that God's Spirit is with you. Call out to Him in the midst of difficulty and talk to Him as you do menial activities. I will often watch Ken wrestle to get my wheelchair in position to lift me out of bed and I will call out “Help him, Jesus!” and I don’t mean that in a funny way. We mean it in all sincerity—help us, Jesus! So sometimes when you’re caregiving, prayer on the fly can build into your life an on-going dependency on God's grace. Prayer then becomes a lifestyle, not simply an event.

Other advice for husband caregivers: Be sure to thank God and praise Him for the many ways each day that He cares for you, the caregiver. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the many small blessings He sends your way. And, of course, every man needs a little guy time, so wives if you’re listening, make certain your husband who cares for you is having lunch with a buddy, or going fishing with a friend, or going cycling with some guys from church. Whatever, it’ll bring refreshment to the heart, soul and body. Hey, we have lots more ideas and they are all in an excellent little booklet called “Help for Caregivers.” I’d love to send you a copy, so contact us at joniandfriends.org and ask for your free copy. It’s packed with practical information, and a lot of great spiritual pointers that’ll keep any husband who gives care on the winning side. For when we can’t change a situation, guess what: God may end up changing us and transforming us more fully into the character of Christ as you care for your loved one. Happy Husband Caregiver Day on this Sunday!

© Joni and Friends

 

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