Abandonment and Self-pity

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30 (ESV) 

Today and tomorrow we will finish up with some final, practical things to aid a woman who has been abandoned by her husband. Today we will address self-pity. An abandoned woman may really struggle with self-pity and be overwhelmed by her circumstances. Everyone falls into self-pity at least once in their life, and when adversity hits we determine that it is alright for us to feel bad for ourselves just a little bit and just for a little while.

You may hear her say things like:
“Nothing ever goes my way”
“I am stupid, dumb, worthless…” etc.
“God hates me”

A woman whose husband has left her believes she has all sorts of justifications for falling into a pile of self-pity. You may have to agree with her that things in her life are in turmoil. She may be in financial difficulties, Her kids might be demonstrating poor behavior because they are upset too, and in general, life might not be great from a human perspective right now.

But God is still in control, He is still sovereign, He is still aware of all her circumstances, and He has a plan. You will have to listen closely to what she says to determine where her thoughts, beliefs, and desires are focused. Then you will need to challenge what she says and point her back towards Christ.

Remind her to preach truth to herself when she is tempted to pity herself. You may have to ask her questions about the sovereignty of God. What does she believe about that in the moments when things look the bleakest? Is God sovereign? If He is, then isn’t He in control of her out of control life?

Ask her what she is focused on or who she is focused on when she is feeling depressed or is in an emotional pile. Do her thought glorify God?

When she tells you that she didn’t deserve what has happened to her, challenge her thinking by asking her, “Who does?”

Sometimes when a person is full of self-pity they are just not thinking.  She may not realize what she is actually saying, but what you will know is that she is revealing her heart in her speech. These are just a few of the emotional issues a woman will face when she has been abandoned.

She will grow to really trust you and my experience has been that the once she gets her thinking straight, the woman typically wants to do what is right before God. This means she does not retaliate. She does not reply sinfully no matter what he says or does. She is to maintain the side of righteousness, even in the face of being sinned against.