Embracing Inadequacy: The struggle of loving a grieving spouse

Inadequate is the word that has defined the past four months of my life. This is not merely a sentiment, but has been observable, as each day has passed. My wife had experienced a life-changing event and there was nothing I could do to fix it. The loss of Kelsey’s Dad was unexpected and devastating. My bride felt as though she were broken into pieces. I filled my hands with as much as I could, but no matter how hard I tried there were no words that would put her back together.

This undeniable inadequacy produced a state of hopelessness. I was faced with the reality of watching the one I loved most suffer while I could do nothing but watch. What was I to do? In frustration and pain I reached to a former professor. This is how he responded:

     “I know you feel inadequate. But don’t underestimate the power of a husband who simply acknowledges the pain and groaning of living in a world where death still touches us. Groan with her. And point her to the One who groans alongside her—the Spirit prays with her, Christ prays for her. And Christ is making a world where death is no more.”

 I soon realized that Kelsey never needed me to be enough for this problem. She only needs the God of all comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3) So, what did I do? I embraced my inevitable inadequacy. This was perhaps the most freeing thing I could do. Grief has no quick fixes or easy answers. So you groan together. You weep, scream, embrace, pray, and long for the day when the victory of Christ is realized.

Beloved, it is ok not to know what to say. It is ok not to know what to do. Just be there. Love them, listen to them, and pray with them. The God of all comfort will minister to you both. I pray that those struggling to love their grieving spouses will embrace their inadequacy. God’s grace is sufficient for your loved ones struggle. I pray that you would endure in listening, loving, and praying. You are inadequate for this and that is absolutely ok. Why? -God is glorified as he works through the inadequate. I’ll be inadequate with you.