A: Every doctor I’ve ever talked to about this has seen patients like this — sadly, sometimes when it was too late to do anything to help them. Hopefully this won’t be the case with your husband.
Only your husband could say why he won’t admit his problems and seek help for them (if, in fact, he’s even thought about this). Sometimes the problem is fear — fear of what might be found, or fear of what might need to be done to treat it. Sometimes the problem is embarrassment. And sometimes the problem is pride — an unwillingness to admit any weakness, and a determination to “tough it out” regardless of the problem or its consequences.
Whatever the reasons, I hope your husband will face them honestly and seek whatever medical help he needs. God gave our bodies to us, and He wants us to take care of them. Many of the laws in the Old Testament had to do with healthy living, and they were part of God’s will for His people. In light of Christ’s sacrifice of His body for us, the Bible commands us to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).
Pray for your husband, and pray, too, that God will give you wisdom in dealing with him about this. Don’t nag him, but let him know you love him, and because you love him you want him to get the help he needs. In addition, recruit other members of the family to encourage him to overcome his reluctance.
Q: My friend’s father took his own life recently, and it’s been very hard on his family. He was beginning to have some serious health issues, and he left a note saying he didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. Was this a good reason? — Mrs. M. McF.
A: Almost nothing brings greater pain to those who left behind than the suicide of a loved one -- regardless of the circumstances. Human life is sacred, and the Bible’s command not to destroy it applies to suicide as well as murder: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13, KJV).
Not only will this man’s family deeply miss him, but they will also always wonder what they could have done to prevent his suicide. If he had asked them, I’m sure they would have assured him of their love, and that they were willing to do everything they could to provide for him if his health declined. Tragically, he thought he was sparing them pain, but in reality he was only causing them greater pain. Sadly, he also may have become so wrapped up in his own problems that he never faced the heartache his action would cause.
Whenever I answer a question about suicide, I’m always deeply aware that someone who’s reading it may be thinking about taking his/her own life. My prayer is that they will not take this final, desperate step, but instead turn to Christ and find in Him the love, courage and peace they seek.
May they also discover that they are not alone. Others want to help them and share their burden, and so does God. Jesus’ promise is true: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you ... Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.