We’ve found that retired couples and stay‐at‐home spouses are especially likely to fall into four traps that can take the joy out of life. Here they are, along with some suggestions for avoiding each trap. First is the trap of isolation. Don’t allow yourself to withdraw within your own four walls. Stay connected to people even when it’s easier to stay home.
The second trap is inactivity. The simple act of taking a walk, visiting the library, or going grocery shopping keeps the muscles limber and the mind alert.
Third is the trap of self-pity. This attitude can cripple or even kill you! To ward it off, reach out to others. Develop a ministry of prayer and hospitality for those around you.
The fourth trap is despair. The elderly, in particular, can slip into thinking that life is over and no longer worth living. Yet the Christian must always be future oriented. The beauty of our faith lies in the assurance of the next world, where true joy awaits us all.
Just between us…
- Do you ever fall into any of these traps? Which one(s)?
- What specific things can we do to avoid them?
- Are you looking forward to the future? Why or why not?
- How does God use the elderly for His purposes?
- How could praying and caring for others lead to joy for us?
Father, we are so thankful that we will one day leave life’s troubles behind and enter the joy of eternity with You. In the meantime, help us redeem the time for Your glory, confident that You are ready to work out Your divine purposes in every moment. Amen.
From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.