For as long as I can remember, I’ve dealt with mood swings. One day I’m laughing and making sarcastic remarks, and the next I’m angry if anyone dares to look at me. (Those days are usually around a certain time of the month.) I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Our poor husbands, right?
For the longest time I researched, sought help from my doctor, and tried to find books that could possibly help me alleviate the change in my emotions during my moody time of the month. Eventually, I found Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, Will Medicine Stop the Pain?, and I saw that it had a chapter on mood swings. I was so excited to dig in. Much to my dismay, Elyse called me on the carpet! Within the first few pages, I read:
“Mood swings seem to come from outside like an irresistible force. But the Bible tells us that what we think in our hearts drives how we feel. Since this is true, we can have great hope that changing our thoughts and responses can help make us more stable.”
That’s a tough pill to swallow.
The truth is, there are many wonderful aids out there for all kinds of hormonal struggles. But in the end, I’m still responsible for my actions. I’m responsible for the way I treat my husband (and friends, family, coworkers, etc.), regardless of my mood at any given moment. It’s so easy to blame it on my hormones, on my period, on some overcoming power that’s out of my control. But honestly, it’s more in my control than I’d like to admit.
Blaming my words on my emotions is like blaming eating a bowl of ice cream on hunger. There are circumstances that lead me to say the things I do, but they’re not forcing me to do so. It’s still a choice.
Obviously some emotions need to be addressed, and many times I feel them for legitimate reasons, but zipping my lips and saying a quiet prayer is a lot more beneficial than lashing out at someone I love. Just because I feel a certain way, doesn’t mean I need to act on it. There are other solutions.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” —1 Peter 1:13
If you deal an emotional roller coaster approximately once a month, prepare yourself for those moments when you’re tempted to let your emotions take over. Memorize Scripture, pray for patience, and stop yourself before saying things you’ll regret. Asking God for the strength to overcome those feelings is also key. Pour your heart out to God, and ask him to change your heart attitude. Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Your heart is ultimately where your actions spring from. Don’t let it be controlled by emotions—let it be controlled by the words, the promises, and the grace of Christ.
Next time you’re tempted to lash out and blame it on your emotions, take a step back and ask God for self-control. And when you do say something hateful in a fit of moodiness, don’t try to justify it—just say sorry!
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