Maybe it was Hormones…
Melanie Chitwood

"…but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NAS)

My husband Scott and I were watching a movie when we heard a great line: "Put the cuckoo back in the clock." We looked at each other and laughed, really hard.

I had been having some emotional days, and we both knew that this line from the movie was one aptly applied to me lately. While most women would agree that emotional days are not out of the norm, this new degree of emotional upheaval was a bit over the top for me.

In my early forties I discovered that my hormones were changing. That might be more than you wanted to know about me, but I think you'll be glad you read this because even if you're not in your forties, at some point as a woman you're going to feel the effects of hormones. (If you're a man, this devotion might help you to understand the female in your life when she seems unstable or overly emotional.)

When hormones change, you can experience all sorts of physical, mental, and emotional changes. You fluctuate between being so hot you want to jump in a cold swimming pool, and then a short while later you feel you need gloves and socks on. You are weepy one minute and a nanosecond later your child's presence makes you more irritable than you ever have been. You're sure at some point in your life you had the ability to remember things but that ability is long gone. Finally, one day your husband's comment about the cuckoo clock is funny, but another moment, it is the absolute wrong thing for him to say.

So how do we respond to these hormonally-induced changes? We must take into account that the hormonal changes we're experiencing are real, and that our "outer man," the term used in today's key verse, is changing. While we don't want them to master us, at the same time we cannot discount the real effects of hormones. We need to make adjustments in all areas of our life.

Spiritually speaking, the flesh may seem much stronger than the spirit, so we will need to counter these changes with spiritual weapons. We can be "strong in the Lord and the strength of His might" (Ephesians 6:10, NAS). We'll find that God's spirit renews our "inner man."

We also need to make adjustments in the physical realm. Sometimes we as Christians want to separate the physical from the spiritual or emotional aspects of ourselves, but it's all connected. Physically speaking, we need to take care of ourselves. Too much junk food, sugar, and caffeine will only exacerbate our emotions and thoughts. In addition, we may not have the stamina to do all we've done before. We may need more exercise and more rest. A doctor can advise you.

In the mental and emotional realm, we may have thoughts and feelings of insecurity, doubt, anxiety, irritability or anger in a way we never have before. It's so easy to perpetuate the downward spiral of our thoughts, beating ourselves up for having these negative feelings. Instead, we need to confess any sinful reactions against others and recognize that when our bodies are changing, we need to be purposeful about taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

In a nutshell, we need to seek a balance. On the one hand, we need to be gracious to ourselves, knowing that our "outer man" is changing. On the other hand, we need to take practical steps to prevent our hormones from ruling us. God created our hormones and He will give us wisdom and strength in dealing with them.

Dear Lord, thank You for hormones, even when they sometimes don't feel like a gift. Open my eyes to how my hormones affect different aspects of my life, and give me the strength to deal with them in a healthy way. Thank You, Lord, that because I'm Your child, Your Spirit lives in me, giving me the strength to do what I feel I can't do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Melanie’s blog -What Matters Most for ideas to help on hormonal days!

What a Husband Needs from His Wife and companion book What a Wife Needs from Her Husband by Melanie Chitwood

She's Gonna Blow! Real Help for Dealing With Mom Anger by Julie Ann Barnhill

For an extra measure of encouragement, read Handling Daily Frustrations

The S.O.S for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms by Mary M. Byers

Application Steps:
Keep track of your emotional and physical changes in a journal. Can you identify a pattern? Be prepared for times that will be hormonally charged. Take some things off your schedule and eliminate some stressors. If you can, wait to make major decisions. Take a walk, read a book, sit outside. Even if it's just for 15 minutes, take care of yourself.

What's the most challenging aspect of hormonal changes to you? The mental, physical or spiritual aspects?

Do your changing hormones result in treating other people in a not-so-nice way? What can you do to respond better to others? Especially to family members?

What are some practical steps you can take to minimize any negative effects of changing hormones?

Power Verses:
Galatains 5:16, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

2 Corinthians 4:7,"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (NIV)

© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devo. Lord, please help me not to let hormones rule me. I want You to be Lord of my life and bring glory to Yourself. In the Name of Jesus, I pray thanking You for Your help.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a perfect devotion. My emotions and hormones have been running crazy lately-and I feel ashamed for the way that I've handled the natural changes/fluctuations. This has helped me realize that God has given me these emotions and that he can help me deal with them. Thank You!

Blogger T-Reese said...

On time once again. I am a stay a home mother of 3 small children. 4 years, 2 years and 6 months. I feel like more times than not, I'm gonna lose it. I cry, then I'm angry, then I wanna run away NEVER to return. And then there are days that I feel like I couldn't ask for a better life. I'm truly emotionally going through also in my marriage. Thank you for shedding light on what I need to do.

Anonymous Linda said...

I totally identify with what MrsLouis01 said. I have two young boys and there are days when I want to run away-today being one of those days:) Yet, I look at all the LORD has given me and on good days I think wow! I am truly blessed. It was good to read that the feelings are necessarily wrong unless I allow them to take over. I pray that I will allow my thoughts to ever be captive unto my Savior!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like alot of other women my age have gone through problems with hormones, or at least that is what I think is wrong. The anxiety lately has at time been overwhelming and I have taken steps to get more exercise. I relly am trying to loose weight too. I know this will be better for me in the long run.

Blogger Melanie said...

Hi Ladies - THank you so much for stopping by. I understand so much - whether it's hormone-induced emotions, or moodiness just from the stresses of life. Jesus will be stronger than our emotions - if we turn to Him! God created our emotions - He can handle them and wants us to pour them out to Him. Psalm 62:8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said....when looking at words I tend to find other words within. Especially when teaching Sunday School..because children always here..there's no I in TEAM. Now I look a ME is in the middle. So women we must obey the Lord and take care of ourself so we can help take care of our family. Thanks again for reminding me...Jesus can help ALL problems!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God knew this was the devo I needed today. I have been dealing with the battle of hormones today-wanting my thoughts and actions to be godly but feeling frustrated, angry, and self=pitying all at the same time. Thank you for your godly insight and practical advice. I bought and read(most of) your book "What a Husband Needs.." right after I married about three and a half years ago. I dug it out today and plan on reading it again(all the way through). It is such a great book and a wonderful resource for wives!

Anonymous Tammy in Lithia said...

I cannot believe how on time is for me! I just went through and emotional/hormonal melt down about a week ago, and when I tried to explain it to my husband,I couldn't but after seeing this devotion it sums it up. We have to remember that even requarding our hormones, that God is still in control.I'm going to pray more at those times and pass this devotion page to my hubby!

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