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Stand firm! - Pastor urges spouses to support partner when one becomes a ‘vegetable’

Published:Thursday | August 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston

Ain't nothing better, we beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen, Look at what we would be missing
They said, "I bet they'll never make it." But just look at us holding on, We're still together still going strong

-      You’re Still The One, Shania Twain


The day you met the person of your dreams, you could not wait to allow the world to see that he or she is yours. Life got better, each working and sharing the vision of building a solid life together, life has really been good … until misfortune hits the union and you are left with a partner who has become a ‘vegetable’.

Suddenly you are now thrust into the role of meeting your partner’s every need while trying to provide for the family.

Some marriages have crumbled as partners see this as too much responsibility, leaving the person they once declared unwavering love and support for totally devastated.

Pastor Ethon Johnson of the Mission of Mercy outreach said after living blissfully with one's husband or wife for many years, when tragedy strikes in the form of paralysis, this gives no one any reason to run in fear.

“Paralysis of the body or the mind is definitely a challenging situation, but can be overcome with understanding, tolerance and a whole lot of love,” she said.

Referring to Matthew 19:6, ‘wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder’ she reminds that vows were meant to be taken seriously – whether it is for better or worse.

Promise to God 

“That was the promise you made to God; and before men. Now leaving the relationship is not an option. The range of emotion will vary from fears to tears, but the greatest emotion that will help to bring one through such a devastating situation is our faith in Christ,” points out Johnson.

She said the important thing is to rely on God who will give the strength to face the worst of times.  

Johnson shared that many people are not just physically impotent, but mentally and sexually and that she said is where the heart of the one that is whole begins to beat for two and earnestly yearn for the health of the sick and fallen.

“The fallen then feels encouraged to press through and not give up hope in Christ; for the fact that their loved one is also believing and is striving with them for better or worse,” she shared.

Care for your spouse

Acknowledging that this new situation will come with a lot of changes such as travelling, dining out or even just comfortably dining at home, she said those are the things one should be concerned about changing to make the injured party feel loved and not burdensome.

“Preparing meals, doing laundry, watching movies and having your prayer time together. Kitchen activities and keeping an open line of communication are ways of spending quality time together to allow you to enjoy each other’s company without allowing resentment to emerge,” points out Johnson.

Drawing on a ‘sudden change’ in her own life, Johnson shared that 10 years ago her 18-year-old son went from walking into their home to being carried out the next day paralysed from the neck down due to a visit to his dentist.

“The streptococcus virus entered into his spine and after two surgeries the doctors said he will never walk again. Our faith in the power of God kept away fears and doubt and today he is not only walking, but he also enjoys playing baseball, hockey and other sports. He is also happily married with two beautiful children,” said Johnson, even as she encourages partners to keep on supporting the ones they love no matter what – whether they get a miracle or not.