James 1:2-3 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (NIV)
Women endure the experience of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) in the daily struggle with being female. It may be an irritation causing her to want to verbally kick someone through the nearest door, or the cravings for that chocolate ice cream that screams from her freezer. No matter how major or minor her experience may be, the fact remains that this time of month presents a spiritual challenge.
Genesis 3:16 – To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children." (NIV)
Since near the beginning of time, the process of being fruitful and multiplying has been a difficult task. The process is painful in one form or another, starting with the first period through to the last days of menopause.
I have always considered PMS to be the curse of womankind, (something I'd like to take up with Eve). I have endured all the mental and physical discomforts of PMS, so, when my feelings tell me to act a certain way, I have the license to act on them — Right?
Give this some thought: You are in the middle of a PMS fit. Your family is walking around the house on eggshells. Suddenly the doorbell rings! There stands your pastor! What do you do?
A. Keep on having a fit, (after all, you should be true to your feelings), or
B. Put on your "Happy Christian" face and act like nothing is wrong.
I think I know what I would do! Which leads me to ask, if I am able to be self-controlled in front of the pastor, then why can't I do that for my family or simply for my God? Is the pastor's opinion of me any more important than God's opinion?
Self-control: Fruit of the Spirit. Control of one's self or one's actions or feelings (American College Dictionary)
We all go through hardships in our lives that seem like a curse at the time. (My husband always refers to them as part of spiritual boot camp.) They are unpleasant, difficult, and hard to deal with, but God is always faithful to turn these times around to benefit us and "grow us up" into his image.
Deuteronomy 23:5 – However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. (NIV)
Blessing: "To bestow good of any kind upon… Anything for our benefit and wellbeing, to bestow great favour upon, to protect from harm or evil." (American College Dictionary)
Why then is PMS not considered a blessing? Not only is it part of the process of being fruitful, but it also gives us the opportunity to develop self-control. Developing this fruit of the Spirit benefits each of our lives. Therefore, I deduce that PMS is, in reality, a blessing.
The next time we have to deal with the effects of PMS, let's smile to ourselves and say, "Here is my opportunity to win this battle and be queen of self-control."
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for PMS and please help me to see it (in myself or my spouse) as an opportunity to grow in self-control and perseverance. Amen.