Grief: Fact or Fiction

Like favorite folk remedies for a winter cold, solutions for overcoming grief are numerous and seem to be offered by everyone. When grieving a loss, you can expect to receive plenty of advice, especially from well-intentioned family and friends valiantly seeking to help you overcome your pain. Unfortunately, the advice is often as conflicting as it is plentiful and may leave you feeling as though you will never find a way to lessen your pain. However, even when your heart seems heaviest, God promises to be your light, breaking through the darkest night of your soul with tender comfort. If you entrust your life to the Lord, He will instruct you, teach you, and guide you every step of the way.
“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4–5)

Common Misconceptions about Mourning

FALLACY:

“Mourners need to become busy and laugh a lot in order to keep from thinking about their loss.”

FACT:

While it is helpful for those who are grieving to be productive in mental and physical activities and to laugh when it is natural, ignoring their loss is counterproductive. They need both to face and to feel their grief.

The Bible illustrates this point graphically. “Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” (Proverbs 25:20)

 

FALLACY:

“Mourners need to move to a new home as soon as possible and focus on finding pleasure.”

FACT:

Following the death of a loved one who lived at home, consider this as a general rule: make no major changes for one to two years. Moving to a different home may be appropriate, but only for the right reason at the right time. Before making a major decision like moving, ask the Lord for wisdom—He will provide.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

 

FALLACY:

“Mourners should keep their grief to themselves.”

FACT:

Keeping your grief away from others is like keeping the sick away from medical aid—it keeps those grieving away from those who could give comfort, help, and healing. The Bible says we are to … “Mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

 

FALLACY:

“Mourning is primarily relegated to women, not to men.”

FACT:

While all cultures have their own male and female stereotypes, grief is not related to gender, but rather to people. Grief impacts men and women alike, although they may express their grief in different ways. Certainly, men grieve too.

For example, when Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death, the Bible says …“Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.” (Acts 8:2)

 

FALLACY:

“If you love someone, you should grieve forever.”

FACT:

You can love forever, but you don’t have to grieve forever. How honorably you live, not how long you grieve, gives the greatest tribute to your loved one. Grieving has a definite beginning, and through God, it can have a definite ending.

In a poetic way, David described how his grieving came to an end, “You, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” (Psalm 116:8)

 

FALLACY:

“Mourners need a major change in their lifestyles.”

FACT:

Self-imposed, radical changes will only add to present stress and cause greater insecurity. In time, the desire for certain changes will come and beneficial change will take place when the time is right.

“There is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.” (Ecclesiastes 8:6)


Article Used by Permission from Hope for the Heart©

Scripture, unless otherwise indicated, taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

June Hunt

June Hunt

June Hunt, M.A. Criswell College, is a biblical counselor whose award-winning radio program "Hope For The Heart" is heard on 900 radio outlets around the world. For more than 25 years, she has counseled people, offering them hope for today's problems. June has helped many people with emotional, relational, and spiritual problems experience God's love through biblical hope and practical help. Click here to find out more about Hope for the Heart.

Hope For The Heart Board of Reference

Dr. Henry Blackaby (Blackaby Ministries International), Dr. Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), Dr. Tony Evans (The Urban Alternative), Joni Eareckson Tada (Joni and Friends), Kay Arthur (Precept Ministries International), Dr. David Jeremiah (Turning Point), Dr. Tim Clinton (American Association of Christian Counselors), Dr. Bruce Wilkinson (Bruce Wilkinson Ministries), Dr. Chip Ingram (Living on the Edge), Roger Staubach (SRS Real Estate Partners), Steve Arterburn (New Life Ministries), Vonette Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Dr. Charles Stanley (In Touch Ministries), Zig Ziglar (Ziglar Training Systems)


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