Biblical Solutions for Problems with Ourselves
“Are You Sure PMS is Real?”
By Brittany Cady
No matter what stage of life you’re in, being a woman is part of what defines your identity. Some of the gifts God has given us as women are heralded with high praise: our nurturing nature, or our capacity to understand and empathize with others. Other traits we possess can be embarrassing or the topic of jokes. PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is one of those taboo topics. Men won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole and we women are usually more comfortable making jokes or complaining about it than really addressing any real issues at hand.
Martha Peace discusses the wide range of symptoms that can be associated with PMS and acknowledges that for many women that time of the month can be extremely challenging. She offers 11 ideas on how to help us deal with our own “symptoms” during the week to 10 days that we may suffer with PMS. Some of the solutions she offered were helpful in assessing your character biblically regardless if PMS is something that you struggle with or not.
First, she suggests that you should, “make an honest assessment of your character weaknesses” p 105. Is that not something that we should have a good grasp of anyway? If we don’t know our weaknesses how can we strengthen ourselves in those areas, and how can we work on improving? She also suggests that we spend time preaching to ourselves in the midst of the emotional turmoil that often accompanies PMS. Listening to the varying emotions swirling around in our minds can often lead us to places we do not need to go (Philippians 4:8). Other solutions offered include: being organized, maintaining a good diet and exercise, not overcommitting during the PMS time of the month, or asking for help from a good girlfriend or your husband and together developing a plan of action (accountability).
The most important take away from this chapter is to “realize that the mood swings are real and difficult, but not an excuse to sin” p 106. We may be especially susceptible to outbursts of anger, giving in to depression, or feeling yucky physically. However, we are never given an excuse to give in to the temptation to sin. My favorite tip of Martha’s is to “turn your focus from yourself to God and others” p.110. She discusses several ways to practice this tip: “pray for others; thank God for______; fulfill your responsibilities whether you feel like it or not; sing praise songs and hymns or play them from a tape or CD; tell God that you love Him, trust Him, and that He is good; (and) work on new or review older Scripture memory” p 110.
Any time hormones rage we can feel out of control. For me, any time I have been pregnant I have been an emotional mess, exhausted, and irrational. I can remember living weeks on end in complete annoyance with everyone and everything! Regardless of our physical or psychological symptoms, we are accountable for our thoughts and actions before the Lord. We may have trouble controlling the way we feel, or the thoughts that pop into our heads when our hormones are on overdrive, but we can control our reactions. Our loving heavenly Father “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” 1 Cor. 10:13b. Don’t give in girls! Don’t buy the lie that the world feeds us that PMS is an excuse to eat everything in sight, fly off the handle at the slightest disturbance, or give in to the sinful thoughts that come to mind. If PMS has you captive, make a plan of action and start with reading this chapter!
- If you struggle with PMS, what plan of action do you have for dealing with its symptoms?
- What are some ways we can come alongside each other and be an encouragement to one another in relation to struggling with PMS?