A midlife crisis can happen when a person thinks they’ve reached life’s halfway stage and they begin to experience anxieties or dissatisfaction over what they’ve accomplished so far, either in their job or personal life
It could lead to a period of depression or great discouragement.
This usually happens between the ages of 35 and 50, but it affects younger people too and can last for up to 10 years.
It affects both men and women at various levels and degrees in life.
It’s a controversial syndrome that health experts think is related to the brain or hormonal changes.
While it may be a great source of jokes and amusement for some, for those affected it can be quite debilitating. It is a time of ultra – emotional instability, high influx of feelings and disturbing thoughts mostly negative because we live in a highly competitive and materialistic world. (NHS CHOICES).
When a Christian begins to have negative thoughts about their life, future and prospects and does not seek appropriate counsel, support or prayers they might end up in a personal dilemma, called midlife crisis.
For Men some of the signs and symptoms of midlife crisis include:
Unusual sleep pattern
Inability to focus or make good decisions.
Focusing on past life events and achievements
A feeling of worthlessness
Lack of meaning
Low self – esteem.
Lack of confidence
Fundamental emotional make up or temperament affects the length of the midlife crisis and how deeply it affects each person.
It has been concluded that midlife crisis is an emotional condition that will resolve itself over time with proper help and support and this may involve prayers and biblical counselling
Some suspected causes of midlife crisis include:
2. Feelings of under – achievement or lack of achievement.
4. Grief and bereavement
5. Major life changes e.g. relocation, migration etc.
Should Christian ever have to experience the midlife crisis? NO
Unfortunately some of us do experience this feeling and it has a major effect on how we respond to people around us.
Christians are humans with emotions too and it is possible to battle the same symptoms as non – Christians because it is an emotional conflict that presents itself in a physical form.
God has promised us in Isaiah 40:29:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength”.
In Christ we are never too old, hopeless, tired or useless.
We are made by a purposeful God who has plans and honours His word and promises.
The older we get the more vulnerable we become to this feeling and most of us find it difficult to recognise or explain this condition to our friends and family because it contradicts our profession of faith.
The bible says ‘we are more than conquerors through Christ ‘ but at certain points in our lives we don’t feel like we are winning the battles of life and this can weigh us down but there is hope for those who remain in Christ , according to psalms 30:5b
“Weeping may endure for the night Joy comes in the morning “.
How can we manage or support anybody going through midlife crisis?
Anybody afflicted with this feeling is advised to:
1. Guide their heart according to proverbs 4:23.
2. Keep the scriptures closer – Joshua 1:8
3. Have faith in God’s ability for restoration of losses – Psalms 30:11, psalms 126
4. Pray for the grace of God to uphold them while the feeling lasts – 2nd cor 9:8
In Conclusion, the friends and families of individuals suffering from midlife crisis need to pray for them fervently and restrain from giving unsolicited advice about career, business or even marriage because it is a highly emotionally – charged period.
The length of time for recovery is different and can be affected by age, location, family system, marital partner and pastoral support but the only person that can heal quickly is God.