The “Roots” of Mid-Life Crisis

I was corresponding with Debi Pryde (some of you know her as Michelle Brock’s mom) regarding this idea of mid-life crisis.  As a seasoned and trusted biblical counselor (she does women’s counseling seminars at Camp Ironwood and Camp Co-Be-Ac, among other places), she allowed me to share her take:

“Mid life crisis” is a generic label for many underlying problems common to men (and women) who have come through their youthful years and are now approaching “middle age.” “Mid life crisis” is most often used to explain a sudden desire for new relationships (usually adulterous). Obviously, this behavior would have some serious sins underlying it.

On the other hand, “mid life crisis” may have no underlying sins motivating the desire for change at all. The term can be used to describe a desire for a change in careers or other major changes which may simply reflect boredom and a need for more challenging work, Furthermore, one thing is fairly certain–we all usually come to a place in our adult life where we recognize how fast time has flown and we sense our mortality in many new ways. This realization can motivate some very good thoughts and desires and lead to changes that have more eternal value.

If, however, a person is prone to self-pity, morbid introspection, anger, or depression, he or she may respond to the growing awareness of mortality with changes that are destructive or irresponsible. Underlying this kind of behavior is a host of problems that may or may not have surfaced outwardly in one’s younger years. In many ways, we become what we are at a heart level as we mature or grow older.

As a counselor, I would want to investigate what a person means when he or she says she is experiencing a “mid-life crisis.” I would want to know what specific behavior leads her to believe she or her husband is “in crisis.” Then I would want to connect the obvious outward behavior with its inward heart problems which would form the agenda for counseling.

Debi’s books on anger and depression can be purchased by clicking here. She also provides many free online resources for women, including a handout on adultery here. And for another post entitled “Responding Correctly to Your Husband’s Sexual Temptations” click here.

For additional posts on this topic, click here (“Contributing to Your Husband’s Mid-Life Crisis?”) and here (“Mid-Life Crisis Resources”).


3 thoughts on “The “Roots” of Mid-Life Crisis

  1. Pingback: The “Roots” of Mid-Life Crisis « Free Hosting News

  2. Diane I note your blog from time to time. Good job over here. For the record, I know Debi as “the mother of Thomas!”

    She’s done a good job here and I would say Amen to her over-view of this kind of a crises. The only other “thought” I would add is to remember that sometimes internal “stress” on the body and mind can have external physiological “results” that come out of these seasons of stress. Some would say that this is always the sign of “sin” or “bad theology.” Let’s consider Jesus in the Garden. Internal “stress” resulted in his body sweating drops of blood. I hope we would not say that was the result of “sin” or “bad theology.”

    Mid life crises (as it’s called) may in part may be the result of physiological “symptoms” flowing from internal or external strain on the individual. Add real-life emotional and/or spiritual challenges to that and you have the making of a real crises. Often this happens in significant times of life-change (such as mid-life). The good news of course is that the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are more than up to the challenge. Sometimes legitimate medicine can also help and sometimes, even for the believer, it’s needed.

    A quick thought,

    Straight Ahead!

    Joel Tetreau

  3. Bro Joel,
    Thanks for the kind words, and good thoughts. I do agree with what you are saying. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses some of the physical aspects of stress upon the body in his “Spiritual Depression”. I know Jim Berg also takes into account the whole package, and that biological factors cannot be discounted. Spurgeon also in “Lectures to My Students”. It is wise to keep things in balance. Jesus employed the illustration of the body in scripture for good reason. 🙂 We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and though physicians have been granted a peek into those intricacies, only the Great Physician knows how it all interrelates. Hormonal imbalances and the effects of stress (a mainstay in the life of the average American these days, that is fueled by poor nutrition, adrenal exhaustion and things as simple as dehydration) are important to consider in this picture. But, I believe caution needs to be taken that we do not allow what modern psychology does, that being an excusing of sinful behavior/choices because of environment/externals. A biblical counseling approach is so crucial, and that is what I have appreciated from Debi Pryde and Jim Berg. It may not be as “comfortable” as modern psychological approaches, but it is the only perspective that makes true victory available to us. “Quick and powerful….sharper than a two-edged sword” is the marvelous Word of God, wounding and healing with the same stroke.

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