PMS with Self-Control…Yes, It's Possible

 

I hope you find yourself in this comic strip.  If you don’t, forget reading the rest of this post.  How many days have I walked through this exact scenario?  How many months of my life do I have this exact experience and more? …Too many to count!

It wasn’t until my later high school years that I started questioning my attitude and response to my wonderful female “visitor” each month.  A typical day during this time would mean extreme irritability, anger-fused conversations with my friends and family, self-pity, low self-esteem, uncontrollable cravings, and just plain meanness.

This pretty much sums it up: living in the flesh with zero self-control.

How did I get so out of control?  I used to blame PMS symptoms, hormones, and my body. Then, it hit me: If the Holy Spirit lives inside of me, then my life ought to bear His fruit, which includes the fruit of self-control. Self-control in all of my experiences. Period (pun intended).

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

When I am in the midst of my hormonal imbalance each month, here’s how I wish this verse were written: “But, for women, especially during that one week of the month, the fruit of the Spirit is irritability, depression, fatigue, impatience, selfishness, fickleness, harshness, and indulgence of the flesh.” Now, wouldn’t that be so much easier for everyone?  That’s what I used to think: Lord, my body is out-of-whack, give me a break!  For one week, can’t I just do, feel, and say whatever I want?! Clearly, there is a battle going on. In fact, before Paul writes the above verses he explains in detail that the flesh and Spirit are constantly in opposition to one another (5:17-18).  The book of Galatians may have been written a couple of thousand years ago, but nothing about our humanity has changed!

The truth is that our bodies are “out-of-whack” whether or not we want them to be. However, there is a greater Truth that empowers us to overcome those emotion-driven reactions. In her book Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free, Nancy Leigh DeMoss recognizes that emotions are real, but she wisely points out that “if we cater to our emotions and let them control our actions in these kinds of daily routines, we will be more vulnerable to being controlled by our emotions in the major transitions and difficult seasons of life.” (p. 200)

These “daily routines” include our time of the month. The routine we are familiar with each month ought to give us a fair warning that the time is coming for total dependency upon the King.  What a great lesson for us as women!  We have something that has literally been given us – not just as a consequence of the Fall – but to teach us to lean on our Abba Father who knows exactly each moment of emotion-filled drama during that week.

What would be different if we chose to start filtering that week through the gospel of Christ? It changed my world!  I no longer had any justification for biting someone’s head off simply because I was feeling irritable or the fact that their mere presence was annoying me.  I could no longer ignore the fact that the fruit of my life in Christ meant self-control in all areas and all seasons of my life – not just during the times where I feel like it.

May I challenge you during your next once-a-month “visitor” to enter the presence of the King with a spirit that is desperate to let Him control your emotions rather than be controlled by your emotions?

How do we really live this out?  I firmly believe it is just like any other spiritual battle in our faith: Identify the lie(s), Cry out to God in prayer, and Cling to His Word.  It might go something like this: “Lord, I know my hormones aren’t an excuse to be irritable with my family. Help me respond with a patient spirit and gracious words. I believe that you’ve given me everything I need to obey and honor You – no matter what time of the month!” (2 Pt. 1:3)

We gain absolutely nothing when we live according to our flesh. (Rom. 8:5-11, Gal. 5:24-25). Jesus declares that, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63).  Did you get that?  The Spirit is greater than the flesh! I know that I cannot live a self-controlled life in God’s grace on my own fuel, let alone during that one week each month. But I personally know One who is more than capable of carrying me through and working out His power through me (Phil. 2:13).

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith:

Goodness,

Knowledge,

Self-control,

Perseverance,

Godliness,

Brotherly Kindness,

Love.”

(2 Peter 1:3-7)

13 thoughts on “PMS with Self-Control…Yes, It's Possible”

  1. Melanie D. says:

    I have really been struggling with self-control when it comes to my PMS. Thank you so much for this article. This definitely helps me 🙂

  2. Brooke says:

    Beautifully written. I have been struggling for years and this week took a toll so I finally had to reach out into the internet world and see what Info I could relate to! God works in mysterious ways because I believe he led me to read your artical in my desperateness! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Esther says:

    Thank you so much. I’ve been struggling with this all day today, and I was seeing myself from a 3rd person point-of-view and thinking, “wow, I’m so nasty today! I would hate me if I were my own co-worker or friend.”

    I even had plans to go out with my friends, and I toally wanted to even cancel on that NOT because I thought it would be better for my friends, BUT BECAUSE I wanted to NOT HAVE TO CONTROL MYSELF.

    Thank you for sharing. I ended up not canceling, and I’m asking for the Holy Spirit’s fruit to show and Him do to His work within me, even during this time. I pray for a fellowship that glorifies God.

  4. Elizmary says:

    Thank you for this article, at this moment I feel determined to make today and every day forward a better one. I really need to put my ‘self control’ in to practice. I find myself feeling overwhelmed in my own emotions. Just asking God to guide me and to continue to work in me as my PMS makes me more emotional each month LOL

  5. Heather says:

    I needed this so badly today. Your words are a gift, thank you for sharing how we can use scripture and apply it to PMS.

  6. Crystal Eggen says:

    Thanks for the article ! ? literally can’t stop crying i will keep Jesus first !!

  7. mike says:

    Has anyone heard of pmdd? how would one as a spouse deal with these raging hormones that seem to alter who the person is. There are so nice and then so cold and withdrawn. I get depressed as a man each month it is so bad. I refer to my bible for hope and guidance each time it occurs.

    1. Just Me says:

      PMDD is a severe form of PMS
      Pre Menstrual Dysphoria Disorder.

      Take your wife to a Gynecologist.

      They are said to help. ☺
      I’ve also heard naturopathey works but they can charge quite a large sum . Research this for yourself .

  8. Emma says:

    You may have PMDD which must be treated medically. I am a Christian and I went to the gynaecologist and the only options he offered were horrific and life changing but now I am taking Angus Castus/Chasteberry/Vitex everyday and as long as I stick to it everyday it really does work. It is quite a miracle it really is. Blessings to you all.

  9. hannah says:

    Wow, just wow. I needed this so much. Thank you for sharing this!

  10. Silvie says:

    I needed this
    But whats PMDD to the guys who commented above

    1. Just Me says:

      PMDD it’s a severe form of PMS.

      PMDD=Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder . Boo! Lol

  11. Just Me says:

    I am greatful for for these verses. Thank You. They are powerful. I do believe the Lord can shield me from the evil one that tries so earnestly to “win” at this time if month. It must be seen, simply, as an opportunity to grow. An opportunity to become more resolute in faith. I must then, allow my maker to Shepard my thoughts, and emotions. I must allow him to do his job and with all my heart have faith. It is at THIS time (even though it may not feel like it) he is CARRYING me.