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Caring for Families of the Unemployed

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When someone is unemployed, that person's family suffers, too. Learn about their experience and get ideas for how the church can support those families.

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Introduction: When an individual is out of work, it impacts his or her family in a big way. What are family members thinking and feeling? How can the church help the whole family get through this difficult situation?


  • Just like individuals who are unemployed, families of the unemployed often feel like they need to keep it a secret. They are often embarrassed to talk about it. They feel as if people at their church won’t understand what they are going through.
  • Being the spouse of a person that’s unemployed is almost more difficult than actually being the one that’s unemployed.
  • The spouse is tasked with being the constant encourager and supporter for the family. The spouse is often the glue that holds the family together.
  • The spouse also carries all of the anxiety of the situation.
  • How can churches help spouses of the unemployed?
    • Recognize the struggle they are going through.
    • Ask specifically about the spouses and their wellbeing.
    • Take time to send a text or call the spouses. This connection during the week is very important.
  • What about the rest of the family?
    • Kids process the fallout of unemployment, too. They often worry about money and feel angry in this situation.
    • Churches can counsel parents and teach them how to connect with their kids. They can provide strategies to bring the family together.
  • Churches can be a community for the families of the unemployed, can help families get connected to small-groups, and can give them opportunities to serve.
  • Churches can ease the financial stress of unemployment. They can get proactive and reach out to ask financial questions in a sensitive manner. They can offer to waive fees, ease their worries.

Thought Starters:

  • How has your church supported families of the unemployed in the past?
  • What resources can you prepare now so that you’re ready when a person loses his or her job and the family needs support?


How Long, O Lord: Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them by Dale Kreienkamp


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