Does PMS Give You A “Get Out of Jail Free” Card?

PMSEach month, every woman gets a green waiver slip or a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. No matter what she does she can just pull out this card and she’s no longer responsible for anything she does……all because of PMS. Snapped your boyfriend’s head off because he didn’t say the right thing? Show him your waiver! Ate a whole carton of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (my personal fav) ice cream because your cravings were just “unbearable”? Pull out your card! Sat on the couch all day because you just didn’t feel like doing anything? Wave that green slip high! Whatever it is, PMS made you do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the cramps, the icky feeling you have for days, the sudden irritability, and the food cravings. When Aunt Flo comes to visit, I definitely tend to cry more, get huffy at little annoyances, and don’t even get me started on fried food. While I truly may be having those emotions and cravings, is submitting to them ok? Do we really have no control over our attitudes for about a week or is PMS just an excuse to indulge in sinful behavior?

During “The Curse,” we tend to act even more selfishly than normal. It’s what we want, it’s all about how we feel, and rarely do we think about those around us and how our attitudes are affecting them. We let our bodies and emotions tell us what to do instead of God. The woman controlled by PMS doesn’t think about others and instead says, “You’ll just have to deal with my behavior.” Scripture even talks about women just like these:

It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious (argumentative) woman. Prov. 21:9

It is better to live in a desert land than with a disagreeable and vexing (agitated) woman. Prov. 21:19

A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; Prov. 27:15

They’re like Chinese water torture to their friends, husbands, boyfriends, or family, all because they’ve decided to neglect God’s teachings for a few days and satisfy their flesh.

But the woman controlled by the Spirit, at ALL times, offers a very different picture:

Also, that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control… Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Tim. 2:9:15

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands so that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5

…But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Pet. 3:4

Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Prov. 31:25-27

Women controlled by the Spirit aren’t avoided during “that time of the month,” people still want to hang around them. They still speak with gentleness (Prov.15:4), they still live with self-control, and they don’t take out their frustrations on unsuspecting victims (Prov. 29:11). They realize their identity is in Christ, no matter what their hormones are doing, and they want to represent Him well and do His will.

We have a Savior who was tempted in every way but overcame it all, even suffering an excruciating death on the cross for ALL our sins, even the PMS ones (1 Pet. 3:18). He died for our hormonal fluctuations, our moods and our PMS “blues.” He died so that we could be victorious over these things, so they would not defeat us, even when our bodies tell us we’re not able to overcome. Christ’s power is stronger than any hormones, irritations, or cravings our bodies might throw at us!

So what do you do when PMS seems too much to bear? As Nancy Leigh DeMoss said, “HALT!” If you’re HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired), be on guard because you’re more likely to sin. The same is true if you’re PMSing. Step back and realize you’re fighting a war with your flesh and the only way to fight is with the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord that Christ crucified our fleshly desires and we no longer have to live in the flesh but we can now walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24).

While we’ll always be at war against the cravings of the flesh (Gal.5:16) and PMS sometimes seems to be the biggest battle, we must be prepared to fight. So throw away your sin waiver, go in with the armor of God, with His Word ingrained in your heart (Ps.119:11), and with constant prayer in the Spirit (Eph.6:10-20)!

We can win the PMS war!

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11 thoughts on “Does PMS Give You A “Get Out of Jail Free” Card?

  1. You write as if its easy for Christain any women to deal with PMS, what if it’s more than PMS? What advice do you give? What if something is truly wrong, she was being physically, mentally and emotionally attack to such a degree that only she could do is keep her distant until she is able to be that woman you claim is easy to be. Becareful, not every case is the same!

  2. Pam,
    Thanks for asking this question – it is a valid concern.
    What if medically speaking, it is more than just PMS? It seems to me, in reading Diane’s post, her point was that Christians should never use our physical ailments as an excuse to sin. When I was a teenager, I had a very godly adopted “aunt” that battled cancer for 2 years. I remember visiting her toward the end of her struggle, when she was in pain every minute of the day. Holding her shriveled hand, I asked how she could still smile and pray over every visitor that came in her room. She said, “Jesus, sweetie. Jesus gives me the strength to have victory over my pain. It hurts, bad. But Jesus gives me the grace not to be ruled by my physical illness.” I think that is Diane’s point – not that it is easy to overcome PMS, PMDD or any other physical illness, but that as women with the power of Christ in our lives, we not allow earthly pain to lead us to sin.
    Thanks for bringing up such a relevant question! We appreciate your input.
    I pray that God blesses you as you seek to become more and more like Him,
    ~ Gabrielle

  3. After I read this article, I immediately asked myself, “Do I play the PMS card?” And the answer is “yes”. Even though I can say “Well, I’m in menapause! My PMS is now every 2-2 1/2 weeks now. BLAH!! All my joints ache and the cramps are excruciating to me at times. “Yes” I do need a little more rest this time, and my lifestyle is altered because I have to remain close to the restroom. I’m sure there is someone out there who has more pain than I do, but to me it is real pain and more than I’ve ever experienced in my life before. So, as a Christian woman, I need to confess that at this time my mind is on “ME” and I just want to this time to be over… finished!! The real question is this- “Do I excuse my pain and dwell on “ME” or do I take this pain and ask Jesus to give me the grace to endure it and the grace to fix my eyes on HIM?” In Matthew 9:20-22, there was “a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of His garment. She said to herself ‘If I only touch his garment, I will be made well’.” (ESV) Now if it was possible for anyone could compare her pain to mine– she would win! In comparison, just the advantages of living in the 2000?s with clean indoor plumbing, advil, a row of your choicest paper products all made for your comfort, air conditioning….the list could go on. This woman was truly suffering! Who did she turn to? Jesus! Who do I turn to…”ME”.
    “Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’
    And instantly the woman was made well.’ ” (ESV)
    If Jesus chooses, He can make us well, but more often, He wants us to know that He will carry us through our pain. That’s what I think Diane is saying. We need to take even our “PMS” to Him and quit making excuses for our sins because we would rather have the excuse of the PMS card and continue in the “ME” attitude, rather than putting our eyes on Jesus and trusting in His grace to make the changes in our hearts that He so eagerly desires to heal.

  4. Good reminder that active prayer and dependence on God is essencial for getting through times of emotional instablilty. We shouldn’t just “grin and bear it” and try not to say anything stupid, but actively pray and rely on the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, fight against the lies we are tempted to believe because of our difficult circumstances, and see how He shows up and helps us do something that up until now we felt was impossible. God is so faithful – he will help us!

  5. Hello, this is a really fascinating web blog and ive loved reading several of the articles and posts contained upon the site, sustain the great work and hope to read a lot more exciting articles in the time to come.

  6. Although I agree that pain/sickness is no reason to sin, we women (especially now adays) have alot more pain and sickness than men. We cant be better than everyone all the time.
    We are allowed grace, and the bible says that men should seek to know (understand us) which few have ever really tried to do. That is a great part of the annoyance. Why do women have no some much responsibility and so little rights? Why are women expected to have so much more virtue agianst so much vice.

    To me the article (though as I said I understand the intent) was just another kick in the teeth.

  7. Deane,

    Thank you for your thoughts on my PMS blog. My heart behind the post was to address one particular instance (PMS) for women where there sometimes seems to be an excuse to sin. As Christians, both men and women, we are commanded to be holy at ALL times (1 Pet. 1:14-16). Nowhere in Scripture are women commanded by God to be more holy, be better, nor do they have more weight on their shoulders to be more virtuous than men. Men have the same responsibility as women to be holy and virtuous in all circumstances, and in the family of God, they both have the same exact rights. Adam and Eve were both made in the image of God and loved the same by God (Gen.1:27), both sinned against the Lord by eating from the tree, and both were cursed with different types of hardship (Gen.3:16-19). Men and women both endure equal amount of hardships but those hardships have different faces.

    We are all flawed humans and we all struggle to live out what Scripture commands. Unfortunately, men don’t always follow what Christ says. But the command is still the same to men and women: We are to strive towards holiness, no matter what, even when our spouse, the men around us, or our friends are not living up to God’s standards. Thankfully we have Christ who gives us the grace, love, and strength to follow out His commands. It’s only through Him that any of us have a chance at holiness.

    Thank you again for your input! I wish many blessings on you during this season of our Savior’s birth! ?

  8. Thank you for your encouragement to seek God during this especially trying time in the lives of us ladies. Personally, I find it interesting that we (as Christians) pick and choose so much of the Bible, the Old Testament, in particular. I Googled “Victory in Jesus over PMS” and this article came up. I’ve not found what I’m looking for online yet, but I am thinking that we are no longer under the old law. We are no longer under the curse of Eve. We are free. Therefore, this month (I will let you know how it goes, ’cause the PMS battle is traditionally a very difficult time of the month for me), I am putting on the full armor of Christ. I am not saying PMS isn’t real either, but I’m with you: I’m going to pray my way through it and ensure it doesn’t get the better of me.

  9. Diane,
    Thank you so much for this post. It was exactly the encouragement I was looking for this morning. This is one of the most common struggles for women in the church, yet one of the least discussed. Thank you!

  10. Pingback: When Discouragement is Your Fast-Track to Lust | Beggars Daughter

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