Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spouse Bearing Burdens

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you have deep wounds that you can't talk about? How many times has your left-brained man from Mars been insensitive to your needs?

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Barnacle Geese
Men don't think the way women do and yet most women expect their husbands to be able to read their minds. They want them to know exactly what they're thinking and what they need ... even though it does change on a weekly or monthly basis many times.

After years of that you'll have wounds too deep to share and it will make you stay out of reach on an emotional level with the man you at one time considered to be all you could want in life.

What about you men? Has your wife's tongue been too acid to bear? Have you tuned her out? Is your soul crushed from too many tongue-lashings? For most men, women definitely seem to be from another planet and of a race that doesn't give a clue on communication needs. Coming home sometimes seems like you've exited the real world and come into the unknown. Unknown expectations that you've never quite figured out.

Maybe you've heard of this story:
An elderly couple celebrating their 50th anniversary had no secrets, except for one shoe box the wife had kept hidden away. She now decided to let her husband see it. When he opened it he found 2 crocheted dolls and $50,000 in cash. She explained, "Year's ago my mother told me that the secret to a happy marriage was never to argue. She said that when I got angry I was to crochet a doll and keep quiet." The husband was elated that she had only been angry twice but had to ask about the $50,000. "Oh," she said smiling, "that's from selling dolls."

The world is full of dead marriages. Both parties do their daily lifestyle requirements and then withdraw emotionally to the closet. It's not the dreamy marriage you thought it was going to be and it never will be unless you get back to bearing each other's burdens. The saying goes, "it's not a bed of roses," but you can certainly grow a garden of love if you put your mind and heart to it.

Talking is not easy after years of misunderstanding the other's motives, but what's the alternative? Emptiness and anger? You're not perfect, so why would you expect your spouse to be? We need to give it another shot. Trying to make it work better can make a difference in your health both emotionally and physically. Happy relationships along with giving and receiving love makes healthy bodies and brings about healing.

Why not give the same amount of grace and mercy that Jesus showed? After all, we are supposed to be Christians right? That means Christ-likeness.

Jesus always saw the best in the worst of people and He went out of His way to reach out to them and heal them. Right down to the core of who they were. Remember the woman caught in the act of adultery? One of the worst sins of that time. The shame of public exposure and the pain of being stoned.

In this woman, Jesus saw someone worth saving. Isn't there still a glimmer of love in you for that man or woman you married? If you imagine them being gone forever, I know you could write down 10 things that you really like about them. Isn't your marriage worth saving just as this sinful woman was to Jesus?

Jesus lifted this woman up by publicly recognizing that there wasn't anyone present without sin. We all blow it and make a mess of our lives if we don't take care of the junk daily. But no matter how may days and years you've missed ... Jesus in you can restore any relationship in time. Is it worth it to you?

Others are going through the same pain as you. They're crying inside just like you and they are alone and afraid, just like you. We get so hung up in our own burdens and pain that we're no longer capable of sharing anybody else's burdens to make the load lighter ... and yet, sometimes, especially in a marriage, sharing those burdens may just take your burdens away also.

Galatians 6:2-3 says, "Carry each other's burdens (troubles and problems), and in this will you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself."

Take your marriage and relationship back from the devil. Ask for your spouse's agreement to work at restoring the relationship. Seek their willingness to join you in the effort. Nehemiah restored the wall around the city even with enemies attacking while it was being done. Expect some bumps in the road ... but be determined that you're going to get the love of your life back. You're going to build that wall of protection around your family by repairing your heart and soul.

"Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so." Author Unknown

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