FOR BETTER OR WORSE ◽ MARRIAGE
A key part of marriage is sharing each other’s burdens. But I’ve learned that there’s a fine line between sharing burdens and being a burden.
I have to admit, I go through a lot of mental struggles. It’s quite a battlefield in my mind sometimes. And a lot of times, I depend on my husband to help me fight. The problem, though, is that I often rely on him far too heavily and end up weighing him down.
My husband isn’t God. He’s not designed to carry all my anxiety and fear and irrational thinking. He has his own stuff to deal with, and he can’t take the full weight of mine added onto it. Yes, he’s helpful and encouraging as much as anyone can be. But he’s still human, and there are limits to his strength.
Realizing that I sometimes put too much on my husband, I’ve had to shift my instincts. Usually, whatever is on my mind gets blurted out of my mouth. A lot of times unfiltered or without forethought. To put it bluntly, I tend to unload my problems on my husband, which isn’t really fair to him. So I’ve been teaching myself to be mindful of this.
I’m learning to weigh the importance of what I want to tell him, as well as the potential effect it might have on him. Is he already having a rough day at work?
Well, then he probably doesn’t need to hear about the silly little thing I’m worrying over for no reason. Like I said, he can’t possibly bear the weight of all my worries, nor does he need to know every little thought that plagues me, and he certainly doesn’t need to know the exact details of all my sin.
My husband is not my savior, Jesus is. So as tempting or convenient as it might be to just unload my struggles on him when I feel desperate or tired or afraid, it’s not the right thing to do. What I’ve been practicing (and it’s been a challenge) is holding onto my thoughts. And instead of immediately blurting them out to my husband or expecting him to fix me, I give those thoughts to God first.
I don’t know why it’s not my first instinct to pray when these thoughts consume me, but I’m really trying to form that habit. Instead of burdening my husband needlessly and selfishly, I’m learning to rely on God more. And then, once I’ve given my concerns to Him, I’m better able to weigh what I need to share with my husband.
Because here’s what I’ve failed to remember. God can bear the weight of every burden. He can handle my every fear. And He can take my sin and wash it clean. I can come to Him any time, over and over again, and He will take my burdens upon Himself. He will heal me and comfort me and encourage me as only my Heavenly Father can do.
My husband is an amazing man of integrity, truth, and love. He’s there for me through thick and thin, full of words of wisdom. He’s strong and confident and brave. But he’s also a human, just like me. And that’s something I have to remember. He’s not here so I can unload myself on him and weigh him down. We’re both here so we can build each other up as we do life together, sharing each other’s burdens and also sharing each other’s joy. Especially, the joy.