My wife and I recently took a trip of a lifetime together to Australia so that she could be in her best friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful trip on all fronts but one…the travel. We had our suitcases packed, our carry-ons overflowing, wearing a couple of extra layers to make it all on the plane. 3 flights and 28 hours was a long time. When we arrived to the first airport to check our bags, we played the classic game called, "What can we take out of her bag to put into mine". Men, you all know what I’m talking about, and ladies, you do too even though you’re pretending to be confused right now… “Okay, if we stick the hairdryer in your shoe and put my 3 coats in your side pocket we should make the weight!” Her suitcase is like the Narnia closet; I have no idea where this stuff keeps coming from.
As I thought about it, even with the difficult travel, there was no question I would carry some of her luggage until we landed and made it where we needed to go. I wasn’t going to say, “Sorry babe, you’re out of luck, hopefully you can keep up and I’ll see you when we get there!” And this is our great opportunity. Marriage is one of the most unique ways to display the steadfast love and kindness of God by carrying the burden of the other. Marriage is God’s design, it’s His plan, His institution that whoever enters it would grow into a deeper maturity in Christ as a result of being in that relationship. A part of this design is that we would love and serve one another by carrying each other’s burdens and brokenness.
To come alongside, to love and to cherish, by holding one another up through the power of Christ by saying, I can carry that with you. Now, we don’t carry the person, that is the job of Christ. It would have looked pretty silly if Amanda asked me to carry her jacket and I threw her over my shoulder and said “I got this!” Though it would be somewhat romantic and comical to me, and most definitely embarrassingly traumatic for her, I would grow weary and exhausted eventually because I am not made to carry her. God, however, is our strength, he carries us. (Psalm 28:9)
But, as Christ demonstrated by carrying his cross for us (John 19:17), and ultimately our cross for us (Isaiah 58:6), we have been given a picture of how to carry the burden of our spouse. To see their suffering, to hear their cry, to come to them with Christ, and to help them carry their pain as we go to Jesus together. This is a great call and responsibility, to share in one another’s brokenness, and to lift up each other’s arms as Aaron did for Moses until God’s people were victorious in Rephidim (Exodus 17:12).
Galatians 6:2 says we are to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Husbands and wives, look at your spouse today and ask them, “How can I help you bear your burdens?” And ask them, “Will you help me carry this burden?” Carry the burden of brokenness together, and so fulfill Christ's call.