Seeing the Invisible Burdens in Your Marriage
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
We all carry burdens. Some are much heavier than others, while others seem almost petty. But they’re there, nonetheless, weighing our shoulders and stooping our forms and hunching our backs.
Your spouse isn’t immune to this. They have their own load that you might know nothing about. When was the last time you asked your spouse how was their day at work? Or what they were afraid of? Or what immediate goal they had for the future that was taking up their thoughts? Sometimes, the burdens can be invisible, which makes the burden-carrier feel even more alone.
In marriage, we should help our spouses with their burdens in two ways:
1. Acknowledge Your Spouse’s Burdens
Ladies, is your husband stressing over pressures at work, or feeling overwhelmed by the weight of providing for the family? Is he experiencing disunity in his extended family, or feeling disrespected at the office? Is he worried about getting the next promotion or paying the upcoming mortgage note or feeling concerned on whether or not you still find him attractive?
Men, is your wife crumpling under the weight of running the household and dealing with the kids, day-in and day-out? Is she wilting without time with her friends or to herself? Is she running on empty with no time for the Word, or worried about losing a friendship she hasn’t had the energy or opportunity to invest in? Is she concerned about lack of intimacy in your marriage?
Acknowledge these invisible burdens. The ones we all have but don’t feel like we can discuss, for fear of hurting our spouse or starting an argument. Or maybe we keep silent because we feel it’s pointless to share or we don’t want to needlessly worry our spouses. But most of the time, simply feeling validated is enough to significantly ease a load. So often, both spouses don’t need solutions so much as they need to feel heard, seen and loved. Be sure to listen, validate, and support! You’re in this together.
2. Gently and Lovingly Point Them toward the Lord
This is the best and most helpful thing we could do for our burdened spouses. Jesus said in Matthew 11 that we should come to Him with our burdens, because His are light. We’re to dump the load we were never meant to carry onto His capable shoulders and hook our yoke to Him rather than to the exhausting pull of the world. This is easier said than done, and the support and soft reminders from our spouses can help prevent us from taking the burdens back down the road.
Marriage provides a unique opportunity to help our spouses in this way. After all, we know them the best and love them the most! So, keep an eye out for those invisible weights, and offer a helping hand, a loving heart, and gentle nudge back toward our mighty Savior.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over sixteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her drummer of a hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Visit her and see a list of books at http://www.betsystamant.com./
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