I Feel Your Pain


How can you express sympathy and compassion for your spouse today? Put yourself in his or her shoes!

You had compassion on me. Hebrews 10:34

Teresa is not fond of high places, and that's been challenging during our marriage travels. It's hard to cross the Grand Canyon, traveling from one side to the other, without crossing the bridge. It's hard to enjoy skiing without going up high mountains.

In addition to the obvious challenges, the family's response to Teresa's fears has been unintentionally painful. At times the kids have teased her and made fun of her. On other occasions, I've offered many irrelevant, rational arguments such as, "How are we going to go up the mountain without getting up high?" Teresa was always a good sport about her fear of heights and the family's lack of support, but God was concerned about her.

Several years ago as the Lord began to teach us the significance of the first human crisis: "It is not good that man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18), He reminded me of how we had treated Teresa. He also reminded me of my own response to a recent medical emergency with our grandson. I felt out of control, powerless, and very small in the midst of that hospital hallway. God impressed me with these thoughts: David, Teresa's been a good sport through all the teasing about her fears, but she's been very much alone. Could you tell her how sad you feel when you think about her feeling afraid on top of that mountain, because you remember feeling afraid too? Could you tell her you hurt because she had to face her fears alone? Could you reassure Teresa that you will be more sensitive because you have identified with her emotions?

God reminded me that day of His tender compassion for Teresa and shared some of that compassion with me. He allowed me to sympathize with Teresa so that she didn't have to be alone.

How can you express sympathy and compassion for your spouse today?

God, help me walk inside my spouse's shoes and sympathize with his or her pain.

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