Identifying with Each Other Emotionally


Do you resist or run away from the emotional pain of your spouse? Will you allow God to lead you into genuine compassion for each other?

Jesus wept. John 11:35

Throughout the Gospels we see a picture of an emotionally involved and sensitive Savior. The Son of Man is there to enter into the emotional pain surrounding the death of His friend Lazarus (John 11:1-44). He's available to minister in the midst of the loneliness of a tax collector (Luke 19:1-9) and the rejection of a leper. (Luke 17:11-19).

But why does Jesus do this? Why does He take the time and emotional energy to share in the hurts and disappointments of others? It's not His divinity that requires such involvement, but rather His humanity. And if He is to be our great high priest, then He must enter into our emotional world of joy and pain, victory and defeat, celebration and grief.

The word used most often in the Gospels to describe the heart of Jesus is the word compassion. He would look upon the sick, lame, hungry, and rejected and be "moved with compassion." He wasn't moved to give advice or sermons, but compassion. We see the power of this compassion in today's Scripture text, which tells us how Christ shared in the pain of Mary, whose brother had died. Imagine that! The shortest verse in the Bible—and likely one of the most familiar—tells us of a God who cries out in grief.

We are called to do that in our marriages. However, many couples in marriage difficulty are there because they have, for prolonged periods of time, remained detached and withdrawn from their spouse's pain. They may have analyzed, avoided, rationalized, or blamed—but they have resisted entering into the emotional pain of their spouse.

Our ministry journey leads couples to the point where they can hurt for one another, where they can have genuine sympathy for one another in times of pain.

What can you do today to begin genuinely sharing in your spouse's emotions?

Father, lead me into my spouse’s emotional world.

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