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The Miracle of Mutual Support

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Will you bear the burdens of your spouse by offering him or her support?

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2

In today's Scripture verse we see the command to bear one another's burdens. But this is more than a command. It is a wonderful privilege to bear the burdens of those around us.

God didn't intend that some of us be just "bearers" and some of us be exclusively "bearers." We have the opportunity to bear the burdens of others around us—the common life struggles of sadness, defeat, temptation, and despair—but we also have the privilege of allowing others to bear our burdens. We can easily grow weary in doing good when we're always "bearing" and never allowing others to bear our burdens.

This truth argues loudly for the vulnerability that is vital in an intimate marriage. This vulnerability is manifested in a willingness to admit need, share struggles, and receive support. Couples can journey through healing hurts, gaining freedom, and finally mutual giving—each spouse joyfully giving to the intimacy needs of the other.

Teresa and I have commented often during our nearly four decades of marriage that it's been by the grace of God that both of us haven't "fallen apart" at the same time. I've had times of transition and uncertainty in work and ministry, and these things have given rise to self-doubt and "faith stretching." Teresa has been there to bear my burdens, provide encouragement, and give me companionship in my faith journey. At other times, Teresa has grown very discouraged—seemingly hopeless—over the kids' discipline and over her weight. God has taught me what support looks like. I've learned that my passive disinterest wasn't it. Over the years I've learned to help bear Teresa's burdens by having a listening ear and a caring heart.

In what specific areas do you and your spouse need to begin showing one another mutual support?

Lord, heal my spouse and me and free us for mutual giving and support in our marriage.

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