“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” — Matthew 25:40
When Jesus says something, I better listen. When he precedes His comments with “I tell you the truth…” I better grab a pencil and write it down.
A few blog posts ago, I talked about baggage and the bogus notion that there is some magical “soul mate” out there in the world who will understand us…take all the baggage off our shoulders…anticipate our inner yearnings and (this one almost makes me gag) complete us.
Picture me coming down the aisle. The dress is a tea-length intricate lace. The hair is intertwined with flowers. I carry a bouquet of fall flowers….. Pachelbel’s Canon is playing in the background…
On my back is an 80 pound REI deep woods backpack, complete with moldable hip belt. Looped in my arm is a Nike all-weather nylon gym bag, bulging with contents. I drag behind me an American Tourister jumbo Traveler’s Choice suitcase on wheels (rotary wheels for ease of movement).
I stagger under the weight. Boy, am I relieved when I get to the end of the aisle where my groom awaits.
“I do,” I say as I pile my gear onto his shoulders. It’s so nice to have a “soul mate” to share my baggage with!
My groom, in turn, tosses a few bags my way. Hmmmm … I was not expecting that!
Fast forward a few years. Life is pretty mundane. The kids are getting on my nerves. My “soul mate” seems to be lacking and I wonder why I still feel the weight of baggage I gave to him 10 years ago. What’s up?
I think longingly of a great guy I’ve met at church. Hmmmm … maybe I made a mistake ten years back. My hubby is really not understanding me. I feel unfulfilled. Doesn’t God have that special “soul mate” for me?
STOP! RED FLAG! FOOLISH NOTION! IN A WORD: BOGUS!
The only place I should be dropping my baggage is at the feet of Jesus. (Search for that topic in this blog for complete article!) I need to get my fulfillment from Him daily. If I am leaning on my husband (or wife, for that matter) to fill my soul, I’m gonna come up totally empty.
There is no other “soul mate” out there. I am married. My husband is not God, but he is not a bad guy.
The problem in today’s culture is many many people come to the “unfulfilled” feeling in their marriages and then think they have to find someone new. They get a divorce. Inevitably, they move on to someone who they THINK is their “soul mate” and dump all that old baggage on him. According to an article in Psychology Today, statistics have shown that 67% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
Thus, the cycle of destruction begins again. Unfortunately, few people look behind them to see the ruts of destruction being dug by dragging baggage from relationship to relationship, divorce to divorce. Tripping in the wake of those ruts are children, family, economic gains, legacy, heritage and….future stability. Jesus gives us a formula for dealing with the “feeling” of emptiness in a marriage.
First of all — give Jesus your baggage. Only then, will you truly be healed. By the way, this is an ongoing process. Giving….receiving peace….struggling….giving….receiving peace. Jesus will not give up on you. Through HIM — you will be healed.
Second — Take a tip from Jesus in Matthew 25:40 — Choose to love and respect your husband on the basis of him being one of the “least of these.”
This is a willful decision we can make. Stop thinking of your husband as the baggage-carrying soul fulfiller. Think of him as someone Jesus wants you to choose to LOVE. Feelings follow action. Act out love and respect today. THIS will please Jesus. This will make Jesus smile.
When Jesus smiles….our souls are filled to the brim.
…. Coming up: Respect = Love, Warrior Warning, Mouth Bible Verses and more!
If you want to read more, grab and copy of Lisa Terkeurst’s lovely little book, “Capture His Heart.”