Jesus told us, “Pick up your cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). What a blessing it is when we have a sweetheart who helps us carry our cross, walking the same journey! By carrying our crosses together, we make each other’s burdens lighter. Most couples, however, are not at the same place, side by side, growing in faith equally. This can feel like another cross.
Sometimes, our cross is a very lonely burden, and Jesus is our only companion. He’s the only one who understands what we’re sacrificing. The only one who knows how much we’re suffering from not being loved enough and respected enough by the people who should care. The only one with the compassion that we long for at the end of a difficult day.
Then, we’re tempted to get angry at our sweetheart and blame him/her for our misery. Was Jesus angry at those who crucified him? No, he pitied them. He felt so bad for their ignorance and lack of faith that he died for them.
As we follow Jesus, if we keep our eyes on Jesus instead of focusing on how our sweetheart is disappointing us, we gain strength, we gain peace, and we discover how he is leading us to ideas and actions that invite our sweetheart to focus on Jesus with us.
The Vocation of Marriage is a calling to help each other grow closer to Christ. We accomplish this most successfully when we don’t push, cajole, and complain but we place our trust in the Lord, lean on him, and listen carefully for his guidance on how to nurture the spiritual strength of our beloved.
- What is burdensome to me today? How is my beloved helping with it?
- What is burdensome to my sweetheart today? What more can I do to make this cross lighter?
Strengthen your relationship:
Name a cross that you carry together. How have you been helped by each other? How does it feel to give support to each other? Offer a prayer to Jesus together, thanking him for what he does to help you carry the crosses you’ve been enduring.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries
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