In a few weeks I will be going to Pennsylvania for an eight day trip with some friends from my church. Already I am thinking about what I need and want to bring. I don't want to pack too light, because after all, I will be gone for eight whole days! Of course their are some necessary items that I will need - such as clothes and washing things - that will defiantly go in my suitcase. But then their are some other things that I could go with out . . . yet I am inclined to take them just because! Things that I might think I need, yet they might just be more weight to carry around. They might also get in the way when it comes to how much space I have for souvenirs!
In life we carry around a lot of things. I'm not talking about physical luggage. I'm talking about emotional luggage. Feelings are often more heavy than any item you could fit in the biggest suitcase. Feelings of hurt, anger, regret, fear, and grief. There are also feelings of happiness, confidence, peace, and love that will make our journey in life so much more enjoyable and glorifying to God. But the question is . . . what emotions are we going to hang on to for the rest of our life time? I'm afraid we don't spend as much time thinking about this as we do thinking about what to bring on our vacation.
What kind of luggage are you going to carry with you into your marriage? There are some people who think that once they are married their spouse can help them out with their troubles. This may be the case, but think about the strain that it might put on them if they feel it is their duty to help them overcome their burdens. Read the following example by Max Lucado*, but in my owns words.
The groom walks down the isle about to marry the woman he loves. In his arms he carries luggage of gilt, anger, arrogance, and insecurities. As he stands at the alter about to say his vows he thinks, "Finally a woman who will help me carry all my burdens. She's so strong, so stable, so . . ."
Now the bride is walking down the isle. She is very excited to be getting married to the man she's always dreamed of, yet her mind goes back to the bags she is carrying. Loneliness, disappointments, and hurt. She thinks about what is about to happen. "Just a few more minutes and I'll be married. So long discouragement and worry. I wont be seeing you anymore. He's going to fix me."
Does this sound familiar? Do you see the problem? Their are both expecting the other to work miracles that only God can do. If two people are carrying heavy burdens, how can they help carry even more? Marriage is about giving everything of yourself to your spouse. This will be hard if all we can think about is what we are going to get and how we are going to benefit from the marriage. One would be very disappointed to find out that our spouse cannot take away all of our burdens.
So what is the answer? Are we to carry our burdensome luggage on our own? No. Even though our husband may not be strong enough to carry our load, our Lord is always able to take our burdens away. He is the one we need to go to when we realize that our luggage of harsh emotions is too much for us to bare. Don't be loaded down with emotions that only keep you from living more freely. Let God carry your luggage!*Disclaimer: I have not read much of Max Lucado's writings so I am not sure if they are doctrinally sound. I do know some of his beliefs are not the same as mine.