Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, toilet the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? - Isaiah 58:6
Cast all your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you" - Isaiah 41:13
Sisters, I believe with all my heart that this is a topic I could dedicate an entire book to. As women, we LOVE to pick up others burdens and carry them around. Scripture does call us to help others with their burdens (Galatians 6:2). However, as believers in Christ, we are instructed to hand Him whatever it is that is weighing us down.
We when enter marriage with another, we are joined together with each others past. Someone once told me I was lucky to have been with my husband since we were young, that we did not bring anything into our marriage from other relationships. I'm here to tell you, that may or may not be true, we still had baggage. The scares of life shape us and make us who we are and the experiences that cause those scares, the people that may have inflicted the brokenness, can come into the relationship as baggage. Past heart breaks, broken dreams, death, loss, the stripping away of innocence too soon, the relationships that were broken, and so much more; they all are compartmentalized in our brains and we carry them with us. It doesn't matter where you've been or what you've walked through, you have something you are carrying and it's heaviness isn't even meant for you to carry.
We all go through life carrying these things. We can't seem to let them go. Sometimes, we pick up the baggage that our spouse brings and we carry that too. It may not seem like such a big deal at first, I mean, we are called to share in each others burdens and help each other. However, at some point, God is going to call you into "deep waters". There's going to be a journey He needs you to take together in this life. It's going to be scary and hard.
I keep going back to the image of the lonely boat out over the water, the waves crashing with the wind, and Jesus walking towards the boat. (Matthew 14:22-33) Jesus told his followers to get in a boat and go on ahead. He stayed behind and prayed. Before day break Jesus walked out to them and they were afraid. Jesus told them not be afraid and Peter was the brave one who would step out of the boat. At the sound of Jesus' voice he stepped out, fully trusting, but the wind...the wind scared him and he sank. Yes, Jesus saved him upon Peter's call.
Here's the thing. Sometimes Jesus calls us out into the deep. He expects us to walk with Him without fear. Do you want to step out carrying that baggage you've had with you all this time? I'l tell you right now, I did exactly that. I had stood on the shore for years wondering what it would be like to be in those deep waters with Jesus and when I was called out I had so much baggage weighing me down. The deep waters is where you'll find Jesus and it's the best and safest place to be, with Him.
There used to be a time when I had never heard the Lord speak to me. This might be your situation too. I promise, He is trying to help you hear Him. One day during a praise moment between God and myself I felt in my spirit Him telling me "you carried the baggage into deep waters that I never intended you to carry, as soon as you let go, you will float to the top and walk on water with me."
That moment will forever be burned into my soul. I may still, from time to time, pick up baggage but I have learned to hand it over to Christ. He expects us to hand it over to Him. Give it to him.
You know you're carrying something, you may be ready to give it over or you may be in denial. Here is what I want you to do.
You don't want to get out in those deep waters until you've given your baggage over. If you're in the deep waters...let go immediately. Get with Jesus and ask Him to show you what baggage you're are carrying. Ask Him to show you just how heavy it is and then ask Him to take it. Start handing it to Him piece by piece as quickly as you can. Be free of the weight of the past, your past or your husbands. Your freedom to move forward in this life with Christ is waiting.
I knew what I had been carrying. I knew the feelings I associated with what was inside my baggage AND the feelings I had as a result of how heavy they were. Imagine being released of all of that. It is not yours to carry. It's not! I could go on and on with scripture and here are a few more.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:6,7
Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. -Isaiah 46:6
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. -Psalm34:17
No matter what baggage you are carrying around that is affecting your marriage, cast it on Jesus. Give it to Him. Ask Him to help you. I personally, have to ask Jesus to take it from me. Sometimes giving it isn't something I'm able to do because my grip is so tight and I promise, even asking Him to take it, He snatches it right up and it's gone. Free!
Jesus, oh how I thank You for all You offer to do for me. You have saved me and covered all my sin and all my shame. Nothing I could do in this life would have ever been enough. I thank You now for being who You are at all times. Remove from me the heavy weight, the burdens, the baggage, the things of this life that I have carried for far too long. Free me Jesus! Lord thank You for Your mercies. Thank You for providing a Way. I do not want to go through this life drowning in deep waters, I do not want to go through this life standing safely on the waters edge either. I want to walk on water with you Jesus. I want to hold Your hand and know that I have been set free. Father God, bless my marriage through this. Make our marriage one that You can use as an example to others of what You have in store. This life is short and our time here is unknown, Spirit give me the wisdom to know when I have picked up something I should not be carrying and give it straight to You, Help me to NOT cast those burdens onto others through actions or words. Help me to simply give them to you. Teach me how to give the burdens others have shared with me to You. Help me to show others that the can do the same. Help me to show my husband that it is possible. In Jesus Mighty name I pray, Amen.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.