Lean on Me ... When You're Not Strong
By Leslie J. Barner
While we were on our power walk one afternoon, my husband, Aubrey, began to struggle with shortness of breath. Concerned, I asked why his breathing was so labored. Barely able to talk, he pointed to his crossbody bag.
You’re probably thinking, Why was he wearing a heavy bag while going for a power walk? Good question.
Aubrey has a heart pump implanted in his chest to help his heart beat efficiently while he waits on a new heart. That bag carries the batteries that keep the heart pump operating.
So basically, that bag goes wherever he goes.
But I had an idea!
I offered to wear the bag across my body while we walked to lighten his load. This meant we'd have to walk closely together because the cords that extend from the batteries to the heart pump are connected to a driveline going into his abdomen and up to the heart.
At first, in light of his masculinity, he didn't want me to lighten his load.
But I insisted. And it wasn't long before his breathing improved.
I can’t tell you how honored I felt to be able to share this burden with him, even in this small way. After all, he has been my biggest supporter, provider, load-lightener, best friend, and shoulder to lean on for 39 years.
I was reminded of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.” Leaning on each other when we need someone to help us carry on—that helps keep a marriage strong.
But more importantly, I was reminded of Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
To love each other the way God calls us to love is to assure our spouse they are never alone; that we will be there to help them get through life struggles, big or small. And to know they will do the same for us.
The good stuff: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
Action points: What’s one tangible way that you can “lighten the load” for your spouse this week?
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