You bet ya! When you took that hand and made the vow and promise of love, you not only took a heart but the entire baggage that comes with that person next to you.
In my case, I know for sure that my beloved groom gained some significant amount of baggage; a Motherless bride that would soon begin a grieving process that never happened during childhood, a childhood abuse survivor with reality and pain to walk through, a bride that was only starting to learn God’s grace and sovereignty through the seasons of pain, a bride that felt worthless from emotional abuse and the list goes on.
Perhaps if my groom had known what he was in for he would have taken a moment to think twice about the claim. I doubt it though; he has never flinched at the reality of holding my hand through my healing process thus fully claiming the mighty baggage that came with his bride.
Many of us come into Marriage with loads of heavy baggage in all types and sizes. I want to encourage you though, that together we are able to walk through it.
Over the years, my husband and I have dealt with these issues in many different ways that have kept us on the same page without literally breaking down or giving up. These are practices that you probably already follow or should;
- Laying it all out; seriously, we know that we are stuck together. So why not lay down all the dirt and share with our spouse? And spouse, learn to listen. I don’t recall my husband going…” what did I get myself into?”
- Pray through those baggage claims one day at a time. We have prayed for years and still do; praying for peace, healing and understanding.
- Cry a little; I mean guys, learn to pour out your emotions as you walk through the season of attacking the various baggage claims.
- Talk; Many times when I write about marriage, I encourage talking. It’s honestly the best way to communicate and I cannot stress enough how much talking has continued to build our relationship for the past 9 years not only as husband and wife but as friends.
- Being or learning to be patient with one another; When two people come together as husband and wife, chances are they have different issues from their past. What that looks like or how deep it goes for you, I have no idea. But I know for a fact that it takes patience to work through the baggage. And I believe that if we love our spouse, we will give them time to heal from whatever it is.
- Being our spouse’s cheerleader; I can guarantee that there’s no better feeling than the feeling of knowing that your spouse is cheering you on and allowing you to deal with whatever it is at a pace of your own comfort. My husband has done that for me over the years.
However, there’s also the practical kind of baggage; the kind that we see and feel and perhaps is guaranteed to give us sleepless nights in marriage;
- A spouse that sleeps like a butterfly hanging out in an open spring field; Guilty as charged says my beloved groom. For the almost 9 years of our marriage, my husband’s biggest complaint has been me occupying 95% of our bed and probably a fist in his face. Now that right there has been baggage that one has to daily learn to live with/claim.
- The snoring spouse; on the revenge side however, this is my man to a T. If I am not knocked out enough, I am guaranteed a fully relaxed groom in a full blown out snoring world. My choices are usually two; read a book or write until I am able to sleep through my claimed baggage. I like to think of the snoring as a memory building for me and my beloved. I would not want to be anywhere else but right next to my snoring groom in the middle of the night.
- The talking spouse; Again, that’s me. My wonderful husband has had to fully claim this one. I do the talking and he does the listening. Yap, this could be your spouse as well. So go on and claim your baggage. They are all yours and the character that comes with them.
The baggage claim issue may sound like a light issue or perhaps a joke, but these seemingly small issues can grow into something bigger thus destroying marriages. Your baggage may be totally different from ours or perhaps you may have better ways of walking through those seasons. Either way, we should not let our baggage claims break the beautiful bond we have through our marriages.
Like I always say, marriage is not a battle field. No one should seek to win. It’s working together for the good of your family.