Hands Up! How To Support Your Spouse

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Supporting your spouse no matter what they are going through is crucial to the success of your marriage. Everyone needs to know that they have someone who has their back when things get rough, and for your spouse, that person should be you!

Arms Up!

In Exodus 17:8-15, we find one of the most famous stories in the Bible that exemplifies the idea of supporting one another in life’s battle. It’s the story of Moses during the battle against the Amalekites. Joshua led the soldiers into battle while Moses stationed himself on a high spot where he could see the battle as it raged.

When Moses held his hands up, Israelites began to prevail against their enemy, but whenever his hands would start to droop, the Amalekites would start to win.

What a burden that must have been for Moses. If he dropped his arms, even a little bit, his army would begin to suffer defeat. Perhaps, many men would lose their lives when his hands fell. He felt like everything was entirely up to him, and he didn’t have the strength to do what he needed to do.

Even though he knew that Moses just couldn’t keep his hands up. Have you ever tried holding your hands in the air for a long time? It is not as easy as it seems like it should be. After a short time, your arms begin to tremble and feel like there are rocks attached to them. Slowly they will start to droop until you just can’t keep them there anymore.

But luckily for the Israelites, Moses did not go up the mountain alone. His brother Aaron and their friend Hur had gone with him. When they realized that the lowering of Moses’ arms was causing the battle to go in favor of the Amalekites, they grabbed his arms and held them up. I love the images I’ve seen of Moses sitting on a rock, while his companions stood on either side of him holding his hands in the air.

They did this all day, and Joshua and the Israelite army were victorious. Not only did they win the battle, but the Amalekites were blotted out (Exodus 17:14)

Not only did they hold Moses’ arms up and help him with his particular burden, but the result also benefited the entire nation.

Support Your Spouse

Life gets like that sometimes. We try to bear our own burdens, and our spouses do it too. And after a while, we start to tremble, get weighed down, before we finally just give up the fight.

If Aaron and Hur had ignored Moses when he asked them to go to the mountain or had they refused to go because they were too busy, or wanted to do something else, the Israelites would have lost the battle. Or, what if they refused to hold up his arms, thinking that they were too important to do such a trivial thing? Well, Israel would have been defeated.

When you are married, don’t leave your spouse alone on the hill to fight their own battles. You need to support your spouse by being there with them and giving whatever assistance they need to get through the battle and be victorious.

God calls our attention to this event to teach us a lesson. You are not on the hill alone. And your spouse should not be either.

Be honest with yourself. How much are you paying attention to supporting your spouse with the burdens they are carrying?

What Does the Bible Say?

God expects us to support every member of the body of Christ in their daily lives, lifting them up and encouraging them when they are facing trials.

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. – Galatians 6:2-3 (NLT)

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. – 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (ESV)

For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! – Ecclesiastes 9:10

Christians are not immune from the issues of the world and the sinful condition we are all born into. Your spouse gets up every day and has to live in the same world as everybody else. It sometimes causes them to worry about situations they can’t control. They grieve over the loss of loved ones or worry about a friend who has caused turmoil in his own life. They may feel guilty about something they said or did.

The Bible calls us to bear one another’s burdens within the body of Christ. And as far as I’m concerned, anything the Bible says to do for the body of Christ should go double for your spouse.

Your spouse is probably facing burdens today. Some you may know about, and some you may not.

It’s up to you

Don’t let pride and selfishness get in the way. Aaron and Hur didn’t think it was beneath them to stand there and hold up Moses’ arms for hours upon hours.

It is your job to make sure that you are doing all you can to support your spouse, even if you don’t feel like they are supporting you in your life.

Remember, Jesus called us to serve. And servants don’t worry about what they will get out of it. They just want to focus on the other person and meet their needs.

Don’t be too busy, instead prioritize your spouse’s well-being.

Most of all, pray. God is all-powerful and wants to help your spouse with the burden they are carrying. He wants to lift it off of them completely.

We are not called to pull people out of their suffering. Quite honestly, that’s between them and God. They may need to work out of the situation on their own, but having someone beside them to support them will make it easier.

Instead, God calls us to stand beside them, helping to lift the burden. Point your spouse to Christ and remind them of His promises and His love for them.

If you’re not the one supporting your spouse, they may look for someone else to do that. And you may not be happy with the result.

What can you do to support your spouse?

If you know there’s a problem, do what you need to support your spouse. Not sure what you can do to help, ask! If nothing else, just encourage them.

If you don’t know what they may be facing, today could be an excellent day to ask them if there is anything they want or need your help with.

Are they feeling burdened with things they need to complete? See what you can do to help. It could be helping with the task or just keeping the kids away for a bit so they can work on it. If they are feeling spiritually weak, pray with them and for them. If their emotions are in turmoil, be an encourager and lift them up.

They may not want to admit there is a problem. Today’s society values independence so much that we see it as a sign of weakness. But keeping the lines of communication open and studying your spouse so you can notice when there is a problem can help break the ice.

Be careful how you react when they tell you what they need. Depending on what it is, it could sting a little. It may make you feel uncomfortable. So be ready and know what you will say and do when your spouse shares their burdens with you? Don’t cast blame. Don’t be angry or judgmental toward them with them because of what they are feeling.

Instead, think like Jesus. How would He react? What would He say? Prepare yourself with prayer before you have the conversation. Remember, your purpose is to support your spouse, not to have your own needs met.

Today’s challenge: Ask your spouse if there is something they can help them with that they have just been hesitant to ask for help with.

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