Your baggage is the sum total of your life experiences, good and bad. It includes personality traits, ways of thinking, emotional states, habits, hang-ups, feelings about yourself, personal preferences, vices. You can dress up your baggage or disguise it, but somehow, someway, sometime it's going to be exposed. And if you are not prepared to deal with it- or if you don't deal with it- you're going to be in big trouble... Even if you try to keep it out of sight and out of mind, inevitably you or your spouse will trip over it, and someone may get hurt
~ Betty Robison
I am currently reading a book by James & Betty Robison, Living in Love so far it has been a great read and filled with wonderful and helpful information for those in marriage or those who plan one day to be married.
I read this quote yesterday and it made me wonder how many marriages have ended simply because someone did not want to deal with their own baggage?
I think we have misconstrued "baggage" as the things we can only see with our eyes.
You know out-of wedlock children, past failed marriages, rough family, prison records, drug alcohol abuse, past sexual abuse, and so on.
But we seem to want to deny the rest of the "baggage" and call it, "hey that's just me, get over it"
Or we want to convince our spouse that they really just did not trip over our "baggage" and get hurt because our "baggage" was not big enough to be that hurt by, so it must have been a result of tripping over their own "baggage"... not ours.
James goes on in this chapter to say "If you want to live in love with your mate, you can't be held captive by past pain or present problems, and you can't live your life in denial."
Have you ever been in the airport and been the one who got chosen out of all those in line to have your baggage opened and rummaged through and dumped out for all to see?
It is not a pleasant experience. And this was baggage that you were not trying to hide...
Having our baggage exposed can feel humiliating and even more so when our hidden baggage peaks out and is tripped over by someone else... so we live trying to keep it hidden... And in the process of doing this we just keep adding to our baggage.
I truly believe that one of the reasons God ordained marriage was so that we would have another person in this life who loved us and truly knew us. That's one of the things that causes me to fall deeper and deeper in love with my Jesus... He knows all my baggage and yet He loves me anyway.
How awesome would it be in your marriage if you could say my spouse knows all my baggage... and they love me anyway.
How secure would that relationship be?
I am still learning to get there with my spouse.
I am the person who says the sun never goes down on my anger, because I can go to bed on it and wake up and pretend it never happened... that's my coping mechanism... but the thing is it did happen and all the pretending and blocking in the world is not going to change that.
I am also the person who would rather run, or say, it's fine, than let someone know they hurt me. I had rather wipe the slate clean and "start over"... however, the slate is only wiped clean in Christ and Christ only cleanses what He first exposes...
So how about you...?
Have you ever considered that "baggage" is made up of "the sum total of your life experiences, good and bad. It includes personality traits, ways of thinking, emotional states, habits, hang-ups, feelings about yourself, personal preferences, vices."?
Think about it and see if maybe you have been tripping over more baggage than you even realized was there hidden...