Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Falling back into fear- yuck. That does not sound like a place we want to be. Fear takes hold and enslaves us. Anxiety disorders are the number one most often diagnosed mental illness in the US. Even those of us not diagnosed with anxiety disorders can find that anxiety debilitates us. We fear failure, we fear loss, we fear our past coming to find us, we fear for our children and family members, we fear the disintegration of society, we fear for our health, we could go on and on and on. Fear is so much a part of our response in this world that it seems normal. Many people have no idea how they would live without fear and worry. This is a picture spirit of slavery that Paul writes about.
How does fear affect our marriages? It pulls us apart. It makes us feel isolated, we turn to blame and accusations. We feel unheard because our spouse isn’t responding with worry and fear over the same things, or in the same way, that we are. Everything feels out of control when fear reigns in our hearts.
But Paul shares with us the gift we have in Christ. Not only are we, in reality, truly and absolutely freed from all fear and anxiety by the cross of Christ and the waters of baptism. Christ bears every single burden in his person for us. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Paul has also given us an invitation. In times of fear and trepidation we can cry out to the Father who loves us beyond measure. As a couple we can cry out, “Father, help!” We come to Him together in prayer and studying His Word. It changes things. Worry and fear come and go, but Christ reigns.
As a couple, bring your fears to Him in the presence of one another. Be honest and bear each other’s burdens, giving them to the God who already carries them for you.