Bearing Each Other’s Burdens

The other day, something surprising happened in our house.

Eden wasn’t listening, so we put her in time-out, which she really dislikes (which I’m also sure most kids dislike). But, here is the surprising thing: Asher saw this happening, and while he knew she needed to go to time-out, he also didn’t want her to have to. So, he came up to me and said, “Dad, I’ll sit in time-out for her, so Eden can go play. I don’t mind, and it will make her happy.”

This not only shocked me, but also made me cry. Because, this is perhaps the most Jesus-like thing anyone could say or do.

I believe that at the centre of our faith is Jesus – the One who bore the consequences of our actions on the cross. And, He bore the weight of our sins, so that we might find true freedom, life, and love.

In fact, bearing each other’s burdens seems to be central to following Jesus.

And, this is what Asher’s little decision reminded me – of how he is learning to put compassion and care into actual action for others. It got me to thinking that if Asher can do this at his age and stage, what would it look like to do this at my age and stage?

  • Whose burdens can I bear, so they can experience freedom?
  • Whose hurts can I share in, so they can receive life?
  • Whose life can I join in, so they can know love?

Because, I know my life is only where it is today because of Jesus and the people who lived like Jesus. People who joined with me, bore consequences that weren’t theirs, and showed me the love and grace of Jesus Christ. So, in whatever age or stage you might be in, how might you show and give grace and love today? That’s the question this little interaction with my son and daughter raised for me.

How can I show and give grace and love today?

And, this question matters, because as the Apostle Paul says: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6)

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3 comments on “Bearing Each Other’s Burdens

  1. MAGGIE VIDA on

    loved this so much I created a document ‘poster style’ adapted from it! Too bad I don’t see a place here to attach it 🙁

    Reply
  2. Ernie Jones on

    I guess my question is did you allow him to take her place or was it better for her if this was a teaching moment for both about personal responsibility for actions.
    Either way, very moving and a proud moment for a parent.
    Not sure what I would have done, that’s why I asked.

    Reply
    • Andrew Mills on

      I actually did let him do it, and then shared with Eden why she was being allowed out and how kind Asher was to do that. I tried to use it as a teaching moment for both kids. But at first I really wasn’t sure how to respond to be honest!

      Reply

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