As a child, I used to help my mother on laundry day. Believe me it was a hard, all day job. The washing tub was hooked up to the sink and as each load of laundry finished spinning, we would lug the wet clothes out to our back yard and my Mom would hang them on the clotheslines. I would hand her more clothespins each time the supply she held in her mouth ran out.
There our laundry hung for all to see: mismatched socks, ragged underwear, towels that had seen better days. This is where the saying comes from about ‘hanging your dirty laundry out in public.’ Even though it really wasn’t dirty anymore, everyone knew it had been!
Times have changed, huh? Now we can keep all our dirty laundry behind closed doors. The trouble is, we hide our emotional laundry just like we hide our physical laundry…even from our spouse. She asks you how was your day, and you say “fine.” He asks you if you are upset, and you say “No!”
It’s been said that ‘pain multiplies in private and shame flourishes in isolation.’ One of the reasons God gave you and your spouse to each other was to take away one another’s loneliness. Remember Adam and Eve, and God saying, “It’s not good for man to be alone”? Well, it’s still not good! God put you two together to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Look at that! Helping each other take care of all your ‘dirty laundry’ is so important that Scripture calls it “the law” of Christ!
Stop appearing to be self-sufficient to your mate and others! ‘Cause you are NOT! You can be the one who starts the ball rolling in keeping this “law” by allowing yourself to be transparent with your spouse. Talk about your hopes and dreams…about your failures…about what you wish you could change. Stop allowing your pain and shame to hold you captive by pretending to be fine. Let your spouse help you “bear your burdens,” and then maybe you can learn to be transparent with the folks down at church.