I have been involved in lifting weights since I was a teenager and I love it. But one of the very first things I was taught was when you are working out never lift heavy weights on your own. If you are going to shoot for a heavier weight or you are going to lift your max weight then you need someone there just in case you get stuck or can’t lift it. There has been time and time again where I have needed a lifting partner to help me. Just that little nudge, a yell of encouragement, or even the ability to grab the weight and rack it before I crushed my chest or blew out a knee. Everything that a lifting partner is taught to do when helping someone lift. Usually, when I was getting ready to lift the heavy weight I would find a good friend or a team-mate that I trusted and knew had the strength to lift what I was lifting. (I would pick a lineman who looked at what I was lifting and would laugh and say, “puny defensive back”.) Then I would get on the bench or I would get under the bar in the squat rack, get in position and begin lifting.
I tell you about this not because I am huge and all muscle but because I think we could use lifting partners every day of our life. Each and every one of us could experience powerful life change when we have life lifting partners. Just think about it your getting ready to make a big decision, call your lifting partner. You are getting ready to start a new job, call your lifting partner. You are struggling with an addiction, call your lifting partner. You are struggling in your marriage, call your lifting partner. Here is the problem most of us wouldn’t do that because we believe that we can handle the heavy lifting all on our own. We have been taught that we don’t need anyone else when things get tough. Except for when we are lifting heavy weights. (Why?) Here is a verse in the bible that I think sets the tone for what we need to do:
Galatians 6:2 (NLT) 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Why is that we can lay down on a bench and try to lift heavy weight and then realize it is too much and then go ask someone for help, but we won’t do it when our marriage is struggling. (Pride) We can step under a bar that has 45 lbs plate after 45 lbs plate on it straining against a squat rack barely lift it and say I can’t handle this at all, then go a lifting partner. But when our kids are having a really hard time we won’t say a thing. (E.G.O. – Edging out God)
Here is what I am suggesting today start to develop a relationship with some LIFE lifting partners. I guarantee that there are other guys just like you trying to lift and then carry some heavy burdens that could use your help. You see that is what is so amazing about when you get LIFE lifting partners it doesn’t become a one-sided relationship. There is give and take, there is the encouragement in the form of a pat on the back along with maybe a kick in the butt. You have another person or persons that you can call when the weight of the burden is just getting to be too much, so the can step in and help you lift and carry that burden.
So start by thinking about at least two or three other guys that you like to hang out with in your relationship circles. Then take a couple of weeks to pray about asking those guys to think about being lifting partners after you have explained to them what lifting partners could be for each other. Once you have asked them then take a couple of weeks for each of them to pray about the opportunity of being lifting partners. Then come together and talk some more about who is in and who is out, then plan the next time you are going to meet as LIFE lifting partners.
Now that you have some guys that are willing to be LIFE lifting partners just meet and talk about what you all hope to get out of being lifting partners. Then establish what will be your natural rhythms for when and where you are going to meet. You also want to let each other know that as you begin to share and pray for each other that whatever is shared with lifting partners stays with lifting partners. (Unless someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.) Then ask each other how you can pray for each other, pray and enjoy the rest of your coffee, beer, or soda just hanging out. Then just continue to meet, talk, pray and hang out just a little reminder to take your time and not feel as if you have to go deep right away. Let the Holy Spirit guide your moments and let the time you spend together lead the conversations.
(This was written for men but it can very easily be used for women as well. The truth is that in my experience is that women already do this kind of relationship way better then we men do. But if this is something you can use by all means go for it. Too many people are spending their lives trying to carry their burdens all on their own.)