Piggyback riding… In pictures, it’s cute, and in theory, it’s a good idea, but in reality, is it profitable for anyone? The piggybacker, carrying the entire weight of another, ends up exhausted with rubber legs while the intentionally lazy piggybackee ends up using all his strength trying to cling to the source of his “free ride.”
Before we had a baby to tote around, my very kind-hearted husband would occasionally offer to give me a piggyback ride when I was exceptionally tired or had blistery feet. It was a sweet gesture, but it never lasted long or produced the desired results. We both wound up tired and regretting the decision.
Unfotunately, I’ve come to realize that my walk with the Lord is far too often a significant example of this trivial truth. I piggyback my husband’s spiritual life. That is, he spends hours studying the Word and in communion with Jesus, while I sit idly by, feeding off of his communion with the Lord. He lovingly shares with me what the Lord is teaching him, but, in doing so, he unknowingly enables me to slack off spiritually. This is not to say that this is a failure to lead on his part. In fact, he is doing exactly what he should be doing: leading by example. It is, rather, a failure on my part to follow his lead. Instead, I choose the route that is unfair to both of us as I let him do the work while I yield limited benefits.
It is imperative that I WORK to cultivate and nurture my own spiritual life in prayer and in the Word. Why is this so much more profitable than leaning on my husband’s spiritual disciplines?
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I only receive the crumbs left over from his spiritual feast. That is, I only take in a small portion of the truth I would glean if I would seek it out myself. I am cheating myself out of blessings from the Word and hindering growth in my spiritual life. 1 Peter 2:2 tells me that I should be like a newborn baby, and “desire the sincere milk of the word” so I can grow!
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I do not open myself to the speaking and working of the Holy Spirit. I do not get the truth tailored by my Heavenly father for my specific spiritual needs. Instead, I recieve the lost-in-translation “telephone” version of my husband’s learned truths. There is very limited room for conviction from the Holy Spirit.
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I do not build my two-way relationship with my Heavenly Father. My relationship with my husband would not work if we constantly communicated through a third party, and neither will my relationship with Jesus.
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I limit my ability to minister to those the Lord puts in my path. Because of my lack of knowledge of the Word and first-hand experience within a thriving relationship with the Lord, I cannot share and teach what the Lord has done in my life. I can only share what I have learned through what my husband has taught me from his walking with the Lord. (Huh?) That obviously is not going to be much of a help to anyone!
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I leave myself vulnerable to attack. The Bible warns me that my “adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He wants to DESTROY me, and I make it all too easy for him to take me down when I am not living in the Word and in communion with my Savior.
When piggybacking my husband’s spiritual life, I am a tremendous burden to my husband. While it may not necessarily be hard to share his learned truths with me, I am an incredibly cumbersome burden when I am not right with the Lord! When I think of my worst days when my attitude was the ugliest, they were ALWAYS times when I was not walking closely with the Lord. I was likely piggybacking.
I mentioned above that I have to WORK to cultivate and nurture my own spiritual life. I learn this in 2 Timothy 2:15. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Does anything about this command of Scripture sound like it can be obeyed in a passive manner? Absolutely not! Those bolded words are all active words; I must take an active role in my spiritual life!
Piggybacking may seem like the easy way, but I have learned that it is not the most rewarding. The Lord has so much He wants to show ME, and He has very much He would like to show YOU, too! Please endeavor with me to work to kick the piggybacking habit!