One of the perennial problems in marriage is the fine art of blame-shifting. And the reason we are so good at it is because our first parents were so good at it. God asks Adam what happened after he sinned, and Adam replies, it was the woman you gave me. Then God asks the woman what happened and she said it was that serpent that tempted me. And ever since then we have mastered the art of blaming others.
We actually get good at pushing blame and guilt away from ourselves and placing it on others. If she would just stop using my comb, I wouldn’t lash out at her like I do. If he would just stop leaving the seat up on the toilet, I wouldn’t be so nasty with him all the time. And then, once we push the responsibility off ourselves, we are justified, righteous and without blame. However, the other person is now beginning to turn evil and we don’t like that other person because of what they are doing to us.
When it comes to marriage, if we don’t want to end up hating one another, we have to take responsibility for the state of our marriage. And the reason we have to take responsibility is because that is the only way we will change and healing will come. The hard point is allowing our hearts to be filled with a love that is more than willing to take responsibility.
There is good news! We have someone who can save us from this plight. Jesus was completely innocent and hadn’t done anything wrong, and he says to God, “It’s my fault. I am going to take responsibility for everything they have done, and I am going to suffer the judgment for them. It is all mine, and I will gladly bear it for them.”
Wow! When I get that and accept that… It changes me! Then I am more than willing to admit, just maybe I’m not perfect in every situation.
Without living in the reality of what Jesus did for me, I will never be able to take responsibility for all the problems in my marriage. I will constantly be trying to vindicate myself. I will hate being wrong, and I will hate admitting the problems I am facing.
We need to remember, a beautiful marriage isn’t one without problems and sin, it is one without pride, self-righteousness and blame-shifting. It is one that gladly takes responsibility for the problems we are facing, and seeks to bring the goodness of Jesus upon the situation. It is hard, but so worth it!
Dean will be sharing with us over 10 weeks a series on Building a Better Family. Read more about this series, here!
Read Part 2 of the series, here: Who Has Time For Communication?