Love is Responsible

Romans 2:1

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

1 John 1:8-9

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

It is our human nature to deflect blame onto other people.  If we get caught for speeding, it’s rarely because we were willfully ignoring the speed limit.  Instead it’s because we were just keeping up with traffic or because we didn’t see a speed posted.  At least that’s what we tell the police officer and perhaps ourselves as well.

This causes problems particularly in marriage.  There will undoubtedly be problems that arise from time to time that are the fault of your spouse; a car accident, a bounced check.  But you will have your share of problems as well and deflecting blame for them will cause harm, whether they are big mistakes or just small ones.

When we don’t own up to our own faults and mistakes, there are a couple of things that can happen.  Let’s say that your wife tripped over something that she asked you multiple times to pick up.  Your counter argument is to deflect blame by angrily stating she should watch where she is walking.  There could be some truth to that but that is beside the point.  By deflecting blame, even if it is only partially your fault, you set yourself up as faultless.  The more you do this, the more you begin to believe that you really are faultless.  Everything bad that happens to you is someone else’s fault.  This can easily lead to anger and bitterness.

The other side is who receives the blame.  Perhaps it is some random person in the grocery store who made you late for a meeting.  At least some of the time, your spouse will unfairly be blamed for something that they were not at fault for.  This tears them down rather than building them up as should take place among Christians and especially in a marriage.  Done often enough it can lead to self esteem issues and an imbalance within the marriage.

We all mess up from time to time.  It is important to own up to our mistakes.  A marriage that is built around love and forgiveness will easily overcome mistakes by a spouse.  On the other hand, when no one accepts responsibility, the marriage will be one of fear of making the slightest mistake.

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