This weeks Marriage Truth is hard to swallow but really simplistic.
If you want your marriage to be healthy and whole you…YOU…have to be willing to take personal responsibility for what you say and do.
It seems lately it is incredibly PC to NOT take personal responsibility. Let’s put blame where it doesn’t belong. People, organizations, churches, communities, politicians, MESS UP every day of the week. And we’re all too quick to use those mistakes to justify our own choices.
We’ve seen it in the blogosphere this week. People, good people, blaming everyone and everything from the purity culture to their pious youth pastor to the so-called outdatedness of abstinence for the huge numbers of young people who are having sex before marriage and feeling shamed about it. We wrote a response to this here. Acknowledging what we’ve done wrong and caring about whom those choices impacts is at the heart of being able to move past the shame and guilt of the choices we make. Not shifting the blame to other people.
We see this in marriages every day as well. We’re not taking responsibility for our faults and mistakes. “He made me angry.” “She always does this.”
Uh uh. Love, true love, doesn’t make excuses. You are responsible for your own choices and your own reactions. You are responsible for how you treat your spouse, regardless of how they treat you. You are responsible for how you care for the heart of your spouse.
In the case of this current cultural/church issue of sex before marriage, you are responsible for admitting to your spouse if you wronged them. Even if it was before you knew them. Can you imagine meeting your future spouse and deciding to tell them you had sex before them and then saying, “But…its not my fault…”
We’re all guilty of this. Every day. It’s the old, “I’m sorry, but…”
What our spouse’s need from us is just “I’m sorry.” Or, better yet, “I’m sorry because…”
Stephen and Alex Kendrick of “The Love Dare” state that “part of taking responsibility is admitting when you’ve failed and asking for forgiveness.” Period. Just taking personal responsibility. Not forcing your spouse to take personal responsibility for what they may or may not have done to you. Not requiring who ever messed you up to take responsibility for how they might have messed you up. Just you taking responsibility for what you did.
So, if you’ve messed up in your marriage. Last night, last year, or consistently over the last twenty years…whatever it is, your marriage needs you to man up.
Marriage requires acknowledging when you’re wrong.
Marriage requires asking for forgiveness for your own part in things.
Marriage requires personal responsibility.