Love Is Responsible
When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you the judge do the same things. - Romans 2.1
Today is about personal responsibility. It's something we all agree others should have, but we struggle to maintain it ourselves. More and more people seem less likely to acknowledge their own mistakes. We see it in politics. We see it in business. We see it in celebrity headlines.
But this is not just a problem with the rich and famous. We are so quick to justify our motives. So quick to deflect criticism. So quick to find fault- especially with our spouse, who is always the easiest one to blame.
We tend to believe that our views are correct, or at least much more correct that our mate's. And we don't believe that anybody, given our same set of circumstances, would act much differently than we have. As far as we're concerned, we're doing the best we can. And our spouse just ought to be glad we're as good to them as we are.
But love doesn't pass the blame so easily or justify selfish motives. Love is not nearly as concerned with is own performance as with others' needs. When love takes responsibility for its actions, it's not to prove how noble you've been but rather to admit how much further you have to go.
Love doesn't make excuses. Love keeps working to make a difference- in you and in your marriage.
That's why the next time you're in an argument with your spouse, instead of working up your comebacks, stop and see if there's something worth listening to in what your mate is saying. Love is responsible and is willing to admit and correct its faults and errors up front. Are you taking responsibility for this person you chose for yourself as the love of your life? How deliberate are you about making sure your spouse's needs are met? Or are you only concerned with your mate fulfilling yours? Love calls us to take responsibility for our partner in marriage. To love them. To honor them. To cherish them.
Are you taking responsibility for your own faults? Have you said or done things to your spouse- or to God- that are wrong? Love desires to have a right relationship with both God and your mate. Once that is right, the stage is set for other areas to fall into place.
A real heart of repentance may take a while to grow in you. Pride is a very resistant to responsibility, but humility and honesty before God and your spouse is crucial for a healthy relationship.
In order to walk with God and to keep His favor, you must stay clean before Him. That doesn't mean that you can never stumble but that you confess it to God and ask for forgiveness when you do.
Can your spouse say that you have wronged or wounded them in any way and never made it right? Part of taking responsibility is admitting when you've failed and asking for forgiveness. It's time to humble yourself, correct your offenses, and repair the damage. It's an act of love. God wants there to be no unresolved issues between the two of you.
The problem is, to do it sincerely you must swallow your pride an seek forgiveness regardless of how your spouse responds. They should forgive you, but your responsibility does not lie with their decision. Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility. If they have wronged you, leave that for them to deal with at another time.
Ask God to show you where you have failed in your responsibility, then get right with Him first. Once you've done that, you need to get right with your spouse. It may be the most difficult things you've ever done, but it is crucial to taking the next step in your marriage and with God. If you are sincere, you may be surprised at the grace and strength God gives you when you take this step.
Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. Ask for Gods forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.