David Tripp says “I am my biggest marital problem.” Say what?! What he means is that all too often we’re blaming our spouses or others for the condition or marriage is in. We find ourselves saying, “If only he would do this, or I’d be happier if she would..Or if we had more __________(fill in the blank) we’d be okay.” But the truth is, the cause of most of your marital challenges starts with you.
Whenever you blame your spouse or somebody or something else, you make yourselves powerless. You’re saying you can’t change until you’re made to or that other person or circumstance changes…you’ve just surrendered control of your life to those people or circumstances you are blaming. And that makes you feel unsafe, afraid and unhappy.
When you surrender your personal responsibility to your spouse, you’re actually blaming him or her for the mess your marriage is in. And that’s not going to work out too well for you either. Who wants to be blamed for creating a miserable marriage? Now both of you are going to be defensive, interjected.
So if you want a better marriage, you should work to become a better spouse. You see, my marriage will get better because I’m going to own my responsibility for how I think, how I feel and how I behave. I understand that while my spouse’s words and actions can have an impact on me, they don’t ultimately control me. I can choose to behave in a loving fashion.
Jesus said in Luke 6:27-29 that you are to love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. To bless those who curse you and to pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other to them also. Now, I know he wasn’t talking about your spouses in those verses, but Jesus’ model is love in the midst of negative circumstances for us. When he went to the cross, he was not controlled by the words and actions of others, and he made a deliberate choice to act with compassion and forgiveness in the midst of his trial and sufferings. So the next time you think about blaming your spouse, remember, I am my biggest marital problem.