Reality is a funny thing because everyone has their own slant on what reality is. Faulty information and our fallen nature skew perceptions. Therefore, in every situation we have a choice. Choosing to believe the best in our spouse and looking for the opportunity to extend God’s grace births His character in us.
Since The Fall of Man conflict occurs within every relationship along with the temptation to shift the blame.
Genesis 3:11-19 records the first episode. God asked Adam, “Where are you?” Adam replied, “I hid because I was naked.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam replied, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
There it is—the first shift of blame. Adam could have said, “Yep, I did it.” But instead points to Eve, “it is her fault.” Eve in turn blames the snake.
Like Adam and Eve, our natural tendency shifts the blame; but—shifting the blame won’t excuse consequences for wrongdoing; nor, will shifting the blame heal damaged relationships. Shifting the blame only produces more conflict.
So, how do we stop our natural tendency to shift the blame, here are few suggestions:
- Reach a middle ground of understanding. Don’t spend idle time trying to determine who’s right and who’s wrong. Start a new pattern of communication. In each conflict examine your actions; was there room for growth? Ask yourself, “Did I do everything possible to be a supportive spouse?” “Did I demonstrate unconditional love?” “At any point, did I allow my emotions to cause further division?” “Did I insist on being heard or did I listen for understanding?”
- Quit trying to point out faults in your spouse; instead, pray for God’s intervention. Ever think you need to be God’s mouthpiece? You’re not alone, but when we stop accusing our spouse, strangely, they become more receptive to change.
- Remind yourself, your spouse cannot meet your every need—only God can. Release your spouse from unfruitful and unrealistic expectations. Avoid the, “Well if he would then I would” or “IF she would ONLY…then I wouldn’t”. Remember, you are responsible for your actions.
- Fall head over heels in love with God. Let God be your provider. He is the only one who will never let you down.
- Entrust your spouse to God. God’s voice speaks louder and provides greater results than you could ever hope to.
Shifting the blame may be our natural inclination but never solves our conflicts. When we avoid playing the blame game; focus on your own life, allowing God to change you; and love your spouse without accusation. The results are amazing!