The Blame Game
"But he, willing to justify himself…."1
I have taught in workshops in the area of divorce recovery for a number of years. In my experience a large percentage of the divorced people I've worked with primarily blame their partner for the breakup of their marriage.
It seems that many of us, like the lawyer in today's scripture, are willing to justify ourselves. While there are always exceptions, it is rare that any one person is totally responsible for the failure of a marriage—or for a relational conflict. There are rarely any totally innocent parties. We all contribute something in some way.
For example, Tom complained bitterly how cold and distant Mary, his wife, was and that she was afraid to love. She may have been, but what Tom doesn't realize is that he was attracted to Mary because he, too, is afraid to love. He had been hurt in childhood and hadn't resolved his issues.
Shirley was attracted to Bob, an alcoholic, because she was a super co-dependent and needed someone to take care of in order for her to feel loved. It wasn't surprising to learn that her father was also an alcoholic. As the old saying goes, "Better the devil you know than the one you don't know."
It may not be easy to accept but the fact is that we can tell a lot about ourselves by the people we are attracted to. This is especially true in romantic relationships.
I grew up taking care of my mother, my younger sisters, and the family home. So what kind of persons do you think I was attracted to? You're right. They were people who needed to be taken care of. I could see the "holes in their head" but couldn't see the meshing "bumps on my head."
I had a lot of growing to do … still do … but as I have grown, I have been attracted or drawn to much healthier friends.
Only as we stop justifying ourselves and take a long, honest look at ourselves and resolve OUR problems, do we ever have any hope of wholesome relationships.
Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be honest with myself, others, and with you. Help me to see my character flaws that may be adversely affecting my relationships. Help me to stop justifying myself and lead me to the help I need to overcome my faults. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 10:29