“I remember the day I was honest with myself about who I was and how I wanted to be treated. It was difficult looking at myself because my brokenness forced me to recollect who I knew myself to be as a little girl as opposed to the person I had become.
I had seriously gone off course from the plans I’d had. I was losing myself, and I felt like a failure. I did not know how to approach God about where I was emotionally or physically. Being a somewhat converted perfectionist, I held myself to high standards. I felt like I had failed God and myself because of some decisions I had made earlier on.
So on that particular day I couldn’t take the heartbreak and disappointment anymore. I found a quiet place, and I spent time honestly talking to God. I told no more lies. I held no more pretense. To show God that I was serious, I pulled out the heavy combo of prayer and fasting. Some situations don’t budge until we make a sacrifice such as this (Matthew 17:14-21 KJV).
As I faced myself, I cried hysterically. I was praying, but I was also having a pity party, and right in the middle of that, God stopped me in my tracks with a visual aid. The scenes tracked my life from the point that things went wrong until that present moment. That movie showed that I was partly culpable for where I was in my life. It was hard to see and to admit, but it was the truth.
The truth set me free that day. I could contact the person I was blaming for my state of affairs and claim responsibility for my part in the breakdown of our relationship. That truth caused a weight to fall off my shoulders, and I could move on to the next discovery that would shed more light on the path I should take next.” (Excerpt from A Helper Suitable: Becoming that Good Thing Every Man Needs, pg 22)
Sometimes it is difficult to acknowledge our wrong, but offenses are a natural occurrence in any relationship. It is how you handle the aftermath of those offensive situations that make the difference. Blame-casting is as natural as breathing since the first man and woman instituted the practice. However, amicable resolution, especially in the case of a couple, would require both persons to ask themselves, what did they do or say to contribute to the issues that they are grappling with. Even ‘doing nothing’ sometimes qualifies as a contributing factor to the issue at hand.
Since relationships are generally not conducted in isolation, there will be bystanders, cheerleaders, and ‘pundits’ on the sidelines. Sometimes we are swayed by what these persons say, think or feel. But regardless of people’s thoughts or emotions, a couple will walk into their life together, close the proverbial door and shut the world out. What really matters at the end of the day is what transpires between them, how they think and feel about the issue and how they move forward.
It all comes down to being honest with oneself and one another, each person taking responsibility for the health of the relationship. Both parties must evaluate themselves against, especially, the Biblical standards of love (1 Corinthians 13) and healthy relationship (Ephesians 5) and make the necessary changes. Each person must carry their weight or the ship will sink. And the scripture reference that comes to mind is found in Matthew 7:3, 5 KJV, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
In relationships, especially marital ones, we have to be careful when we throw stones. They can only boomerang and sometimes cause irreparable damage to the whole, because one plus one, equals one.
PS. The scripture references cited in the text are just a few examples. There are many more to be found in the Word.