One thing I think we should all agree on is that we are better in the context of community. We are created for it. (If you agree, tweet that)
So let me ask you, have you ever sat through a conversation with a friend, where they wouldn’t stop complaining or criticizing someone else? I mean at first you’re kind of like, oh wow, yeah, you’re right, but then after things continue on this way over and over again, you start to realize that there is really only one common denominator in these conversations.
Of course you have, we all have.
Part of me laughs now when I think about it, but I can remember this one time when the person doing all the talking was me. I remember nurturing so much rage and anger, and feeling completely justified in my criticisms. I just couldn’t believe I was being treated the way I felt I was being treated.
And then it happened — the proverbial egg in the face.
It wasn’t more than a few seconds after my regurgitation of nonsense, my tirade of self-righteousness, when I drove our brand new Nissan Quest across a brick enclosed keyless entry box at my parents gated community, completely scratching and denting the entire side door, and rear quarter panel. Yeah. Not so awesome of me at all. Thousands of dollars in damage. The van wasn’t more than 3 days old. (at least to us)
And I’m sure you can imagine, since I’m telling you this story, the object of course was Mary, my wife and her driving.
Let me just go ahead and put it out there, I’m an idiot. And a very stubborn one at that.
The title “It’s You, Not Me!” is not just a creative attempt to grab your attention, I have actually on more than one occasion, voiced those words out loud.
For years they robbed and stole from me, leaving for me dead.
But here’s where everything began to change.
At some point in time, by grace alone, I suppose, I realized that until God possessed all my adoration, until He became my everything, I would always be complaining that Mary doesn’t love me well enough, or respect me well enough, or support me well enough. My stubbornness gave way to the reality that what was really being presented to me in my marriage was a mirror.
Every little nuance, every little frustration, every little hiccup that I took on as offense or mistreatment, was actually presenting me with an opportunity to see what was really going on inside of me.
The problem wasn’t ever Mary or what she did do or didn’t do, say or didn’t say.
The problem was ME!
Isn’t that true for you as well?
Don’t we all sometimes get so wrapped up in thinking that the problem lies with someone or something else, that we miss out on the biggest, most obvious truth of all? How is it that we can even recognize that problem or character flaw in the first place if in fact it doesn’t originate inside of us?
That’s the secret behind our judgements, by the way. They will always reveal more about us, than they do anyone or anything else.
This of course doesn’t mean that there isn’t truth to seeing faults in our spouses, but I love how Tim Keller puts it. In his book The Meaning of Marriage he says,
Now the temptation for me, honestly, is to try to come across as though I have it all figured out. I think that’s all our tendencies at times. It’s hard to lead with weakness and brokenness first. It’s even harder to acknowledge that we have them, never mind confessing them. I guess that’s why we’re commanded to confess them to one another so that we can be healed (James 5:16).
But to be a man who loves and serves well, requires that I do just that, confess them.
Does that mean, I’ve arrived, or gotten perfect at this? Not at all. But I can tell you with confidence that you’ll never hear the words, it’s you, not me, ever again!
So that’s the point of these series of posts about mistakes. Not to boast about them or shine the light on them at all, but to say to all of us hey, if you’re willing, if you’d consider some wisdom, this is a warning sign. It’s a signpost saying DEAD END, do not pass, you’ll only experience death, destruction, and heartache.
The truth is nothing in life will change if we’re not willing to own what we need to own in any relationship or context. (you can tweet that too)
Doing so is the equivalent of bridge building or delivering life saving medicine that heals and soothes our souls.
What’s one of your stories of something that you’ve needed to own in your life or marriage?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Trackback from your site.