I really appreciate Matt’s voice, his wisdom over at “Must Be This Tall to Ride.” He wrote a post called “I FIGURED OUT WHO TO BLAME FOR MY DIVORCE” Really well said and well written.
But ouch! Accountability can be really hard, taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our circumstances. I myself have totally hated it when I have been miserable and God has flat-out said, “oh yes, you have totally done that to your own self and here is why.” It’s a bit like being a fox and trying to chew your own foot out of a trap.
Conversely however, personal responsibility can be very empowering, as in “so if I change these particular behaviors I will begin to get different results?” I’m laughing here because that sounds so obvious, so simplistic, and yet I’ve had to learn the truth of it over and over again.
I wanted to spin-off of that idea a bit, and go into men and women, marriage, this dance that often plagues us. Our culture has shifted, roles between men and women have changed, and there is a lot of confusion out there. Often the dynamic I see is men wanting more responsibility and women feeling overburdened and wanting less.
Than we proceed to do the precise opposite of what we truly want….
It’s somewhat maddening because if one desires more authority, more responsibility, more control, then one simply must pick up more blame, also known as more accountability. Men however, at least many men these days, tend to be allergic to “blame,” perhaps equating it to shame. I wish I could erase that blame/shame dichotomy and replace it with the word “power.” Accountability is really power, control, authority, the healthy, positive manifestations of those words.
Conversely however, we have women feeling over burdened, picking up responsibility for absolutely everything, 75% of what isn’t even ours to pick up in the first place. I spoke to a girl yesterday over burdened, working full-time, being a mom, and going to zumba classes 3 nights a week. She was totally resentful of her “irresponsible husband who just does nothing, absolutely nothing.” First off I was thinking, with your schedule some 95% of us are going to appear irresponsible to you, and a deep disappointment. Epic failures as human beings….actually I was getting a complex just speaking with her….
But my second thought was, where exactly do you expect your hubby to step in? Your whole life is plotted out so stringently, there is no room for him to step in at all. You’ve got the whole deal so sewn up, finances, work, family. In order to make room for hubby, you simply have to relinquish some control. He cannot possibly pick up what you insist on snatching from his hand.
You have to relinquish control and then let go of the results. That is no easy task, especially if you are trying to run a household. Odds are what you let go of is not going to be handled in the same way you would handle it.
So this is where surrender to Jesus Christ can be so helpful, the entire idea of submission so valuable. Set it down, let it go, relinquish that need for complete control and let Him search your heart for what ails you. If you are feeling overburdened, what are you carrying that is not yours to carry?
Often the things we are complaining about in others, the things we are blaming other people for, are the things we have not addressed in ourselves. There can be an instant knee jerk reaction that goes not my fault, and that’s always a red flag, an emotional response to something that is going on here that really is your “fault.” What exactly that is, is the real clincher, but something there is feeling defensive.
When I was younger, I used to get resentful towards hubby, I was doing absolutely everything, and thinking about things too, and carrying all the emotional weight of our entire marriage…..and on and on. He was just like, enjoying himself. The solution was simple, set some of that luggage down and surrender.
Both men and women can get into the blame game, we can both avoid personal accountability, but what I often see in the world is men feeling pushed aside and women feeling over burdened. Women have a tendancy to pick up blame for absolutely everything……except that which we are truly accountable for. It is like carrying everybody’s luggage but our own. Men have a tendancy to just recoil, as if to say that’s is so not my luggage….
It’s a toxic combination because there we are standing in the baggage claim area arguing and getting divorced.