Avoiding the Blame Game


God's Spirit comes to train us in His way—the way of giving, accept­ing, and loving our spouse as He Himself has given to us, accepted us, and loved us.

If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed  by one another! Galatians 5:15

Many couples pressure each other by playing what we can rightly call the "blame game." It goes something like this: "I wouldn't be so critical if you'd quit watching so much TV," followed by, "I wouldn't watch so much TV if you'd be more affectionate."

In this destructive "game," each spouse pres­sures the other to act in certain ways. For example, wives pressure their husbands to "do" more around the house, and husbands pressure their wives to be more receptive sexually.

Marriage and family life suffer dramatically from the pressure to perform. This pressure often comes when emotional or relational needs are unmet within the marriage. When this happens, affection is withheld and emotional distancing takes place. Demanding, controlling, and taking soon replace grateful giving. Love becomes condi­tional, and the marriage is robbed of God's intended abundance.

This is a common marital problem, and many couples need to be trained not to resort to that kind of pressure within their marriage.

We often ask couples in our conferences, "How many of you, when you stood at the altar to get married, had actually ever seen an example of the intimate, abundant marriage you longed for?" Sadly, most who respond report that they had never seen a marriage like that. For these people, marriage can be a little like the blind leading the blind to a destina­tion they've never seen. No wonder there's so much strife and pain in so many marriages!

God's Spirit comes to train us in His way—the way of giving, accept­ing, and loving our spouses as He Himself has given to us, accepted us, and loved us.

Now doesn't that sound a lot more fulfilling than a marriage in which both people constantly pressure one another to perform?

In what areas do you and your spouse pressure one another to perform? How can you change this pattern?

We’re grateful, Father, that You’ve given us instruction for our marriage.

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