There is a show on television called, “Naked and Afraid.” We aren’t positive what the show is about, but from the ads that pop up on our television screen, it looks like “Survivor” without clothes. YIKES! Although most people might laugh at the “new” concept, the first married couple, Adam and Eve, were the original “Naked and Afraid” duo.
And, if we use a little imagination, Genesis 3:11-19 records the first episode of “Naked and Afraid” … It might subtitled … “Shifting the Blame.”
You know the story, right? God asked Adam, “Where are you?” and he replied, “I hid because I was naked.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” And Adam said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
There it is — the first shift of blame. Adam could have said, “Yep, I did it.” Instead he pointed to Eve. It was her fault, God. As soon as the Lord turned to the woman she said, “the serpent deceived me, so I ate.” The second shift of blame. No one wanted to take responsibility.
If we aren’t careful, we fall into the same trap as Adam and Eve. Marriage is vulnerable – we might feel naked and afraid like Adam and Eve. In other words, our spouse sees all our flaws and mistakes — there’s nowhere to hide! So, we have a choice. We can respond like Adam and Eve, and shift the blame at each other – or we can aim for a different outcome and be accountable for our own actions.
Accountability means we change the way we think. We focus on OUR OWN actions. We ask ourselves questions like, “What did I do to cause offense?” or “What part did I play that I can apologize for?” Instead of beginning sentences with an accusing “You never … ” we can begin them with a humble “I should have …” It takes practice, but it’s a step towards uniting rather than fighting, resolving rather than dissolving our marriage relationship.
This Week’s Thought:
Don’t shift the blame, take responsibility for your own actions.
This Week’s Scripture:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
This Week’s Application:
Think about the last place of contention with your spouse. What was your part? What could you have done differently? Did you take responsibility? Did you apologize? What can you learn from it?
This Week’s Prayer:
Father, help us to take responsibility for our own actions and mistakes, individually. Help us not to shift the blame, but to be accountable and rise above any tendencies of finger pointing. Unite our marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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