Sue and I do marriage rebuilders. We facilitate a small group, share our story of brokenness and reconciliation and pray that God works through us as we do our best to make the group a safe place for others to tell their stories. We hope that as we try to create an environment of grace and mercy that as others tell their stories and overcome the shame of their past that Gods truth is revealed in the process and that eventually people grow and change! The ministry also gives couples communication tools that many people are often lacking relationally.
In this ministry, we have heard and seen phenomenal stories of change. We have also seen half-hearted attempts to change, grow and reconcile marriages.
What is the difference in the two groups of people? One of the turning points in the reconciliation process is when both sides take responsibility for “their part” of what is broken in their relationship. They have spent too much time shaming and blaming the other person or maybe more subtly minimize their part and maximize their spouses part of the problem in their marriage. Like I said in the last post, we have seen many reconciled marriages when each partner has taken responsibility for their part. The Gospel (The Good News of Jesus Christ) tells us that we (ALL humans, Christian and non Christian) are ALL broken and we ALL require a savior. However, since the original sin of Adam and Eve we have all engaged in the shame and blame game. The blame and shame game does 2 things: (1) it minimizes how greatly I need a savior, and (2) It prevents me from taking responsibility for what I did in the breakdown of a relationship.
I was reminded of this recently, as I shared some e-mails with a friend. If we could ever break the shame and blame game, then we can go maybe deeper and maybe root out the deeper issues and problems of the heart.
Until then, the way I see it, we will just keep revisiting the same problems and hurt feelings of the past.
Thats my .02c worth on this topic!