The blame game was originated by Adam in the Garden many years ago as he blamed Eve for his choice to sin. Eve in turn continued the game by blaming the serpent. Throughout the history of mankind this game has continued.
Today it is often found in the popular motto: It’s not my fault. Commercials use this ploy in an attempt to reassure listeners they are not to blame for whatever ills them, whether that is being in debt, overweight, or the like.
When we blame others or claim a situation is not our fault, we get to pass the responsibility for the situation on to someone or something other than ourselves. This helps us to feel less guilt and shame for being in an undesirable situation. The problem is that when we deny our personal responsibility we also rob ourselves of freedom and hope. We then seem stuck in our situation, feeling hopeless and powerless to make a difference.
To be sure, there are many things in life we do not have a choice about. For instance, as Chris Rice sings in The Face of Christ, we did not choose the day we would be born, the color of our skin, or what planet we would be on. At the same time, we still have both the freedom and the responsibility to choose how we will respond to the time and place given to us, our lot in life.
As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl states, “Facts are not fate. What matters is the stand we take toward them.” (as quoted in The Will to Meaning). He goes on to show that our freedom is not from the conditions of life, but rather freedom in the posture we take toward whatever conditions we might face.
In marriage, we are faced with many unchangeable facts and conditions that will influence the nature of our bond. For example, we cannot change the historical facts of our childhood, previous romantic relationships, or sexual experiences. Likewise, the conditions of our personality traits and economic status also tend to be pretty stable over the years.
Instead of spending energy blaming our parents, our past, or our partner, we can take responsibility for how we respond today to the difficulties we face in life.
Sometimes this calls for a change in our behavior, and many times it calls for a change in our perspective. Certainly we should work to avoid all the painful and unpleasant situations of life and marriage when we can. However, when these things cannot be avoided our challenge is to accept them as we seek to discover God’s perspective on the situation.
As Frankl states, “something which seems to be impossible in a lower dimension, is perfectly possible in a higher one.”
Said another way, what seems impossible from our perspective is perfectly possible from God’s.