Of Love and Scapegoats
"Well...yes. Doesn't there?" I cast around for excuses, reasons why there must be a scapegoat, but found none.
I was twenty-one; the mother of a baby boy, the wife of a minister. And the pressure was getting to me. Rather, I was letting it creep in and get a nice, solid grip.
Exhausted from lack of sleep, and mentally handicapped from the same, I had been pushing and poking at my husband daily, sending him to the edge and beyond.
He was gone too much.
I couldn't be expected to be at every single teen event. Didn't he understand I had a baby to care for?
Money was tight. I had no clue how to manage it well, and my guilt over that fact was just another reason to be angry.
Day after day had ended in deblilitating arguments, followed by angry silence, and now, eight simple words phrased into a question had finally stopped me in my tracks.
Does there have to be someone to blame?
Well, yes, and anyone but me, Lord! I work the hardest, sleep the least, and suffer the most, don't I? So if I am not to blame, that leaves him!
I looked into my husband's eyes and saw the hurt and confusion there, and I despised myself. I saw instantly that my own guilt for holding him back, not supporting him with my presence, and managing our money unwisely had translated into the blame game. And he was the easiest target. (Well, he is really tall.)
It was a turning point. I had always believed that in order to truly resolve a problem, the person to blame must be sought out. They must apologize and make things right. In that moment, however, I realized that when there is no blame, a resolution is reached so much quicker!
His words really, really pierced. And you know what? I'm still amazed that they penetrated! I speak so quickly, especially when angry, that one can hardly get a word in edgewise, much less say anything I really hear. With my heart.
I am confident that God had His hand working in that moment. For as quickly as I saw the truth, I moved to my husband and looked into his eyes, asking for forgiveness.
"No. There doesn't. We're a team, babe. How can we fix this together?"
Oh, thank God, thank God He does not take the time to make me a scapegoat every time I fail. It would be so easy, too, because if it's a choice between me and God, He's going to get off scot-free every time. As it should be.
How can I do any less for my husband? And everyone else in this world?
Thank God for grace that is lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Lavished.
[Love]...is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:5-7)
I purpose to be lavish with my grace as well. Join me.