It’s one thing to write a blog and pretend you’re anonymous; it’s another thing to have your 34 rear old daughter call you and ask if you are a recovering sex addict.  I admit to being somewhat defensive when asked this, and said, “Yes; I’m messed up and that is why I need God so much!”   I later realized I violated a personal rule and let her fill in what she thought was a sex addict.  I later explained to her that I believed sex is used as one of the most intimate expressions of love and that in the past I did not use it that way.  She replied, “Okay, I was confused.”

I believe that pride and it’s dark twin, shame are the main reasons we resist getting help with things in our life that have become big problems.  The first step in 12 Step Recovery is, “We admitted we were powerless over ________, that our lives had become unmanageable.”  I recognize the 12 Steps as spiritual principals, so when my life becomes unmanageable, I turn to them for solutions.  The second step has promise.  “Came to believe that a Power greater than us could restore us to sanity.”  I like that.  My greater power is God, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

The Love Dare reading for the day starts out saying that today will be hard.  I’ve been thinking that facing all my failings throughout this whole book has been hard!  The lesson is on taking personal responsibility, acknowledging our own mistakes.  I have referred to applying the principals in this book as taking an “honest and fearless moral inventory”.  (Step 4)  Pride needs to take the backseat in this endeavor.   Shame is like a reverse pride, we say that we are so bad that we are unforgiveable.  That’s not what the message of the cross says.

We are not to pass blame on our spouse for our own mistakes.  “When love takes responsibility for its actions, it’s not to prove how noble you’ve been but rather to admit how much further you have to go.”  “Love doesn’t make excuses.  Love keeps working to make a difference—in you and your marriage.”   I ask myself, how many times when I was in an argument with my wife, did I stop and think if what she was saying had any merit.  Usually I came back with some counter blame or excuse.

The responsibility to take a look at our own faults and admit our errors, is also addressed in Step 10, some refer to it as the maintenance step.  “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”  I think being responsible to your spouse demands an awareness of our selfishness and admit we are wrong immediately.

“Are you taking responsibility for this person you chose for yourself as the love of your life?  How deliberate are you about making sure your spouse’s needs are met?  … Love calls us to take responsibility for our partner in marriage.  To love them.  To honor them.  To cherish them.” (The Love Dare)

I asked myself how long I was going to have to tear into my faults and feel bad about what I discover.  An answer seemed to come to me, “as long as it takes for you to get it!”  Pride resists admitting weaknesses and mistakes.  We are to be humble before God and our spouse.  The Love Dare says this is crucial for a healthy relationship, with God and our spouse.

The good news in this is that the Bible promises, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1.9)  We need to make sure we are on solid ground with God first and foremost.    We are to seek forgiveness from our spouse, no matter how they respond.  The problem is we must swallow our pride and be sincere.  They “should” forgive us but that is not our responsibility.  Admitting my mistakes is my responsibility.

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