Confronting Our Sin and Wrestling with Responsibility

by |


here we were in the middle of one of the biggest fights we had had in a long time. Tensions were rising. Hurtful words were said. And I was desperately clutching to my pride. I feel things incredibly deeply… I think more deeply than most people. So when I begin to go down this road, resentment and bitterness set in quickly. And the longer I stay in this space, the longer it takes to step away from my judgemental, self-entitled attitude.

In the middle of these times, I feel so justified in my anger and my innocence. My pride makes it difficult for me to accept responsibility for where I have been wrong. My brain begins functioning one-dimensionally, only being able to see MY side and how I was wronged. I can completely lose sight of my marriage and my husband. I fight for myself rather than for unity or my marriage.

It can be so easy to focus on where our spouse isn’t measuring up. And this can be a mindset that we cling to out of pride. It’s also much easier to focus on where they’re wrong, rather than confronting our own sin. If we aren’t vigilant, this perspective can filter into the fibers of our marriages, breeding a permanent characteristic of self-centeredness. While it may be easier to focus on their sin and where they aren’t contributing, this is destructive to a marriage.

We all have sin and struggles that we need to work through. And that’s okay. With that being said, we do have a responsibility to work on our individual mess so that we can be the best husband or wife that we can be.

But how do we do that?

  • Remember that the enemy wants to keep your focus on your spouse’s inadequacies
  • We have said this over and over, but it is such an important concept to grasp. Your spouse is NOT your enemy. The enemy is the devil, and the perspective needs to be both of you, as a team, against him. He wants your marriage to fail. If he can keep you clinging to your pride, and if he can keep you in the blame game, he can render you ineffective and then his job is complete. Don’t allow the enemy to win here. Assume responsibility, humble yourself, and fight for your marriage rather than yourself.

  • Know that, ultimately, we are only in charge of ourselves
  • “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” – Matthew 7:3

    While there may very well need to be boundaries set or sin addressed, we are still only in charge of ourselves. We can’t force our spouse to act the way we think they should. Your job isn’t to be their Holy Spirit. That’s God’s job. Our job is to confess with our heart and our words where we have sinned against our spouse. We need to take responsibility and be above board as far as it depends on us. This isn’t easy and can go against the very nature of our desires, but this is what leads to healing and reconciliation.

    “While pride will be met with bitterness and division, humility will be met with reconciliation and redemption.”

    Share Tweet

  • Ask the hard questions
  • We need to ask ourselves where WE are wrong, where WE might have unfair expectations, where WE are taking something out on our spouse, or where WE might be triggered by past experiences. Not only do we need to ask the hard questions, but we need to accept the convicting answers. Asking the hard questions about where we are wrong (and where we can grow) brings self-awareness. Being actively aware of our struggles and our sin will help us to clothe ourselves with a gentle and humble spirit.

  • Seek and Submit
  • It has been said that Jesus is the answer to a fulfilling, lifelong marriage, but what does that actually mean? Jesus being the answer doesn’t mean attending church, the act of going to bible study, or using “Christian” phrases. While those are all good things, doing the “right” thing or being perceived as doing the “right” thing isn’t following Jesus. Honestly, when we just put up appearances to look like we have it all together, we keep Jesus at arm’s length. We don’t need to be afraid of rejection with God; we are fully known and fully loved with our mess and our baggage. He wants to be in the thick of the struggle with us. He wants to meet us in the fullness of our pain and our hurt.

    Keeping Him at the center means fully investing our heart into who Jesus is and completely submitting to His will. When we cling to His grace and provision, fully entrusting our life to Him, He will shape us to be more like Him and more into the husband or wife He calls us to be.

    Keeping Him at the center also means doing so now, not when we have ourselves together and we’ve fixed everything wrong with us. It’s not about being perfect when we approach Him, but rather approaching Him so that He can make us more like Himself.

  • Fiercely Fight God’s way
  • While pride will be met with bitterness and division, humility will be met with reconciliation and redemption.

The question really comes down to whether you trust God and His way of doing marriage? Are you ready for a beautiful marriage done God’s way? I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

We all need to self-assess and be aware of where our issues and struggles might be negatively impacting our marriage. If you want to find strategic steps you can take to become your best self so that you can be the best husband or wife for your marriage, join us in Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson experience designed to help you set your marriage on a solid biblical foundation.

Is there a place in your marriage where you need to put your pride in check and assume responsibility?

Want to dig deeper?

Check out Radiant Marriage Academy, our free 16-lesson course!


(Fully free. No catch.)

adam & Jess

Hi, we’re Adam & Jess--we’re so glad you’re here!

Our marriage got off to a rocky start in 2014 and quickly escalated into a full-out crisis. God healed us, and now we're inviting you to walk with us as we all journey toward healthier marriages together!

7 Days to an Awesome Marriage

Check out our free eBook and connect with your spouse!

7 Days to a More Intimate Marriage

Follow Us

Treasuring the Tiny Moments

The goal for the day was simple...Get food for dinner and prepare a delicious meal for our friends who were coming over (while still social distancing). I had gone to the store and had everything that I needed...except for the fish. I was planning on making fish with...

Choosing Your Spouse Over Your Checklist

We published an image of a quote on our social media not too long ago, and it struck me in just how profound it is. The quote, by D.L. Moody, is this: “If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his...

How to Love Your Spouse Through Their Rough Day

There I was in my car in the garage processing through the events of my day. You know those days where everything just seems to go wrong? This was that day. From dropping a smoothie onto the floor in the morning to having a rough interaction with a friend to work...

7 Game-Changer Questions to Fight Disconnection in Your Marriage

Have you ever gotten to a place in your marriage where you felt completely disconnected from your spouse...and didn't have a clue how you got there? In these times, it can be so easy to ignore the problem and become apathetic. In the moment, ignoring things seems like...

10 At-Home Activities to Do as a Couple

Let’s be honest. The past few weeks have been a bit insane. Have you been going a bit stir crazy? Have you craved being with your friends or family? Do you miss hugs? Are you finding yourself losing track of days and time? Us too. In the midst of being under “shelter...

4 Ways to Take Charge of Anxiety

Army. Green. Couch. Can you picture it? Now hold onto that image and I’ll come back to it. If you have read my posts for any length of time, you know that I struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized how much I can fixate on things…...

Faith in the Midst of Uncertainty

I t was dinner time when we found out that Washington had issued a “shelter in place” mandate. While we live in Idaho, Adam works in Washington. And Washington was the first of the two to issue the mandate. Like many of you who have these state rules right now, we...

7 Ways to Grow Your Marriage During COVID

This last week has been insane. I feel like I woke up on Friday last week and the world had started to end. Grocery stores were being emptied, in-person church services had been canceled, schools were closed, and my graduate program was put on hold...and I couldn’t...

Abandoned, Alone, and Afraid

Abandoned, alone, and afraid. These three words have been the theme of my feelings over the last month or so. We're in this weird stage of life where so much about our current situation feels unsettled and nothing is secure. Our finances, not having a home base, our...

Building Momentum in Your Marriage

Having a great marriage isn’t based on one moment, one action, or one success, but rather a pattern of right actions (and corrected wrong actions) over time. This may seem obvious--doing the right thing is commonly best practice--but the effects are less obvious. It’s...

Want to build an awesome marriage?

Get started with Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson online course to help you build an awesome marriage.

The best part? Thanks to our patrons, it's completely FREE. No credit card. No upsell. No catch. Just great, free marriage tools to help you make your marriage awesome.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest