My Response is My Responsibility

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs, was such a wonderful book of clarity and insight for Samantha and I that I try and re-read it about once or twice a year. If we hit a rough spot in our marriage, I read it even more. (Let’s hope I only have to read it once this year.)

A quote I originally took issue with in Love and Respect was, “She doesn’t cause me to be the way I am, she REVEALS the way I am. If I react in an unloving way, then it reveals I still have issues going on inside me.”

I first hated that statement as I took a totally different approach to the realization that if she was this way, then I’d be that way. But what I quickly came to realize was, I was responsible for my reaction REGARDLESS of what came my way both in marriage and in life. I’m old enough now and have experienced enough pain to realize that my response is purely my responsibility.

It doesn’t mean that Samantha doesn’t need to make adjustments as well.

It doesn’t mean that Samantha is perfect and always responds the right way either.

It doesn’t mean that Samantha doesn’t have things she needs to work on too.

But at the end of the day friends, our response is our responsibility; and I am the foremost to realize I react wrongly all the stinkin time and I hate it. But I’ve learned through our whole ordeal to repent quickly, turn from it, learn from it, and do my very best (with the grace of God alongside me) to change.

The turning point for me came when I realized that regardless of what action Samantha took, my response was my responsibility and that until I could digest that and make it part of my approach to life and to marriage and offense, I was going to find myself more and more frustrated and unfulfilled.

I pray all of us cherish this truth and make it part of our approach to every meaningful relationship in life.

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