Anyone who grew up in the 90s can likely attest to the concentrated exposure to rhetoric regarding rights. Issues ranging from the Rodney King incident to the Michigan State student riot were all that could be heard in the media and music of the day. Like many others, I rallied behind the voices and felt proud to spout what little “knowledge” I’d picked up from these sources. However, as I reflect on those days of old, I cannot recall much mention of responsibility. Ironically, it is responsibility that holds communities or cities together when rights are trampled.
Ok…brace yourself; I’m coming out of left field.
What are you focused on in your marriage…your rights or responsibilities? Tempers flared and emotions sat on edge during the 90s because rights were being disregarded. This led to unrest and violence that destroyed communities, cities, and some would argue our nation. Is your marriage living in the “90s?” Are you so caught up in the fight for your rights that you have neglected your responsibilities?
The truth is, as Christians, we have no rights. That’s right, we are slaves to Christ (1 Cor 7:22b, Eph 6:6).
Now I know that’s deep, so I’ll keep it on a more practical level. When the Bible speaks of forgiveness, it’s done in terms of our responsibility (Matt 18:21). Restoring someone who falls…our responsibility (Gal 6:1). Relationships…our responsibility (Prov 18:24). How to treat our spouses…our responsibility (Eph 5, 1 Pet 3). And here’s the kicker – how to treat our enemies…I think you get the point (Matt 5:44).
Marriages (or anything else for that matter) can seldom survive when partners are focused on fighting for their individual rights. Those that do are left tattered and burned like the communities and cities I spoke of earlier. And while it’s true in most cases that survival is better than death, the negative effects can last for generations (just look at Detroit).
So who’s willing to lay down their rights… and take responsibility? #tilDeath
*unable to find photo credit