Wall-to-wall people made their way through the four-story building, their voices colliding to made a continuous loud hum. Wherever our family went, we were dodging people and strollers. No matter how loud we spoke to our children, they still struggled to hear us. It was a Saturday morning at our state’s largest children’s museum, and it was chaos. From the moment we had to park a few blocks away, we knew we were in for a day of dealing with crowds. We had intended to visit the week prior, on a weekday, but the flu hit our house, and our plans crumbled. A Saturday trip was the only time we could reschedule, and after driving two hours to get there, we knew we there was no turning around.
We started on the top floor and slowly made our way through every hands-on exhibit before venturing to the floor below. On the third floor, we found ourselves in a mock classroom as we studied about Ruby Bridges. My daughter and I had recently studied Ruby, and we both admire her greatly. It didn’t take long before the older children and I were engrossed in a roll playing game. My husband opted to follow Hezekiah around since his one-year-old interest was limited.
Ten minutes later, Jason walked in and said, “I can’t find Hezekiah.”
The children and I abruptly finish our game to search the crowds. Jason kept assuring me he couldn’t have left the area, but the more we looked, the less I believed him. I demanded that our four children hold hands with each other and sit on a bench. In tears, my son kept asking what if we never find him. Frustrated with our searching, my daughter said, “Can we just pray already?” While I had silently asked God to help me find him, I hadn’t gathered the children around and prayed as a family. That’s what we usually do when one of our kids disappears at a public place. Oh yes, we’ve been through this a couple of times before at Disney World and an aquarium: Jason searches for the missing child while the rest of us pray in a huddle. However, this time, it was our youngest and something about him not being able to talk or understand our family’s protocols of who-to-tell-when-you-can’t-find-your-family had me too frantic to stop searching and pray with my children.
After combing the entire floor with no luck, we enlisted the help of staff workers. After a while, they radioed that they had him two stories below at the security desk by the entrance of the museum. Anger quickly replaced my relief! Jason had one job, and that was to watch one child. I was successfully managing the other four. He had the easier job so how in the world could he have lost our son!? I falsely assumed he must have been looking at his phone or something irresponsible for Hezekiah’s escape to have happened. So, when Jason asked if I wanted to get him, I shot him a glare, pointed my finger, and in a less than friendly tone snapped, “You go get him.”
Ah, The Blame Game.
It felt good to verbalize my blame, but as Jason was retrieving our son, God chastised my attitude. “If Jason lost your son… you lost your son too.”
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” ~Genesis 3:8-13
The blame game has been around since the fall of man. Naturally engrained in our sin nature’s DNA, pride tells us it is our right to clear our name by finding fault in another. And while God’s correction wasn’t my favorite, it served as a humble reminder that Jason and I are a team. If something happens to one of us, by default, it happens to us both.
And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. ~Mark 10:8
Make no mistake; we aren’t responsible for our mate’s actions, but we either benefit or suffer depending on their choices. So often, I only appreciate the team-member analogy when it serves as an advantage for me. Financially Jason and I are a team, which works perfectly for me since he brings in an income and I do not. But I’m not so quick to remember that we are also on the same side when it comes to parenting. If he makes a decision for our family, I need to unite with him whether or not it is a choice I would have made myself (unless of course, it is unBiblical). I can’t pick and choose when I merge our lives together because Scripture is clear that we are united. If one of our children wanders off on Jason’s watch, it’s on my watch as well. Shouldering the load, instead of discarding any responsibility, gives me a more invested and purposeful perspective. Grace and camaraderie become the undercurrent of our marriage rather than the push and pull of his-and-hers and mine-or-yours.
If my husband and I are going to be one flesh, I must stop playing the blame game!
In what areas of your life do you find it easy to play the blame game with your husband?
**Clarification: Jason was not looking at his phone at the time Hezekiah wandered off. He was paying close attention to our son. Hezekiah dashed through a crowd in a narrow hallway and Jason was following him with our double wide stroller. He couldn’t navigate it through the pack of people, and in the thirty-seconds it took Jason to maneuver the stroller around, Hezekiah was cruising down the ramp heading to the floors below. Jason lingered in our area, continuing to look, because he didn’t think that in that short of time he would have escaped completely.