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                 Accountability in Marriage

More than 40 percent of marriages end up in divorce. Do you know why? Because many people want to get married just to make them happy, and when they're not happy, they just seek divorce.

But you just don't walk away from a marriage, just like you throw away a dress that no longer fits you. As yourself the following questions:

·Is marriage like a dress that you throw away when it no longer fits you?

·If you find that your body has outgrown the dress, can you slim down so that you can fit into the dress again, or can you have it altered so that it can fit into you once again?

·Is getting a new dress easier than fixing the body or altering the dress?

·If life is all about changes, then so is marriage. Can you adapt yourself to these changes to make it even more challenging and interesting, instead of taking a totally different pathway?

The reality

You don’t just walk away from a marriage because you don’t like it anymore. A marriage is a lifetime commitment for thick and thin, for better and for worse.

Both you and your marriage partner have accountability to each other. More specifically, throughout the marriage, both you and your marriage partner have the accountability to what, how, and why those things --  positive or negative, happy or unhappy -- have happened to your marriage.

So, what exactly is "accountability"?

Accountability is the responsibility of an individual for the thinking and the decision, as well as the action or the inaction, of that individual, regardless of the circumstances. The accountability can be mental, physical, and spiritual.

A simple illustration

You were one of the last two persons at a bar. You were sitting close to each other. The person finished his drink and left the bar, leaving some cash for the bartender, who, at that moment, was away with your credit card. You grabbed the tip left on the table by the man who’d just left, and then placed it toward you. The bartender returned with your credit card, looked at the money right in front of you, and said: “Thank you.”

Did you do anything wrong?

If you’d intended not to give the bartender any tip anyway, what you did had not changed the scenario-the bartender would have said: “Thank you” with or without your tip, and she’d have received the same amount of tip.

What’s important in that hypothetical illustration is the accountability.

The reality of one minor misbehavior with no accountability will often lead to many more serious ones with no accountability.

The “no-accountability“ mindset

Many people have developed their own “no accountability” mindset just based on their own rationalization and justification of their behaviors. They simply have no accountability to the law and order, to the police, to the Church, and even to God.

For example, the laws are made to be broken because some of the lawmakers themselves don’t comply or even obey the law they’ve created. That explains the prevalence of crimes committed in society.

For example, the police aren’t to be obeyed, because the police are corrupt, and often racially biased.

For example, the Church isn’t to be trusted because there’re so many sexual scandals among priests. So, pastors and priests aren’t to be trusted and accountable to.

For example, God is neither fair nor just: there’s so much discrepancy between the abundant and the lack; between the good who suffer and the bad who prosper and are blessed. So, why should there be accountability to God?

The thinking mind: “I’m not the only one with no accountability; I’m just one of the many. So, what’s wrong with that?”

Am illustration of accountability and no accountability

Jeffrey Dahmer was a cannibal and a serial killer in Ohio. He was notorious and widely reported in the media because he was a good-looking young man who killed 17 young men, dismembered their bodies, and even ate parts of their victims between 1978 and 1991.

Dahmer came from a family with many marriage problems, and his mother was even depressed and suicidal.

Soon after graduating from high school, Dahmer killed his first victim, who was a hitchhiker. With no accountability, Dahmer began his killing spree of strangers he met on the street. He lured them into his home, locked them up, abused and then killed them. Due to the fact, that he wasn’t connected to all his victims, Dahmer could get away with murders until his last potential victim got away from his home and reported to the police.

When the police found the organs and remains of some of his victims in the freezer of his refrigerator, Dahmer then confessed to the police all the violent crimes he had previously committed to the 17 victims.

Dahmer admitted to reporters that he killed all his victims not because he hated them, but because he had experienced “no accountability” for all the evils and crimes he’d committed.

Dahmer was finally convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

In prison, Dahmer received a Bible, and he began his sessions with a prison minister. He was then awakened to his own accountability to God. He wanted his baptism of forgiveness from God, but he was afraid that the minster wouldn’t baptize him because of his past evils, or that the prison wouldn’t let it happen due to his scandalous notoriety.

In 1992, Dahmer was eventually baptized in prison. But some Christians worldwide reacted negatively, with comments such as: “If Dahmer were in heaven, I wouldn’t like to go to heaven to meet him with Jesus.” Many such comments and reactions only attested to their own “no accountability” to what the Bible says about “Thou shalt not judge” as well as forgiveness and repentance.

Soon, Dahmer began to be attacked physically by inmates because of his infamous serial killing. Instead of seeking isolation and protection in prison, Dahmer was looking forward to his own anticipated death as his own “accountability to God” for all the evils that he’d done in the past.

In 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death by two prison inmates while he was cleaning the prison bathroom. 

Accountability in marriage

Marriage is a long journey of two loving individuals, involving many things they do to each other as well as to other people around-these actions and inactions all involve accountability, without which they’ll not be living in reality, but only in fancy and fantasy. Having “no accountability” is the major reason why marriages fail and end in divorce.

Making a Living

Marriage can’t survive without some sort of lifeline: resources for everyday life and living. Living in this material world, you need some sort of income to pay your rent, to put food on the table, and to make both ends meet. That’s the reality.

If you’re a believer, you were created by God with some gifts for a specific life purpose in the world He created. If you’re a non-believer, you were born with some genes from your parents.

If you’re a believer, one of your life instructions is to discover your own gifts and talents no matter how small or insignificant they may be:

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12: 5-6)

So, your gifts and talents are already there, but you just have to find them, and use them to make a living. Without finding your own calling in life, you‘ll never know what your life is all about, not to mention your marriage. As a result, you just drift along every day, and continue to live a purposeless life.

Being and doing

Living in reality is about two things: “being” and “dong.”

“Being” is about who you think you are: your self-beliefs, your life passions, and your money values.

Do you have the self-belief of your own inadequacy and incompetence? If yes, you’ve only two options: changing your pre-conceived mindset; or accepting who you really are and all the consequences of being who you’re meant to be.

The first option means that you must now change yourself, no matter what, Life is all about changes and getting wisdom from those changes. Without changes, nothing can be or will be done.

The second option means that you’re willing to do a low-pay job. Of course, there might be a third option: turning to illegal means to earn a living, such as drug trafficking, burglarizing, or even robbing a bank-but the third option is living with no a

What do you think you can do in the rest of your life? And how are you going to make a living?

“Doing” is about making decisions and taking appropriate actions to earn your living, while manifesting and validating your true “being.”

Do you have an education or professional skills to enable you to earn a living? If you want to become a professional with a high-paying job, then you must learn and acquire those skills and expertise, backed by related training to become an expert of the profession of your choice. Are you prepared to do that?

So, are you prepared to discover your “being” and pursue your “doing” to make a living in your married life? Not doing anything is sloth, which is one of the Seven Deadly Sins-and you may end up cheating, stealing, robbing, and drug-trafficking, with no accountability whatsoever.

The reality

Irrespective of your abundance or lack, you still need your “doing” to define your “being.” Even though you may have inherited great wealth from your parents to meet all your daily needs, you still need the “doing” to make your marriage life meaningful, other than just “enjoying” your marriage with your marriage partner. Remember, any enjoyment without a purpose won’t last.

Also, don’t let your “doing” become a distraction from your marriage. That is, “over-doing” can be as bad as “under-doing” or even “non-doing.”

The bottom line: You’ve the accountability to be “doing” something every day to define your “being” to bring meaning to your marriage.

"Making a Living" is only one of the aspects in your marriage that you must show your "accountability" in order to save your marriage. Other aspects include: "Pursuing a Career", "Dealing with Money", "Nurturing Intimacy", "Raising Children" and "Avoiding Adultery." To find out more about the role of your accountability, read the book Getting Married to Make You Happy? Click here to get your copy.
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