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In spite of this triumph, however, on November 23, 1999, Gabrielle took her last breath on Earth and went home to be with Jesus. She will be alive in heaven forever--and we will see her again when our time comes!

We fought hard, we battled long, we agreed. But no matter what we did, Gabrielle did not survive.

Can you imagine what our lives would have been like after her death if at any point during her illness, we had not agreed on her treatment and care? The question of whether we had made any mistakes would have haunted us, and the opportunity for one of us to blame the other would have been ever-present.

As it was, the fact that we agreed ruled out any possibility for blame in the future. Even when we were at the most critical point with Gabrielle's illness, we refused to go back to old thinking. We stopped, we prayed, we sought the Holy Spirit, and we came to an agreement.

That left no one to blame later. There were no grounds for pointing a finger and accusing, "You did this" or "You did that." We headed off any future attempts by the devil to separate us by making decisions together.

It is not easy to get to the place of continual agreement in marriage but it is vital for a healthy relationship. Agreement is the preventative for blame.

Blame is simply a refusal to take responsibility for one's own choices, shortcomings, attitudes, fears and so on. Blame is easier than change. It is easier than maturity. But it is not an ingredient in healthy relationships.

A person who continually blames someone else will eventually find himself sick in his flesh. Unresolved emotional hurts and scars will turn into anger, bitterness or both and will manifest in physical illness.

Looking to the future instead of the past, walking in forgiveness and living in agreement with your spouse and others will help you stop playing the blame game so that you can enjoy God's best for your relationships and your health.


Cheryl Salem and her husband, Harry, are founders of Salem Family Ministries and the authors of From Grief to Glory: Rediscovering Life After Loss (Whitaker House). A dynamic singer and speaker, Salem, along with her husband and two sons, travels the world, teaching people how to win and overcome in life.

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