Our human nature wants to do what we want to do. Pride so easily sneaks in and does a number on our marriage. It’s self-centered. Self-focused. Self-preserving. It’s all about “I” and “me.” Pride keeps us from apologizing when we’re wrong. It builds walls, crushes kindness, and kills intimacy.
Pride is a thief. It robs us of our joy because we are obsessed with believing we deserve something better than what we have. It cheats us of God’s plan for our lives because we demand our own way. Pride robs us of knowledge because we already know it all. It keeps us from experiencing healing because we refuse to forgive, and we wouldn’t dream of admitting we are wrong. It steals intimacy from our relationship with God because “I can do it myself.” It damages relationships because “I’m right and you’re wrong.” It keeps us from emotional depth in our marriage because we are unwilling to be honest and transparent. More than anything, pride wraps a tight chain around our hearts, keeping us bound up with anger, demands, and unforgiveness. It poisons and robs us of the joys of life.
While humility feels weak, the truth is that humility is a sign of great strength. It’s about putting ego aside. The word humility comes from a Latin word humilitas that means grounded or low. When we are “grounded,” we aren’t easily swayed. We stand firm in who we are, who we belong to, and who we are committed to be going forward. A grounded person isn’t looking for recognition because they are at peace with their worth in God’s eyes.
Humility is also about submission. A humble person submits to authority. Submission is not a word that many of us embrace, but when we allow God to lead our lives, we submit to his leadership. We do this because we believe He has our best interests in mind. The more we are able to submit, the more peace we experience.
I (Mark) struggle with the submitting side of humility. Questioning if God really does have my best interest at heart, I wrongly try to take the lead in my life. I have to pull out my God-tool of humility when I’m trying to take matters into my own hands and making a mess of it all.
I (Jill) have to pull out my God-tool of humility most often when Mark and I are disagreeing or I’m frustrated with him. Pride can so easily slip in when I think my way is the best way. Pride also shows up when I’m wrong and I need to own my stuff and apologize. My stubborn pride keeps my heart separated from Mark’s heart when I’m unwilling to pull out my God-tool of humility and use it like it’s meant to be used. When I replace pride with humility, it turns around so many marriage fades!
Just like forgiveness, we rarely “feel” like being humble. Our flesh wants to argue, protect, and be right. We have to actively choose to replace our pride with humility. We have to choose to submit to God and His ways.
‘Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; ‘ Philippians 2:3
Are you looking for that peace that passes understanding in your marriage? It almost always starts with humility.
What about you? Where do you need to replace pride with humility?