Monday, September 5, 2016

Messy Marriage Mondays: From Pride to Humility

{Elissa Ewald Photography}

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. -Romans 12:3, 9-10

So far in this series, we have been exploring the different weeds that can fester in our hearts and thus poison our marriages. We started by identifying weeds and then talking about the different seeds we can sow instead. Last week, we looked at the weed of selfishness and how it can be uprooted and instead turned into selflessness.

This week, we are taking a look at one big ugly weed. Pride. Many say that pride is the root of all sin. Pride is thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought. When we believe that we are somehow better or that we've got it together and everyone else is a jacked up mess, that's pride. When we refuse to see our own shortcomings and magnify everyone else's, that's pride.

“In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful. And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings. This is what can happen if you decide to love.” - Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

Pride can be super ugly, friends. It can be manifested in myriad ways, too. But not only can it be manifested in myriad ways, it can also be sneaky and subtle. It's not always overt and obvious. Pride can be in your tone of voice or a glance of the eyes. It doesn't always shout and scream, although it can.

"I've asked you one million times to take out the trash."
"I just don't understand why you don't listen to me."
"I would never do it like that; my way is better."

One thing that can guard against pride is having a realistic view of yourself. That's not to say that you need to be afraid of who you are or living in shame, constantly berating yourself for when you inevitably fall short. But rather, take a look at yourself. Identify areas in which you are being stubborn and aren't letting go because you just want to be right. Where can you yield your pride and give way to humility?

Humility places someone else's needs before your own. Humility says, "I love you and I am for you" at the end of an argument instead of trying to get the last word. Humility stays instead of leaving. Humility speaks with grace instead of shame. Humility gives instead of take. Don't you want to be humble instead of proud? It's tough stuff, friends, but it's worth it.

Don't miss any part of this series!

Messy Marriage Mondays
Pulling Weeds
Sowing Seeds
From Selfishness to Selflessness

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