Pride is a relationship-killer. Did you know that? It’s true….
Pride will take your friendships, your marriage, and any other relationship you value, and tear them up into shreds. In its wake, pride will leave behind hurt, bitterness, destruction, and pain. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Let’s look at the specifics of what Pride does to a person, and apply it to its effects on marriage…
- Pride makes people feel independent and self-sufficient. In other words, no need to depend on God or anyone else for help. Uh oh, big mistake here!
- Pride makes people self-righteous and critical of others. Their “spiritual gift” is fault-finding. Can you see the damage that can bring to a marriage? A wife who is constantly critical of her husband will tear him down, wear him down, and make him either depressed, angry, or both! The writer of Proverbs says that it is “better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9; 25:24). Wow.
- Pride makes people feel the need to be right all the time. Unfortunately, the “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality will not build strong, healthy marriages. Where is the submission? Where is the humility? Proving you’re right (even if you are!) often comes at the expense of tearing down your husband. I just don’t think that’s worth the temporary victory.
- Pride makes people defensive when criticized. Criticism is not always bad. Proverbs 15:31 says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.“ Likewise, Proverbs 25:12 says, “To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.” However, if you’re full of pride, criticism strikes an ugly chord, and your immediate response is to get defensive. This is something that I struggle with majorly, and it has caused many an argument in the Marshall marriage.
- Pride makes it hard to apologize when you are wrong. Ooh, believe me, I know! I have that inner battle and turmoil every time I need to apologize, because Pride does not like to get wounded. But it is amazing how an apology can fizzle away so much stored up anger, saving your marriage from an unnecessary blow-up!
- Pride can even make a person insecure (because Pridefully we want to be perfect, but realistically we know we are not), which is dangerous in a marriage. Insecurity can lead a wife to distrust and falsely accuse her husband of negative or adulterous thoughts or actions; it can cause a wife to doubt her husband’s love for her, her body, her sense of humor, etc., and can cause deep hurt in a marriage when those insecurities are allowed to fester.
- Pride makes a person self-centered, wrapped up in thoughts of her own comfort, own well-being, own opinions, and own points of view - often dismissing or excluding others (including a husband!) in the process. Not a communicative, healthy, growing marriage there.
As Beth Moore’s poem in my last post stated, Pride is a cheater. Pride will cheat you out of contentedness, holiness, genuine friendship, love, your God-given destiny, and greatness in heaven, among other things. Why then, do we choose to hang on to Pride? Because Pride is tricky. It is deceitful. It seems harmless at first. It even hides in the form of insecurity or self-pitying withdrawal. What we need to do is REPENT of our sin of pride, not nurse our wounded pride or feed our inflated ego.
For the sake of our marriage, our friendships, and (most importantly) our relationship with God, we need to examine ourselves, turn to God and ask for forgiveness. Take the humble route, and ask your husband for forgiveness in areas where you may be weak. You may find that he is struggling in those areas as well, or he may even reassure you in areas where your Pride has caused you to doubt his love for you!
Remember the last lines of Beth Moore’s poem:
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…
If you stick with me
You’ll never know.
You have a choice to make, every day: stick with Pride, and miss out on all God has in store for you and your marriage, OR stick with God and find out all the adventure that He has in store for you and your marriage! What choice are YOU going to make?
Keep on striving!
PS - This is the third and final part of the Pride series. Have you read the first two parts?
Part 1: The Opposite of Love is… Pride
Part 2: The Deception of Pride