Heather Marshall on August 19th, 2008

Love is so important! And I’m not talking about the mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey, stars in your eyes romantic love. I’m talking about REAL love, the kind of love that endures through hardship and is strengthened over time. The kind of love that takes care of the terminally ill loved one, forgives the spouse who has hurt them, that embodies the Biblical definition of love: patient, kind, unselfish, and sacrificial.

Paul says that you can have all sorts of gifts and talents… but if they are practiced without love, they are worth NOTHING. So, what stands in the way of this type of love?

I’ve often heard that the opposite of love is hate, but actually it’s… PRIDE.

Think about 1 Corinthians 13 and its definition of Love…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

What are prideful people like? Impatient, selfish, boastful, and rude - those are the obvious signs of pride. Prideful people dislike being proven wrong, would rather someone else take the blame/fall for things, seek attention, and are often stubborn. Doesn’t sound very loving, does it?

Think you’re not prideful? So did I at one time (I think I took pride in the fact that I was so humble! haha) …… but the more I read about pride, the more I realized I fit the bill.

Here is part of a chart that my husband passed along to me a while back… it compares proud people to humble people (and here’s where I realized my problem with pride):






  • Self-righteous; critical, fault-finding spirit
  • Independent; self-sufficient
  • Have to prove that they’re right
  • Claim rights; have a demanding spirit
  • Protective of reputation
  • Desire to be served
  • Desire to be a success
  • Focus on the failure of others
  • Have a drive to be recognized (wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked)
  • Self-conscious
  • Keep others at arm’s length
  • Quick to blame others
  • Defensive when criticized
  • Hard time saying, “I was wrong, will you please forgive me?”
  • Wait for others to come to them to ask forgiveness
  • Think they have nothing to repent of
  • Compassionate; thinks the best of others
  • Dependent; recognize their need for others
  • Willing to yield the right to be right
  • Have a meek spirit
  • Self-denying
  • Motivated to serve others
  • Motivated to make others a success
  • Overwhelmed with a sense of their OWN spiritual need
  • Sense of own unworthiness (rejoice when others are lifted up)
  • Not concerned with self at all
  • Will risk getting close and loving intimately
  • Accept personal responsibility
  • Receive criticism with a humble, open spirit
  • Quick to admit their failure and seek forgiveness when necessary.
  • Take the initiative to be reconciled no matter how wrong the other person might have been
  • Realize a need for a continual heart attitude of repentance

If you need to, go back and read through these characteristics… open your heart, and allow God to speak to you. If you feel uncomfortable reading the description of the proud, that could be the Holy Spirit convicting you of your pride.

Pride is ugly, and its roots go deep. I heard a sermon by David Rhodes where this word picture was used: “Pride is the dandelion of the soul. Its roots go deep, only a little needs to be left behind and it can sprout again. Its seeds lodge in the tiniest encouraging cracks. It flourishes in good soil. The danger of pride is that it feeds on goodness.”

I planned on talking more about pride and the danger it brings to our marriage, but I feel as if God is prompting me to stop here for today. (Stay tuned for more posts on pride over the next several days). Search your heart, and ask God to show you any areas of your life where the sin of Pride has taken root. (I am doing the same!)

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if
there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Let’s keep on striving to be wives after God’s own heart! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you have any prayer needs (especially in this area), feel free to share them in the comments below. I would love to strive with you in prayer!


Related posts:

  1. The Effect of Pride on Marriage
  2. Lost That Lovin’ Feeling?
  3. The Joy of Selfless Love
  4. Will You Make 2009 a NO fear YEAR??
  5. The Gracious Wife versus The Sarcastic Wife

8 Responses to “The Opposite of Love is….”

  1. Great post. And, so true.
    I can see how pride is the opposite of love.

    And, pride clearly has no place in a relationship. Of course, we can have pride in ourselves and be proud of others.

    The self-centered ugly pride you describe would eliminate any possibility of a close committed connection.

    Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

    Be successful - together
    Mark Semple CCC

    2007 International Coach of the Year

  2. Thought provoking heather.. Eloquent but not overly philosophical, which is a good setup for a blog. I might try writing about the different types of love and discuss how pride affects each: Agape, Phileas, Eros, and Storgy (they don’t have a greek font that I’m aware of) , then again, I don’t have a blog, so I could be VERY wrong! Or maybe I’m being prideful and offering advice to someone who doesn’t need it! Haha, see, I’m learning from you already! But very nicely done, definitely God led!

  3. Awesome post. Certainly gives people alot to think, pray and repent about.

  4. I found your site on Facebook-CWO group. A proud person is wrapped up in self, and that manifests itself in MANY different ways. And self-serving behavior cannot be other-focused behavior at the same time. Thanks for the comparison chart, that really lays the differences out.

  5. good one heather i was like ouch why am i in the wrong column….it makes ya think…

  6. that described me heather….i just have to relearn,and start loving without pride.it does alot of harm than good.good blog heather

  7. Wow, thank you SO much for putting such a wonderful post on the internet. You have so much insight! Pride is the thing that is ripping my marriage apart.

    I have struggled with pride for most of my life, but I recognized it and have been working to eliminate it for several years. I think I have overcome a lot of my own pride issues… but then I married someone who is nearly the embodiment of pride. He cannot admit when he messed up and I have never heard a truly heartfelt apology from him. When I point out that he has hurt me and ask him if he is even sorry, he will say a curt “I’m sorry” but it is dripping with defensiveness.

    How do I get him to see his pridefulness is hurting us? He is so defensive! I wish there was a gentle way to say, “Honey, you’re prideful. Stop it!” haha

    Anyway, thanks again. :)

  8. Pray for me (and my husband). I’m the left column, my husband’s the right. I want to be humble but I am SOOOO prideful. I feel hopeless at the end of each day. All I seem to do is get angry and impatient over the most minor things. I’ve confessed Christ for years but act like I have a different Father. I feel like such a hypocrite.


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