My last post dealt with an enemy we all face in life and marriage–the poisonous venom of pride. Now I want to shift gears and look at the healing balm of humility.
“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”
― Andrew Murray,
Humility is often looked upon as a weakness, a humiliation. But to choose humility is to choose to live like Christ to those around us; Choosing to put their needs above our own; Choosing to put their desires above our own; Choosing to be last, not first; Choosing to die to self so Christ can live and love through me for His glory.
Only those who don’t choose to be humble will find humility to be a humiliation. The very definition of humiliation is this…
to make (someone) feel very ashamed or foolish
Humiliation then is a consequence of pride. A proud person feels foolish when he/she is forced to take a lower position than they think they deserve. All one needs to do is look to Christ and His Word…
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…”
Philippians 2:4-9 ESV
Consider marriages you know of that have ended through divorce. Many times it’s due to the fact that the insidiousness of pride has crept in and sucked the life and love out of the relationship. Like a viper undetected, pride poisons relationships. Humility brings healing, restoration and peace.
So how can we practically apply this healing balm to our own relationship? By choosing HUMILITY every day.
H – Choose Honesty. Be honest in all communication with your spouse, even when being honest will hurt or make you look bad.
U – Choose Understanding. Pride assumes motives which makes understanding impossible. It’s hard to explain your view to someone when they are convinced that what they see is accurate.
M – Choose Maturity. The best way to know if you’re pursuing humility in your marriage if you’re finding yourself having to work at it. If things are going too smoothly, there’s a good chance you’re missing opportunities to grow and mature. Pride may be soaking in the inattention. Be alert and mature.
I – Choose Identity in Christ alone. Remember who we are in Christ and what He left behind for our benefit. This will help us remember that apart from Christ we are nothing. This will allow you to be more vulnerable in your relationship with your spouse.
L – Choose Love. Love covers a multitude of sins and is willing to overlook minor offenses. If you tend to nitpick your spouse about every error, there’s a really good chance pride is having it’s intended way in your heart.
I – Choose Improvement. Our marriage won’t grow on its own. Left to ourselves, we all drift. We must choose everyday to make our marriages better, and doing this requires a willingness to admit you need improvement in the first place. Pride never does that.
T – Choose Team Mentality. When you said I Do, you left behind your individualism. The two have become one flesh. Working as a team facing a common enemy will do more to help your marriage than any other practice. Let your spouse know they can trust you to have their back, even when you may not be on your best behavior.
Y – Choose Yearly Review. We all have a tendency to forget. What started as a conviction can often become and empty practice. Pursuing humility requires constant awareness. Think of humility as a tiny plant in a field of weeds called pride. If not given care and attention, pride is sure to take over. Don’t let this happen in your marriage.
Choose H-U-M-I-L-I-T-Y and watch your marriage grow stronger year by year.
For more on this topic I recommend this excellent article: Humility Foundation for Marital Happiness.