[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
One of the leading causes in a marriage breakdown is pride.
Pride comes in many forms in a relationship from a spouse thinking that he is always right, to wanting his own way, it is always her word, not thinking of others, to not wanting to apologise.
Most couples would still be together if one of them was willing to take responsibility for their actions and apologise.
Pride will not let someone apologise. Three words that would have saved a marriage, a family and future generations of that lineage are not uttered because of pride.
Three little words that change the course of one’s life….“I am sorry”
The other three words that should accompany “I am sorry is “I was wrong.”
Most people would rather die than admit that they were wrong. In this world where vulnerability is frowned upon and independence is celebrated, admitting that you are wrong is seen as weak.
You are advised to not let “your wife”, “your husband” see that you are hurt because they will take advantage of you.
Do not let them see that you are not coping because it is going to give them a big head and they will manipulate you.
A wife would rather carry on with the silent treatment than admit to her husband that she was wrong.
Most women cannot say the words, “I am sorry.”
A man’s ego will not let him say “I am sorry” because he does not want to appear weak. –“What will people say? I wear the pants in this house.”
Pride is given free reign in many families and marriages. The more pride is allowed in a relationship the more it will tear that union to pieces.
Many husbands complain that the wife is harsh. She shouts a lot. The things that she says always paint the picture that she is always right. His opinion does not count as she belittles him and often corrects him.
They complain that the wife has changed. Marriage changed her…”that woman used to be gentle before we got married. Now I DREAD GOING HOME BECAUSE I KNOW THE SHOUTING WILL NOT STOP.
Pride leaves people hurt and betrayed. Betrayed, in that they feel they were sold a false image of you.
Pride makes people self righteous. Others are always at fault and you take on this role of trying to correct them at every turn.
A Word to the wives
More and more, my counselling sessions are with young wives. It is disappointing to see a young couple that was so much in love a few short years ago talk of divorcing. It is happening more and more.
I feel a particular need to talk to women a bit in this article. Proverbs 14:1 says: A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
As the wife you can either bring life to your husband’s heart or you can kill his self esteem by the words that come from your mouth. We do have a power to influence our marriages.
A man will advance in is his career and be unstoppable with a wife who is always encouraging him. He could be achieving amazing feats at work and getting compliments from everyone, there is something special that happens to him though when he gets a compliment from his beloved wife.
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. — Proverbs 21:9; 25:24)
Do you nag? Are you attracted to conflict? There are people who gravitate towards a fight. Their words, their actions always seem to attract some sort of conflict. Wherever they are there’s bound to be a fight. Are you that way?
You are there to build your husband not tear him down.
There is a space for speaking the truth but it is in how you say it. You can be harsh and be critical and think that you are building your marriage. You are tearing it apart.
There is no day that goes by without the two of you fighting. How does a couple who were so much in love, who finished each other’s sentences, how do they end up hating each other, always fighting and can’t be in the same room together?
At the root is the sin of pride that was given entry into that relationship.
We need to be humble. Humility is very pleasing to the Father whereas pride is listed as one of the things that He hates. The word says pride comes before the fall.
The opposite of love
Pride is the opposite of love. Where love is patient and kind, pride is impatient. Pride is not patient with others because they are always doing things wrong
Where love is gentle, pride is loud and harsh. You cannot be harsh and gentle at the same time.
Where love is kind, pride is rude. Where love looks at serving others, pride is self-seeking. Where love does not keep a record of wrong, pride focuses on the wrong, believes the wrong and thinks only wrong of others.
All these are opposite of what love is.
We can never change something we do not confront. Be humble before God and ask Him to show you areas in your life where you have let pride into your marriage. Go to your spouse and apologise. Tell him that you are sorry. You were wrong.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion — Proverbs 18:2.
Pride and intimacy do not coexist. If you want a more intimate marriage, root out the sin of pride in your relationship.
A person who has pride refuses to submit to authority. If you are a Christian wife you absolutely hate the fact that you are called to submit to your husband. You see it as an abuse of women.
People who are full of pride do not want to be told they are wrong. They are always defensive.
Spouses who have pride love attention! They love an audience. Everything is about them and about being seen. The opinions of others are not welcome, especially if they contradict the prideful person.
Pride causes conflict in a relationship. Your spouse feels that they are walking on egg shells as they do not know when you are going to explode or when you are going to find fault with what they are doing.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. – Philippians 2:3
One of the things that God hates is a proud (haughty) look. Prov.6:16 — These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look…
A spouse with haughty eyes is when you exalt yourself above your spouse and are looking down on them. You cannot extend a hand of grace to others when you are full of pride as you want them to hurt. You want to teach them a lesson so they “learn”.
A man’s pride will bring him low, but honour will uphold the humble in spirit — Prov. 29:23.
You are there to build with your spouse. And six words can make all the difference if they are made to be the fabric of that home, “I am sorry. I was wrong.” Those six words can reconcile so many broken relationships but so many refuse to reconcile because of pride.
As a child of God you have to be a person of peace. You have to extend grace to others because you also are not perfect.
Where there is pride in the heart it blocks love, joy, grace, peace, tenderness from flowing through.
Whatever is blocking your heart is going to make it impossible for love to flow through. Pride is about the person — my needs, my vision, my career, my rights.
Pride will prevent a marriage from moving forward. Let us commit to dealing with any appearance of pride in our marriages.