Pride in Marriage 

Marriage has but one enemy—pride. It decays a marriage from the inside out. Where pride resides, intimacy cannot be found. True connection cannot be formed. Health cannot be developed.

Marriages flourish in humility. In the absence of self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance, marriages have the ability to thrive. In the presence of all the “selfs” nothing but selfishness can grow.

In its wake, pride will leave behind hurt, bitterness, destruction, and pain. 

Pride makes people feel independent and self-sufficient.  In other words, no need to depend on God or anyone else for help.

There was a time early in our marriage where I thought I didn’t need God.  I consulted only myself and I felt I could solve everything myself. I seldom prayed and when I did it was a very light and ineffective prayer laced with untruths. This really affected the relationship with my wife and family and how I viewed roles in the relationship.  I didn’t want to be dominated by my wife in handling all decisions and finances.  I needed to be the man in charge. When my wife challenged my decisions I felt offended and disrespected.  My pride wouldn’t let me have it. This same pride nearly made me lose my marriage if not for the intervention of God. 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 spouse .  I just don’t think that’s worth the temporary victory.

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

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 our marriage.

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 spouse for forgiveness in areas where you may be weak.  You may find that he or she 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!

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. ”

Wilbert Frank Chaniwa – @wilbertfc

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