This week I wanted to discuss of the most common relationship problem out there. PRIDE. Everyone faces this challenge in different ways. It is a tricky challenge that is often misunderstood. “Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.
The central feature of pride is enmity — enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.” Beware of Pride Ezra Taft Benson. I will be the first to admit that I battle with pride all the time. I may even have enmity toward my husband at certain times. Sometimes I feel stuck in a “state of opposition” and I feel like I must stand my ground no matter the outcome. But to what end? What is the cost of letting pride in?
I have a good friend who shared with me this story. When she was first married, any time she got into an argument with her husband she would be stubborn, trying to prove she was right. But her husband would quickly apologize, even if it wasn’t his fault. The more he did this for her, the more she realized that petty disagreements we weren’t worth the happiness of their relationship. Now, it is easier for her to let things go because she has a better prospective of what is important.
“In our long-term study of 130 newlywed couples, whom we followed for nine years, we found that, even in the first few months of marriage, men who allowed their wives to influence them had happier relationships and were less likely to eventually divorce than men who resisted their wives’ influence. Statically speaking, when a man is not willing to share power with his partner there is an 81 percent chance that his marriage will self-destruct.” Gottman, Ph.D.The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Pride lures husbands and wives to crave power. Sharing power and allowing each other to have a say in decision making shows great respect. What can we do to keep pride out?
“God has graciously given each of us an early warning system. When we hare feeling irked, annoyed, or irritated with our spouse, we have our backs toward heaven. We are guilty of pride.” Drawing Heaven Into Your Marriage H. Wallace Goddard, Ph.D.
It is easy to see what is wrong with others but difficult to see and accept the fault in ourselves. My goal for this upcoming week is to watch for these warning signs. I will be quick to say sorry and offer my forgiveness. By doing this, I hope to strengthen my marriage and build my character.