What if there was just one thing we could work on that would solve most of our marital problems?! That just sounds too simplistic right? But maybe it’s not…follow me on this…
Issues in married life usually revolve around one party doing something that the other party doesn’t like. At times these disliked actions fall in the category of grievous and heart breaking sins, but most of the time, it’s just daily discrepancies. So in other words, the goodness of marriage is often tainted by how we deal with our preferences, opinions and thoughts about how our spouse should live. But this doesn’t necessitate marital tension, if we can grow in humility.
Humility has been defined in many ways. The Merriam Webster defines it as, “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.” Dictionary.com defines humility as “a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.” I imagine you have also heard humility defined as “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” And when it comes to the benefit of our marriages, we’d all be better off if we embodied these definitions!
I imagine you would agree that far too often we find ourselves noticing all of our spouse’s faults and sins, without remembering we have plenty of weaknesses too. We ought not forget that we are all in process, and we all have numerous blind spots of our own. This more modest opinion of ourselves should keep us from pointing the finger at our spouse as quickly as we do.
Ultimately, true humility comes from forgoing lateral comparisons and instead remembering who we are in comparison to God. As we remember we are all far far away from his standard, all lateral comparisons simply become inconsequential. Furthermore, we ought to remember that anything good in us is a gift from God. When we call these truths to mind, we are reminded that all claims to pride are simply foolish.
But sometimes a little logical (humble) thinking can set us straight too… Do you notice that you usually think your way is the right way? And yet your husband is convinced his way is right? …and interestingly EVERYONE ELSE is quite convinced their preferences are superior as well (such as the right way to fold laundry, how to spend down time, where to vacation, how to chew food, etc). What does this tell us about whether our way is really the right way? It should tell us that our way is not necessarily the right way and we should look at our husband through potentially more humble eyes!
Can you imagine how much better your marriage would be if you chilled out regarding your tightly held opinions, and stopped getting uptight when your husband didn’t do exactly as you would like? Can you imagine the peace that would permeate your relationship if you were more patient with your husband and his faults because you realize you expect people (and God) to be patient with you too!? What if you showed him just a sliver of the grace God has shown you?
I imagine this kind of humility would transform our marriages. But even if our marriages did not dramatically change, I bet you agree we would be remarkably more godly! So really, it’s a win-win.
But worth it? You know it is. Let’s become more humble women, more gracious wives, and remarkably more godly!