Taking the Scenic Route in Marriage #11

pothole

OH, NO!!  I tried to avoid it, but….

Nailed it dead center! Yes, that huge pothole in the road.  It was pitch black at night, raining and I didn’t see it in time.  After about needing to see a chiropractor due to the jarring we received and a loan officer to pay the tire bill, I learned again that potholes are definitely to be avoided!!!

Likewise, there are potholes that we men to need to avoid if our marriages are going to succeed and survive.

Proud man

Here’s the first one:  PRIDE

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom (Proverbs 13:10).

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor (Proverbs 29:23).

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself (Galatians 6:3).

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world (1 Peter 5:5b-9).

Husbands, as the servant leader in our marriages, we need heavy doses of the daily, sufficient grace of God to overcome our pride and selfishness.  Our egos and “man-wired ways” can get us into trouble as we mar the image of God and refuse to emulate Christlikeness before our wives.

Take a moment to meditate on the Scripture passages above. Then consider the difference between proud men and husbands who humble themselves under the mighty hand of God.

Proud vs. Grace

Proud men have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.
Grace men are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.

Proud men are self-righteous; they look down on others.
Grace men esteem all others better than themselves.

Proud men have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
Grace men have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.

Proud men have to prove that they are right.
Grace men are willing to yield the right to be right.

Proud men claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.
Grace men yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.

Proud men desire to be served.
Grace men are motivated to serve others.

Proud men are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work their own image and reputation.
Grace men are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.

Proud men find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others.
Grace men are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.

Proud men want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up.
Grace men, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

Proud men have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you please forgive me?”
Grace men are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.

Proud men tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.
Grace men are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.

Proud men are concerned about the consequences of their sin.
Grace men are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.

Proud men are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught.
Grace men are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.

(Adapted from Brokenness: The Heart God Revives; Revive Our Hearts Ministry and Proud People vs. Broken People, Family Life Ministries)

Men, take a long look at the cross.  Meditate on Philippians 2:1-9,

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.

How can you avoid the pothole of pride?

  • Maintain a biblical view of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Confess your sin of pride to God and to your wife.
  • Be willing to admit when you are wrong.
  • Be a man of prayer.
  • Memorize verses for victory; see the passage listed above for starters!

A few days later, the county came through and filled that nasty pothole.  I would assume it caught other victims, too! Now when I come around the bend, I remember that dark night but the ride sure is smooth.

Do you need to fill in that pothole of pride with grace?

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