3 Sins That Are Hurting Your Marriage: Part One
Marriage is hard and we make it harder on ourselves when we give into sins. Sins that can do the most damage in marriage don't always look vulgar, at first. They don't look promiscuous, but they are damaging. We are going to look at three sins that are probably overlooked in our marriages, but they are root sins. They take root in us and grow to cause a lot more problems in us and through us.
As I sat down to write I realized this subject couldn't be done in one post. So I am going to break up the three different sins in three separate posts. This is not to bring condemnation, but conviction. Please ask God to soften your heart and open your eyes. We ALL struggle with these sins. And if you think you don't, then its time to examine your heart, and ask God to clearly bring to light any unpleasant ways in you.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24
The first one is pride. The bible talks about pride and through His word, God warns us that before destruction comes, pride came right before.
Pride precedes destruction; an arrogant spirit gives way to a nasty fall. Proverbs 16:18, VOICE
Another point to make is that pride and arrogance go hand in hand. The pride we are talking about today, which is the negative destructive kind, is defined as the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance. Arrogance is defined as having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
Do you see the connection? Do you see the problem?
Pride and arrogance are about “self”. They causes us to consider our self importance over the importance of others and ultimately over the importance of God and His will for our lives.
When we go into our marriage with “self” in mind, our relationship starts to erode and it leaves cracks for the enemy to come and destroy.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Characteristics of Pride
As I started digging into what pride was and looked like, I found that there were characteristics of people who take up pride. There are many, but we will look at a few and how it severely harms our marriages, our relationships, and ultimately our relationship with God.
1. Being blind to pride
Unable to see it in your life
The bible talks very harshly about pride, indicating that it must be a big issue that we need to take seriously. The number one problem with pride is that we are unable to even admit that we are prideful. Look, we are humans wrapped in flesh. Our fleshly tendencies is to take up pride, we all struggle with it.
Do not allow the enemy to make you feel ashamed if you struggle with this. Our flesh wants us to be consumed with “self”, that's why we must constantly be seeking God and asking Him to bring to light anything that we may be blinded by. We must ask Him to open our hearts to the truth so we can start working on what needs to be worked on.
2. Seeking independence
Extremely difficult to submit
With this characteristic do you see the problem that it can cause in our marriage? Especially because we as women are called to submit to our husbands.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
Submission is a huge act of humility. I believe that God calls women to submit to their husbands to keep us in a constant humble state of mind. We as women are not called to be our husbands slaves, but to be their helpers. The kind of helper that literally can pull them up from drowning. We are to intercede for our husbands and be their voice of wisdom when they need it. Do you think that can happen through pride? No, it takes humility. Think of submission as a privilege, notburden. God wants us to stay in a humble state of mind and the Lord says that with humility comes honor.
3. Consumed with what others might think
We must not be pleasers of men, but pleasers of Christ. Always doing what is right in His eyes. When we go through struggles in our marriage, but we chose to listen to the outside noise of what others think we should do, that's when we suffer. And not the right kind of suffering.
Turn to the word and seek what is right in God's eyes. Follow what HE commands and don't listen to any noise from others that go against what God commands for us to do.
For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4, NLT
4. Not listening well
Always thinking what they will say next
Communication is key in marriage, we must listen instead of being consumed with our own words. Be patient and listen to your spouse with a humble and open heart.
Having the last word is better than having the first, and patience will benefit you more than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8, voice
5. Unteachable "They know it all"
Rarely admits their sins
When we take up pride in our marriage, it’s alway our spouse's fault. We never look to what we could have done wrong in the situation. Being “unteachable” is also a big problem. I have had truth spoken into my life about my marriage many times. And sometimes, the truth is very hard to hear.
God places people in our lives as vessels to speak truth and life into us. To guide us in the righteous path of what God's will is for our marriages. God's will isnt always easy, in fact it rarely ever is easy. If we are unwilling to hear the truth because it is to hard, then we are unwilling to do what God calls us to do and ultimately it's our unwillingness to be faithful.
Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord, but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel. Proverbs 13:10, MSG
6. Being defensive
This goes hand in hand with point number five. If all we do is put up a defense then we will never be able to take advice unless it aligns with our own thoughts and our own "truths".
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14
If God has blessed you with a mom, or a mother-in-law, or an older wiser women of God, take advantage and seek counsel from her. Her words might not always be what you want to hear, but they will always be what you need to hear.
7. Being sarcastic and hurtful
I recently learned that sarcasm was the product of anger. We will talk about anger in part two.
8. Unwillingness to commit to the right thing simply to please God
We must seek what is right in God's eyes, not in our own eyes. This comes by seeking His wisdom and advice through His word.
I remember vividly, the night I wanted to leave my husband to “teach him a lesson”, to take things into my own hands and show him what life would be like without me. As I walked to the door, I fell on the ground to my knees. I begged and asked God to allow me to do this, but He was silent. I already knew what the answer was, but I continued to ask and He continued to remain silent. In His silence His answer was NO. Only after I had agreed to obey, He was so faithful to encourage me and speak to my heart.
“Finn it is not your job to teach your husband any lessons, that is mine. Your only job is to be faithful to what I have called you to do”
We MUST be willing to do something that is hard, to simply please God. The Lord rewards those who are faithful and righteous (1 samuel 26:23).
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:19
9. Lacking in service to others and in sacrificial deeds of love
This one is huge, considering marriage is about serving God first and serving our husbands. Even if they are not serving us back we must still be faithful wives. Service requires humility and with humility comes sacrifices.
If we did not have a Savior who took up pure humility and expressed the biggest act of a sacrificial deed of love for us, then where would we be today.
Marriage is all about sacrifice. And if you love God with your whole heart, mind, body, and soul, then you will even sacrifice yourself for your marriage.
Let Jesus be your example. Seek His heart and His will and reflect His humility in your life.
Can we just take a deep breath out for a minute? This is a heavy subject and these are some harsh realities. Now that we have addressed the issue, we can lighten up and receive the solution.
As we know the opposite of pride is humility. God honors humility and He says that humility comes before honor (Proverbs 18:12).
A person's pride brings him down, but one of humble spirit has a firm hold of honor and respect. Proverbs 29:23
The more I sought the Lord for what pride was and what it looked like, He gave me a vision. A vision of two people facing each other holding up baseball bats, ready to strike each other. A baseball bat is a blunt object. All it can do is cause bruising and pain when used as a weapon against another.
When we hold up pride as our weapon, it will only cause bruising and pain, but will never pierce the real issue.
The enemy wants us blinded by pride, because it results to us turning to each other a fighting against each other instead of fighting the one who is behind it all.
Right now, brothers and sisters, the best thing I can do for you is to apply these principles to the situation with Apollos and me. Maybe we can show you the meaning of the saying, “not beyond the things written.” If you learn that, perhaps none of you will swell with pride because you fall into the seductive trap of pitting one against the other. 1 Corinthians 4:6
The real fight & the real victory
The fight is not a physical fight, it is not a fight against flesh and blood. It is a fight against the power and evil in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12). We must refocus our tactic and strategies. Once we learn to focus our fight on the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), we reposition ourselves for victory.
God has given us the victory, but it is a different kind of fight and our husbands aren't the enemies. Taking up pride only causes us to fight against each other, which will lead to a losing fight. But once we take up humility, we start to refocus on our attention on the real problem.
It only takes one person to lay the weapon down, take up humility, and then embrace the spiritual beatings that satan will inflict. It is a huge sacrifice, but it is the most rewarding.
If you chose to do this, in time you will see changes in your marriage and it could ultimately bring your husband to the Lord.
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peters 3: 1-2
Taking up humility
Seek God and His will first. Go to His word and learn what He commands us to do in and for our marriage
Seek and embrace Godly counsel. Let down your defense and embrace the truth with a humble and teachable heart.
Continually ask God if there are any offensive ways in you, and to reveal any sin that you may not see
Love your husband unconditionally and be a faithful wife
Pray fervently and faithfully
Surrender all of you, to all of God.
- Serve your husband faithfully. Be ready and willing to make a sacrifice when God calls you to
With humility comes power and strength. The power to change within yourself, and the power to soften the hearts of others. We will never be able to take up true humility on our own strength. Turn to Christ, He will give you strength in your weariness, He will not let you fall. His strength is made perfect in us, but only when we admit and embrace our weaknesses.
Be encouraged ladies! There is power in humility
Don’t just talk of turning to God; you’d better bear the authentic fruit of a changed life. Don’t take pride in your religious heritage, saying, “We have Abraham for our father!” Listen—God could turn these rocks into children of Abraham! Luke 3:8, voice
Do you struggle with pride? How can I pray for you?
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