That was me. I seriously thought I was always right. Always. I was convinced of it and NO ONE was going to tell me otherwise. I was happy to argue my point and drill it home with anyone. I suppose I thought I was practically infallible.
Turns out that my extremely prideful attitude was the fastest way to repel God and my husband. So, even if I was “right” about a certain matter – I ended up very lonely.
MAYBE I WAS WRONG IN THE WAYS THAT MATTERED
Looking back, I am appalled at the levels of pride I had that would lead me to be able to so arrogantly think that I knew better than my husband about everything. And eventually, I saw the ugly truth that I really thought I knew better than God, too…
That doesn’t really look so good when you see it in print.
All those things I used to so vehemently and dogmatically argue about – what good did that do for my relationship with God or with my husband? Did most of it really even matter –
- if my husband was telling a story and I felt compelled to correct him that something happened on a Saturday not a Friday? (No one cares! It’s not that important to his story and it is demeaning and disrespectful of me to do that. It makes me look bad and makes other people pity my husband for having to live with a woman like me.)
- if I have to pick up my husband’s dirty clothes and put them in the hamper again myself? (Is taking 5 seconds of my time to take care of my husband THAT big of a burden? He goes under the house and fixes the sewer pipes for me sometimes. Who really has the nastier job? Now I just happily serve him and my family without keeping “score” of who is doing exactly which chores and is it all divided perfectly 50/50. What a waste of time and energy and a great way to destroy oneness and intimacy!)
- if we don’t go where I want to go for vacation? (There are plenty of places to go and lots of things to enjoy anywhere we might end up.)
- if we even have a vacation? (We are blessed beyond measure even if we stay home! I can focus on the thousands and thousands of blessings I have and be thankful!)
- if going my way saved 2 minutes on a car trip around town? (My telling him how to drive and where to turn when he knows how to get somewhere is emasculating, insulting and disrespectful. Better to be a few minutes late and keep emotional intimacy intact than to be on time somewhere and have a resentful, disrespected-feeling husband.)
- if my husband used sunscreen or not? Yes, it would be great if he wore sunscreen since he burns easily. And yes, it would be great if he didn’t end up with skin cancer. But for me to try to force him to wear sunscreen against his will does not promote emotional intimacy in our relationship. It makes me look like an angry mom – and men are NOT attracted to their mothers! Having that “disapproving mother” look makes a man want to rebel, and go far, far away. It is more productive for my relationship with him for me to allow him to make his own choices about things like what he eats, what he wears, how he spends his time… that makes him feel like I respect him as a man. THAT is the important stuff, right there!
You know, precious ladies – so much of what I was so insistent about didn’t actually even matter in the long run at all. It just isn’t that big of a deal for me to have my way about things now. If I have to sacrifice the REAL TREASURES of emotional and spiritual intimacy with God and my husband to get things that don’t matter much – where are my priorities?
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME!
How did I have the audacity to think that marriage was ALL ABOUT ME? And how did I think my life was ALL ABOUT ME? How did I think that the kingdom of God was ALL ABOUT ME? It is not! It’s about God. It’s about God bringing glory to Himself through me. And my marriage needs to be much more about my spouse and his needs than about me and my needs.
MY PRIDE PAID OFF HOW?
- I was too prickly to live with
- I was condescending and rude sometimes
- I was stressed out from trying to do everything my way all by myself
- I was lonely because I repelled my husband with my arrogance
- I’m pretty sure my witness for Christ wasn’t too powerful
- I was not very Spirit-filled
- I did not have peace. I was filled with anxiety because I was trying to be in control because I couldn’t trust God or my husband to handle things.
- I did not have self-control
- I was angry, bitter, resentful and unforgiving
What did it matter if I was “right” about a particular issue? Look at the MOUNTAINS of sin piled up in my soul! YUCK!
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
I had God’s opposition instead of His help. THAT IS BAD, my friends!!!!!
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
The more I learned about Who God really is, and who my husband really is – the more I saw that I don’t necessarily know best. I can appreciate that God’s wisdom is MUCH higher than my own now. I can lean on His Word and not trust in my own understanding. And now I lean on my husband’s wisdom many times and don’t always trust my own feelings and understanding at times, too – as long as he is not asking me to sin or condone sin.
Now I see that God knows best. God is sovereign. He’s got things under control. I don’t have to argue with Him, question Him, be angry at Him, or try to control Him or MAKE Him do things my way.
If I got MY way – I would often make a HUGE MESS OF THINGS!
Now I see that my husband has a masculine perspective on the world that is very valuable. I see that he has wisdom that I don’t have. God made him to be the leader in our marriage for His good purposes. I know that he is a responsible, capable, intelligent, thoughtful, loving, careful, creative, resourceful guy and I don’t feel compelled to micromanage him anymore. It turns out that when I trust him and allow him to do things his way – everything is fine! Sometimes it even works out much better than MY way would have! How awesome is THAT!?!