Maybe it’s because of the big promotion we got at work……or perhaps we lost six pounds…or maybe even because, unlike our spouse, we got up early three straight days and spent time with the Lord. Whatever the accomplishment, there is one temptation we all face: bragging. Let’s face it, God knows us more than we know ourselves, and He sure nailed it when He said in His word that we all think too highly of ourselves (James 4: 1-2, 6). Out of pride we brag. We get puffed up by how great we (want to) think we are.
And often our bragging leads to the inevitable: comparing ourselves with others and tearing them down. But such actions are the complete opposite of the true and godly love, and unfortunately, they can appear in our marriage. Is she relishing the fact that she earns more than he does? Does he secretly look at his college degree as proof of his superior intelligence? Is she secretly glad that the kids ignore their father but will do what she wants?
Does he wish she would work out as faithfully as he does so that she can look as good? Parading our abilities, no matter what they are, stems from pride. And being puffed up never helps our relationship, but rather drains the nurturing environment needed to grow strong in love with our spouse. Godly love looks up to our spouse as well as to God Himself. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3) Building up our spouse means less of us, more of them, and ultimately more of Him!
LOVE IN ACTION
- Think back over the past few days are so, are there any puffed up words and or attitudes for which you need to ask God’s forgiveness…and your spouse? Take a moment to do so now.
- Okay, maybe it’s corny, but write your spouse’s name vertically on a piece of paper. Then, at every letter, note something you love about them, whether an accomplishment, skills or godly traits that you admire. When you are finished, give the paper to your spouse and thank them for being who they are. Thank God for His grace in giving you your precious mate.
Pride loves to climb up, not as Zacchaeus to see Christ.
P R A Y E R
Lord God, keep my eyes focused on the cross of Jesus and the picture it offers to your love for me. May I be so humbled by your love that I can build up my spouse rather than tear him/her down. Holy Spirit convict me before I speak so that my words uplifts you and your glory in every aspect of my marriage.