A few weeks ago the Kedersha crew attended a party for one of our friend’s kids. The party was a fairly typical kid’s party, complete with fun games, balloons and a bunch of kids running around, high on candy and cake. We were only there for about an hour, and Kristen and I spent the entire party on opposite sides of the room.
When we got back in the car, Kristen looked completely exhausted. I made a sarcastic joke, and before I knew it, our conversation turned into a full-on verbal conflict (with four witnesses in the back two rows). I made another sarcastic comment which shut her down verbally and emotionally.
An hour earlier we walked into the party best friends and as we got into the car, somehow, my best friend became my greatest enemy.
I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I know the kids did not behave well at the party. One of our boys threw a classic temper tantrum because he didn’t get his way. And this happened three times in that one hour, each time out of my sight. When we got into the car, I had no idea what the last hour was like for my wife.
Yet somehow, I was certain I was right and she was wrong.
My reminder today… a very simple, “Be humble.”
Why is it so hard for me to be humble with the person I love the most in the entire world. I wrote about this a few months back but clearly need the reminder again.
When the man and the woman in Genesis 1 and 2 become one flesh with each other (see Genesis 2:24), they are joined in a way wholly different from any other human relationship. What affects him negatively affects her negatively, and vice versa. Somehow, however, we easily forget this in marriage. I snap, she snaps back, and before you know it, the silent treatment reigns. Honestly sometimes I feel like a two-year old in the way I communicate with my wife.
God’s Word provides some necessary reminders about humility:
- Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
- My tendency towards pride, or thinking too high or too often of myself, gets humbled when I remember some Truths about the God of the universe. These Truths quickly remind me I have no leg to stand on if I think I am better than I really am. I need the reminder to rightly number my days since I am not in control.
- 1 Peter 5:5 Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
- I need to “put on” humility (see also Ephesians 4:22-24). Humility looks good on us – it’s a universal color we can all wear. Pride on the other hand… not so much.
- Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- When I find myself tempted to think more highly of myself than I ought, I need a reminder to follow the example of Christ and serve my spouse, my kids or someone else.
My two favorite examples/passages on humility are found in Philippians 2:1-11 and John 13:1-20, both pointing to the life and example of Jesus.
- The Philippians passage shows Christ’s humble response to a sinful humanity, as He humbles Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).
- In John 13:1-20, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples in a beautiful picture of others-centered humility.
One of the best ways to practice humility is to pray for your spouse. I found this list from Desiring God of 10 ways for a man to pray for his wife and I have consistently prayed these 10 characteristics and passages for Kristen the last 18 months. Ladies: here is a post with 10 ways from Fierce Marriage to pray for your husband.
When you pray for your spouse it helps take the focus off of yourself and helps you love the one who is one flesh with you.
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