Humility in Marriage

Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles laud it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant’ Matt 20:25-26 (NIV)

Servanthood is the biblical key to greatness

We often look at the scripture above and apply it only to a church setting. The reality is that our primary ministry is in our homes. People who are proud don’t serve. “Ah no, well that’s going to inconvenience me,” they probably say.  We are not showmen; servant-hearted humility must first be manifest in our marriages.

Humility produces patience

People who are proud don’t wait.  When you respect and value someone’s knowledge above your own understanding, you are willing to wait for them, just as you do when you sit in the waiting room of a doctor you value and respect, without getting upset that your time is being wasted. 

How patient are you with God? Are you willing to wait in His Presence, and to linger there? How patient are you with your spouse? This is the foundation of humility in marriage.  You are humble before God and man. 

Are you open to correction?

When you are humble in marriage you are willing to get correction from your spouse, even if you see them as less experienced. You are grateful that there is someone you are accountable to who loves you. You recognize your own frailty before God, making you suspend judgment and be full of grace toward your spouse.

Humility results in tenderness and emotional intimacy in marriage

You do not have an entitlement mentality that makes you demand that your needs and wants are met immediately. Rather you see what you have as a privilege. You honour your spouse recognizing that they too are created in God’s image. This manifests in your tenderness.

When it comes to decision-making you enquire of the Lord and do not trust your own ability or intellect. You know that even you can be deceived. You do things for the audience of One (God); you would still do it even if no one was going to find out. You know that better men (or women) than you have fallen, no sin is beyond you.

When you are humble in marriage, recognizing your ignorance and limitations makes you readily ask your spouse for advice and assistance. No work is beneath you. Sadly, some people are too proud to accept certain jobs, and as a result they do not provide for their families.

When you walk in humility you are willing to be open about your weaknesses with your spouse, instead of just projecting an ideal image.

You build emotional intimacy with your spouse because you are willing to make yourself vulnerable with them.

Finally, humility will help you to apologize genuinely and to forgive. 

‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ James 4:6 (ESV)

May God give us grace!