The Spirit Filled Marriage 3: The Humility Filled Foundation for Marriage
Humility is to remember that we are made for God; pride is to act like God. Humility is to remember we are receivers of all good things; pride is to think we are the source of our good. Humility is happy to serve like Jesus; pride is not happy unless served. Humility is happy to suffer for Jesus; pride thinks it deserves blessing and ease. Humility listens and learns then speaks; pride is quick to voice its opinions. Humility accepts correction and is self-critical of personal weaknesses; pride is oversensitive, critical of others and oblivious to personal faults. Humility is patient and hardworking expecting fruitfulness after hard work and commitment; pride is impatient, lazy and expects everything to be handed over on a silver platter without working or waiting. Humility is always thankful thinking it has more than it deserves; pride is always bitter thinking it has less than it deserves. Humility prays in constant dependence upon God; pride brags constantly declaring its own strength. Humility is the next important foundation for marriage that comes to us from Ephesians 5:21, ‘submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ Submission addresses our humility before others, and reverence our humility before God.
Humility, although not mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit in the famous list in Gal. 5 is a vital outworking of the Spirit filled life. God dwells by His Spirit with the humble, Is. 57:15, ‘For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’ If we have humble hearts where we do not quench of grieve the Spirit with pride then we will have hearts that are fertile for submission towards others as well as reverent.
Humility is absolutely essential for harmony in any relationship including marriage. William Romaine writes:
‘Pride was not made for man, and yet is in all men, and is the chief parent of human woe. It sets people above their place, and makes them think they could support the greatest fortunes, and are able to manage the most difficult affairs. Others, as proud as they, deny them their sweet fancied superiority. Hence come wars and fightings, public and private. The sweet grace of humility is sent from Heaven to relieve those distresses; for into whatsoever bosom it enters, it renders men kind to one another, tender-hearted, ready to every good word and work. Thus runs the divine exhortation, ‘Be kindly, affectioned one to another; in honour preferring one another.’ (Rom. 12:10). This is heart –humility, which the Holy Spirit requires, and which He bestows. He brings His disciples into humble subjection to God, then to one another; which has the most happy effects upon public, social, and private happiness.’1 This includes happiness in marriage.