Every time Gathoni & I fight, one thing is always present, underlying in every argument and conflict. Every time we feel frustrated and get tired of each other, the same thing is always present. The only problem is that none of us can see it. It’s invisible. It’s deadly and its name is PRIDE.
The one thing that is responsible for the death of most marriages & relationships is pride. Sadly, the most dangerous thing about pride is that it is invisible. It is an enemy that you cannot see. Imagine, you have been deployed to a war-torn city for peace-keeping. Just before you leave for the deployment, the commander of your unit informs you that the enemy you are supposed to eliminate is invisible. You cannot be able to see them. Imagine how difficult it will be to take back that city. The simple reason is that you cannot be able to see your enemy, thus you cannot know when they will attack.
That is pride right there for you. It is very easy to spot in others but impossible to see it yourself. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said these words in Matthew:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:3-5
And that is the danger of pride friends. The reason why you cannot see it is that it is in your own eye. Imagine you have a speck of food stuck on your eyelid, the only way you can be able to notice it’s there is if someone else points it out to you. That is the same with pride, the only way we can be able to see it in ourselves is if someone points it out to us.
Pride was also the original sin. Lucifer’s pride led God to cast him down from heaven. The pride of Adam & Eve led God to cast our original parents from the garden of Eden. One of the mightiest kings who ever lived, Nebuchadnezzar was forced to become like a wild animal for 7 entire years because of his pride. So what is pride?
Pride is a 5 letter word and the middle letter is ‘I’. That means at the center of pride is ‘me’. Pride is simply thinking more of yourself and less about others. For so long I equated pride to boasting, but those are two different things. Pride is the glorification of self above others.
The reason why Gathoni & I fought so much was that we were always putting our own interests before the interests of each other. Listen to what James says
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from YOUR desires that battle within you? YOU desire but do not have, so you kill. YOU covet but you cannot get what YOU want, so YOU quarrel and fightJames 4:1-2
I wanted my own way. I wanted to be 1st heard & understood. I wanted to be served. I wanted my own needs to be met. All these fights and conflicts arose because ‘I’ took precedence ‘You’. Many a time, in the middle of an argument, Gathoni would blurt out, “Why do you men love yourselves so much?” And I would be honestly surprised.
I, on the other hand, thought I was just being honest and true to myself. I hated being put on the spot, especially by my wife. I thought all along that I was doing a pretty decent job. Again, the invisibility of pride rose its ugly head.
Interestingly, I thought the same about Gathoni. She believed that her opinion was the right one always. And if I failed to do what she suggested, she would sulk and get moody. I kept telling her that sometimes she would be right and other times I could be right too. Oh! don’t we fight a lot about these issues? Simply put, you can either choose to be right or to be married.
We are socialized in a culture that believes that if you do not look out for yourself, no one else will. Putting others before self has become demonised. We live in a time where we are ‘woke’ & no longer want to live under the bondage of our ancestors. If you look at the socials, gender wars have become astronomical. Our culture’s mantras now are ‘Do you boo’, YOLO, What about you? and the like.
The danger of all this is that we have become a society that glorifies pride. We glorify ‘self’ above others. And the excuse is always that people will use you and then leave you. So go out and save yourself because no one else will.
The Danger of Pride
Solomon in the Proverbs, warns us severally about the dangers of pride. That pride comes before destruction/a fall. That is a law of nature, and you cannot break or deny it. Pride leads to destruction. The sea of humanity is full of people ship-wrecked on the rocks of pride. When you exalt yourself, God will humble you. There are no two ways about it. A marriage of two proud individuals is headed for the rocks! It has a predictable end.
God showed me that in order to love Gathoni effectively, I had to let go of my pride. Since, love demanded patience, kindness, forgiveness, and not seeking my own way. In order to love her effectively, I had to put her interests before mine. I had to listen to her point of view and understand it fully before I told her mine. God showed me that I had to prioritize her needs over mine, even when I didn’t feel like it (e.g. cuddling, hugging & long pillow talks). I could not love Gathoni and hold on to my pride. One had to go. And it was the most painful surgery ever.
God also showed Gathoni that in order to fully respect me, she had to let go of her pride. In order for her to become my cheerleader and push me to be what God made me to be, she had to subordinate her own wants and desires. In order for Gathoni to fully support me and believe in me, she had to let go of her fear of being forgotten.
Basically, in order to have our own needs met, we had to meet the other person’s needs first (Oh bummer!)
The Beauty of Humility
Humility means putting the needs of others before our own. For me, it means laying down my own life for my wife, and for Gathoni it was to submit her own will to mine. That is what Jesus did for us. He had to let go of his pride and lay down his life for his bride, the church. He had also to let go of his pride and come to earth like a man submitting his own will to His Father in heaven. That is the holy calling of marriage, friends. I leave you with this quote that is a daily reminder to us all…
Marriage is a daily sacrifice (death) of your ego
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY
I am a disciple of Christ, passionate about serving God’s purpose to my generation. I am a husband to Gathoni Kiruthi and together God has blessed us with 3 amazing children