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Pride: The Only Enemy of Marriage

Some are weepy drunks. Our intoxication with ourselves causes us to believe that we can’t do anything right. Very few people identify our problem as pride. It expresses itself as insecurity. It’s a false humility. We say things like, “Oh, I can’t do anything right.” “I’m no good.” People run from us because of our sad stories and our need to play the role of the victim. It seems the exact opposite of the arrogant superstar, but it’s just a different symptom of the same syndrome. We are intoxicated with ourselves.

When a police officer wants to test the intoxication of a driver, they ask them to do a simple task—walk a straight line, touch your nose, recite the alphabet. Intoxication has a simple effect—it makes simple tasks difficult. It impairs our ability. It makes the most routine situations difficult.

Is marriage hard, or are we so intoxicated with ourselves that it has taken the easy task—to love—and made it difficult?

It’s not hard to give mercy to others if we have a sober judgment about ourselves, but when we are impaired, it can be difficult.

Forgiveness is easier when we realize our mistakes, but when we live in denial of our imperfections we are tempted to hold grudges. (See: Three Reasons You Can’t Forgive)

Service is second-nature when we understand our need for help, but when we think we are self-sufficient, we believe others shouldn’t need our assistance.

A sign that we are drunk is our difficulty doing things that seem easy in God’s kingdom. Love, mercy, grace, peace, forgiveness are not difficult until pride impairs our ability.

Marriage only has one enemy—pride. It’s our intoxication with ourselves that hinders our ability to give and receive love. The antidote to pride is sober judgment. When we think rightly about ourselves, we understand our own need for grace.

What aspect of marriage should be easy, but because of pride has become difficult?  

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Kevin A. Thompson is Lead Pastor of Community Bible Church, a multi-site church in Fort Smith, AR. He currently writes a daily blog focusing on leadership, marriage, and parenting (specifically parenting a child with special needs). Kevin is the author of Friends, Partners & Lovers and the forthcoming sequel Happily: 8 Commitments of Couples who Laugh, Love, and Last. Along with his wife, Kevin is co-owner of JThompsonMMC, a full service media and marketing company based in Fort Smith. He is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and Oklahoma Baptist University.