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2 Strong Ways to Fight Pride in Marriage

The struggle with pride in marriage is real! 

“Why did I ever get married?” “I would be better off doing this thing alone.”

Do those kinds of thoughts ever cross your mind? They cross my mind.  Oh hello, my name is Tiffany, and I am a proud person by nature.  Today we will look at pride in marriage as we examine the phrase love is not arrogant in marriage.

What Is Pride In Marriage

We are digging into 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and applying it to our godly marriage  

To go back, click on any of the words in this list:

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act disrespectfully or unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked to anger, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, enduring all thingsLove never fails.

As we continue on we see a word I believe everyone is familiar with – pride in marriage – from the phrase love is not arrogant.  

Love is Not Arrogant in Marriage – Defined

What does arrogance in marriage mean or look like? A deep dive into Blueletterbible.org helps us see the original meaning of the word arrogant or proud.

Love considers others better than itself instead of puffing itself up as most important (Philippians 2:3). 

Another way to say love is not arrogant in marriage is that love is without pride or self-conceit.  

This one is about humility- putting the needs of others first.

It means I should consider others –including my husband – more important than myself. 

To fully understand this issue of pride in marriage let’s ask some questions and answer them honestly…  I will if you will…

What Are Signs Of Pride?

If I examine myself, I recognize pride when I see anger.  Not just anger really, but self-righteous anger. The words, me, my, and I are used a lot when pride has stepped into the situation.  

Signs of the foolishness of pride in a person are:

  • Making everything personal, or being easily offended.
  • Being quick to find fault.
  • Not listening to others’ input.
  • Feeling superior and going against authorities.
  • Not seeing my own mistakes/flaws.

Spiritual pride is an area where I am guilty, where selfish ambition rears its ugly head.  In my marriage relationship, I feel I study more or care more about spiritual things than my husband.

I am a proud spouse in a very bad way.

Related: 14 Characteristics of A Godly Wife That Will Save Your Marriage

How does pride destroy relationships?  Pride in marriage refuses to bend, refuses to give grace, and refuses to see value in what the other person knows and can teach. Share on X

What Is Pride In A Relationship?

Now, take all of that and multiply it by two.  Two prideful people in a relationship spell disaster.

All the characteristics of a prideful, arrogant person show up no matter how wonderful your marriage is.  We each come into marriage feeling we know the right way to do things and that our way is the only right way. 

I caught the signs of a haughty spirit in myself just tonight as I watched my husband load the dishwasher.  He had the nerve to put cups on the bottom and load the knife’s blade up.  I heard myself begin to lecture him about safety and felt the Holy Spirit correct my pride.  

There are many right ways to do most everyday tasks.  Pride in marriage can ruin a relationship!

Can Too Much Pride Ruin A Relationship? 

Is a prideful spouse ever a good thing?  Is there a type of pride that doesn’t destroy sacrificial love?

The answer is very straightforward.  Yes.  Too much pride in marriage can ruin a relationship. 

How does pride destroy relationships?  Pride in marriage refuses to bend, refuses to give grace, refuses to see value in what the other person knows and can teach.  

Arrogance in marriage suffocates love.  It’s hard to love someone you are forcing to become exactly like you.  It’s hard to love someone you are always correcting or picking apart for doing things differently or having a difference of perspective.  

When pride is the overarching theme of your life, love whithers; it is a sign of the end of the marriage if pride is the only thing you care to defend. 

Relationships thrive on grace, acceptance, and choice; unconditional love from a humble heart that puts the partner’s needs above our own issues.  

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Confessions of a Proud Woman

Have I mentioned that I am a selfish person?  

I spent a lot of time angry about the issue of the danger of pride in marriage or arrogance in marriage.  Why?  I didn’t want to be anyone’s doormat. 

I have worked hard my whole life to be strong enough that NO man would ever put me under his thumb. Isn’t that how we are supposed to be as 21st Century women? 

My fault-finding glasses stay firmly in place which leads to the absolute loss of intimacy in most relationships…
Honestly though, in the deepest parts of my heart, I was just afraid. 

Fear is at the heart of most of the pride issues in my life.  

What’s The Big Deal About Arrogance in Marriage Anyway?

I have listed the characteristics of a prideful person and the truth is they are taken right from my own personality.  Even reading them knowing they are not godly or good I ask, “Is pride really that big a deal, God?”  

How do I, a prideful woman deep in my heart, live in my marriage – and not be arrogant or proud?  This is just the way I am wired.  Pride is part of my nature, my very core character. 

Pride Is Sin

A few years ago I got the answer to this series of questions to God, loud and clear as I found myself on the road to divorce #2.  Yikes.

I was led to a deeper study of marriage and learned that God’s Word says a lot about how to have a strong Christian marriage. 

Related: Why I Moved From Christian To Disciple

The Bible’s marriage advice is 100% opposite of the culture’s advice!

Why did that shock me? 

What does the Bible say about the battle of pride in marriage?

Pride is one of those issues.  The Bible says pride is sin. 

It felt like pride was part of my deeply ingrained character, but the truth is it was just a sin I had justified in my life.  

Why Do We Justify The Sin Of Pride? 

Fear.  Fear is why I justified the sin of pride in my marriage.  

This is what I was afraid of.  

If I put my husband first, who will meet my needs?

After wrestling with this fear for a long time I decided to just try it God’s way –because He said so, not because I thought He was right – and see what happened.

How To Love Without Pride in Marriage

So how do you live and love in marriage without pride or arrogance? 

  1. Let go of my need to control everything in my home, especially the little things.
  2. Put my husband’s needs ahead of my preferences (we will talk more about this later on).

Whew, just two things to do to love without pride, but those two things feel huge!

Lora Story said something profound in her book When God Doesn’t Fix It.

“God values our spiritual growth more than our physical comfort.”

This is both my favorite of all the pride in marriage quotes and humility in marriage quotes.  Marriage has a lot to do with growing spiritually and being uncomfortable!  

A Strong Woman Is A Humble Woman

It actually takes a strong woman to let go of control!

Letting go of control in my home means some things won’t go my way… which is physically uncomfortable. 

Putting my husband’s needs above my preferences also means discomfort.  

Both things require humility and trust in God.  Humility is impossible if you are not trusting in God.  

Humility Requires Trust In God

Why can you trust God?  He is faithful.  

Remember I promised to be honest if you would be honest?  If we were sitting talking about marriage struggles over coffee or tea this is about the time I’d come clean with you.  

I spent many of the first years of marriage living in pride, insisting on my own way, berating my husband for everything he did differently than I liked.  

The result of pride in marriage, in my own marriage, was distance from my husband.  I killed his real love and squashed it with unrealistic expectations, and unrelenting standards.  That is probably the most common cause of lack of respect, expectations, and standards that are unreachable.

But when I stepped back, my husband began to lead in our home. He began to come to life, want to be around me, engage in conversation, and thrive.  

My sin of pride was destroying the healthy marriage I was dreaming of.

Will You Give Up Pride in Marriage Today?  

The struggle is real.  We live in a world that pushes the propaganda of pride at every turn. Because of this, I have to remind myself daily of God’s way of doing marriage to keep myself on track. 

Will you take up the challenge with me today, the marriage challenge?  Give up pride in marriage with me today. 

Don’t miss that it is a challenge.  It’s a challenge because it is hard work. 

If you struggle with control issues, like me, I suggest starting with prayer.  Begin today praying for God to show you His will in this area.

Humble love is strong love within your marriage!

Do You Need To Go Deeper?

This is part of the 9-week Marriage Bible Study –Finding Hope & Joy in Marriage.  Through this course, we will explore the 9 Biblical foundations of having a successful marriage in God’s way.  

This class will include:

  • 10 video lessons
    • You can watch live or when you have time
  • 9 weeks of personal study
    • 5 days each week that should take 10-15 minutes
  • A private Facebook Group to discuss the homework and talk through the weekly challenges
  • 45 Days of Prayer prompts

in HIM,

If you liked this, you will love these posts:

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

50 thoughts to “2 Strong Ways to Fight Pride in Marriage”

  1. My wife and I are from a strong religious background and we both know we have to work on our marriage every day. We do put God first but we have to put in the hard work to make sure our love constantly grows and stays a light. I really loved this post.

    Thanks for Sharing

    John M

  2. Getting used to putting someone else first takes a lot of work, but in a marriage it has to be done. My husband and I are constantly working on this aspect of marriage.

    1. That’s great Crystal! It is the work of a lifetime but so worth it!

  3. I honestly have never thought that I would be better off alone. I would not have my beautiful child or my wonderful hubby by my side, and that would be terribly lonely.

    1. That is the truth… I would miss my children. No regrets. I would miss my husband too – now that we are better. But there was a time it was not going well. I love to meet people who have not gone through that and learn how they make things work so well. I’d love to hear your story sometime Heather!

  4. Letting go of control can be hard. Especially when each person feels very strongly about things being a certain way. It’s great to be able to compromise and work to a solution.

    1. That’s it exactly Kari… Loving the other person enough to bend and compromise.

    2. My kids are ecstatic to see your site! They always play that their Barbie’s names are Kari! Never met a Kari before but it is a cool coincidence!

  5. Humility is always the secret ingredient to getting along with others and expressing love without our egos. Nothing good comes out of a situation where our ego is behind the wheel, rather if we let love lead our lives we can avoid a lot of unnecessary strife. This is with all relationships. Good post and a great reminder.

    1. I agree it applies to all relationships Sonyo! Marriage is just a little harder sometimes because we are always in each other’s space.

  6. My husband and I talk. A lot. About everything. Anything that’s on our mind. Work, play, our relationship… Especially our relationship. We aren’t afraid to broach the topics that might be a tad uncomfortable – because we ARE comfortable with one another. I see absolutely no arrogance in our relationship at all. We lift each other up and try to make each other better people.

    1. it is hard, but so worth it. Having a partner to always have your back through the chaos in life is amazing. Thanks for stopping by Sarah!

    1. I like how you said that “Soul search with”. Truth is always good for soul searching!

    1. That’s such a great testimony! We were in the same place. PTL

  7. Good Evening!! I have been married for 5 years, and am beginning to learn to let go of control. The first 2 years were the hardest, but through alot of prayer its starting to work. Thank you for your blog post. I will definitely be following ????

    1. so glad it encouraged you Jennifer! Hope to connect another time.

  8. I love that scripture in Corinthians. It is so true and really puts it right to the point. It can be super hard, but so worth it when you have mutual love and respect with your spouse.

  9. This is great advice. It can be hard to be humble and put the needs of your spouse above your own, but if you are both doing that, and great love will form and it will be great.

  10. What an inspiring post! Marriage needs a lot of hard work. I have been married for 7 years now and there have been some hard times over the years but fortunately, I have never thought “Why did I ever get married?”.

    1. That’s great Ave! We are not in that place anymore, but those thoughts were the first ones that opened my eyes about the need to make some changes.

  11. This is also something I found myself struggling with. Like you said our culture teaches us to be Independent Women and basically need no man. Getting beyond that hasn’t been easy and is something I have to focus on almost daily. Since making this changed I’ve seen the difference in my relationship with my Hubby.

    1. It really has to be almost daily. I see that over and over again with women I talk to. It is one of things that prompted me to begin this Blog.

  12. I agree with you on the point that we should not be arrogant in relationships, especially as a familly. Love is giving up something for the other, right? Hope you’d have a happy life with your spouse!

  13. I definitely agree that marriage is about respecting each other’s mutual needs. But yes, it’s a learning curve! haha

    1. I agree with you, it is a learning process. And the most beautiful part is when both of you work together to understand each other.

  14. Marriage can be really challenging! I am glad you were able to draw some resources and guidance that helped you and your husband.

  15. What a great post filled with lots of resources, Tiffany! Marriage is hard, intentional work! I couldn’t do it without God’s help!

  16. Wow, yes I struggle with pride too! I realized that my need to control everything was a sin and a sign of my lack of trust in God as well as in my husband. However, I am so thankful that God reveals us to ourselves when we ask him with a surrendered heart.

  17. I have been married for almost 23 years. I love your honest blog Tiffany. I have found that marriage is a daily dying to self in honor preferring one another. I want to encourage others to always be bold and communicate with your spouse, it is huge! Yes, he may be defensive or “blow up” but that will “blow over” too and pray that the Holy Spirit will work on both of you. If you never say anything you’ll only start to be bitter and resentful. What have you got to lose? You don’t like things the way they are right? I have always said to my hubby “I think we need to talk, when would be a good time?” This gives him control of setting the time, and me time (and maybe him too) to pray and ask Holy Spirit to be there during our more crucial conversations. I’ve found these times of communication to be very beneficial and productive. Never give up my friend, if God is for you (and He most definitely is) then who can be against you?! Always remember your spouse is not the enemy!! We don’t wrestle flesh and blood, but principalities and powers that want to kill and destroy. Be encouraged, God sees you and is for your marriage succeeding!!

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