The Power of Humility In Marriage

Defeating selfishness and building unity

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.” 1 Peter 5:5

If we were to swing by your home and look at your bedroom closet (don’t worry!) what would we find? Who has the majority of the closet? Is there a particular color one of you likes to wear? Who has more shoes? Does one or both of you rotate your clothes in and out of the closet depending on the season? How about in your kitchen? Do you use an apron when you cook? Is there a his and hers apron?

In his first letter, the apostle Peter writes about an article of “clothing” that every Christ-follower should wear. Nowhere is this piece of clothing more important than in the intimacy of a marriage relationship. He writes, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,” (1 Peter 5:5).

In the original language that this was written (Greek), to be “clothed” means to tie something on with a knot or a bow. It had the idea of someone putting on an apron to keep their clothes clean when serving.

Here’s why this is important to you and your spouse: humility brings God’s grace directly into your marriage. James writes that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). You WANT God to be for you not opposing you. Pick any marriage where one or both spouses live pridefully with their mate and you KNOW their marriage is fraught with strife.

Here are three things to remember as you consider clothing yourself with humility:

1. It’s a choice.

You can certainly choose to live selfishly. You can choose not to put on humility. You can choose to live in opposition to your spouse. But considering the outcomes and strife, why would you choose relational destruction?

It will take a few days of practice, but each time you get dressed in the morning say, “Today, I am choosing to put on humility in my marriage. I choose to put pride aside and serve my spouse.” Over time you’ll experience situations where you start to rise up with pride and desire to have your way—and instead you choose humility.

2. It’s an attitude.

The ability to see our own faults and admit when we are wrong is an expression of humility in marriage. Asking forgiveness and granting forgiveness with our spouse are ongoing expressions of humility as well.

When we choose humility we are consciously declaring that nothing is beneath us. We are actually choosing to elevate our spouse’s worth and value.

3. It’s a reflection of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul writes that Jesus, “being in very nature God…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). Our choosing to be clothed in humility and serve our spouse becomes a living example of Jesus’ humility to our spouse. As we said earlier, we bring his grace and favor into our marriage when we choose to serve as we’ve been served by Jesus.

So back to your closet…will you take out humility and clothe yourself with it every day? If you do, you will strengthen your relationship and build your marriage.

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