Denying Yourself, the Heart of Marriage

We all long to find that one person who fully knows us and all our weaknesses but yet still loves and values us just as we are. However, our natural tendency is towards pride and selfishness, which ends up causing strife in our marriages.

Pride Has No Place in Marriage
I am faced with this idea of giving up oneself or self-sacrifice everyday. Somehow in marriage it is more apparent that the Holy Spirit is in your face showing you all of your flaws. Perhaps it’s because you have to start caring for someone else and be aware of how they operate as well as their needs and wants.

To be honest it can be exhausting sometimes to be faced with your sinful nature. My pride tells me to focus on my wants, needs and personal agenda. It’s not long until I start resenting my husband for what he isn’t doing, and let that take root and grow.

“All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:31-32.

Deny Yourself and Take up the Cross
Ever heard of the phrase “choose your battles?” Well this is so true in marriage.

Not only are we called to deny ourselves, we are called to take up the cross. As Jesus has said, we cannot serve two masters, such as the self and the cross.

“If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

We are called to deny our self-centered interests. In every minute, every interaction and every conversation with our significant other we must choose whether we are going to deny ourselves or deny the cross. The decisions we make in those moments can either lead to heartbreak or joy.

Follow the Example of Christ
God paved the way for self-sacrifice by giving His only Son to die on the cross for us. This is where you know that you can find comfort and strength in denying ourselves and taking up the cross.

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-8.

If you find yourself tending towards pride and selfishness, the first step is to turn to God and pray that He will humble your heart. The second is to apologize to your significant other because, more often than not, you have probably shown those signs of bitterness and resentment. Communication with God and your significant other is the best thing you can do for your marriage.

This will also allow you to demonstrate the love of Christ, enable grace and forgiveness, and allow for a thriving marriage. That is definitely worth it to me.

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