I know I've said that children are the #1 problem in marriage and, for the most part, I was joking. The for real number one problem in marriage is humility.
It's not having too much of it, though to a degree that can actually have a negative impact. It's not having enough. A humility deficient marriage is a marriage waiting to fail.
Over the last three years I have had the unfortunate opportunity to watch four friends' marriages fall apart. Cami and I knew them to varying degrees but each one broke my heart. To watch two people, who just a few short years prior had been madly in love with one another, so much so that they made covenants with God and each other to love, cherish, and uphold the other for ever, grow apart and let slip away the relationship that could have made them most happy in life is heart wrenching.
I hate it. I hate seeing it, watching it, hearing about it, and being close to it. It's especially hard when children are involved.
But it does happen and over the last three years it's happened at least four times. Two of our sets of friends are still in various stages of marital collapse. I have learned that each marriage falls apart differently. Some are like a supernova and overwhelm and consume everything around them. Others slip silently by the wayside. But no matter what it's like one thing is common: there is a serious humility deficiency in these failing marriages.
It's not always on both parts, but typically it is. One of the couples that fell apart the deficiency was totally on one of the parties and she admitted it. She was just unwilling to change.
Another one of the couples the husband recognized he was being prideful and tried to change but his wife would not forgive him, she was too proud to try, and so their marriage continued to rot until it collapsed entirely.
In the other two marriages arrogance and pride were equally manifested on both sides. Neither side was willing to both admit that they were part of the problem AND be willing to change. Usually once it gets to that point the trust in the marriage has dissolved to the point that neither party wants to be the one to take the first step for fear of getting their toe stepped on by the other or perhaps even getting their legs knocked from under them.
I feel like I am beginning to ramble. That's not what I want to do. I try not to be a complainer (though Cami would probably tell you that despite my best efforts I am) so I will get to the point.
The point is that a humility deficient marriage is a waiting to fail. It's like a tender box waiting for a spark. Nearly anything will set it off and when it ignites it'll be a big flame. It's at this point (assuming we let our marriage get to this point) that we can make a choice to either fan the flame with pride and arrogance or smother it with humility. It's always our choice.
The point of my point is to beware of pride in your marriage. Don't let it get a foothold. Foster your friendship with humility.
What's the #1 biggest problem in marriage? A serious lack of humility.
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