The Women’s BIble Study that I am in has been going through the book of Proverbs. As a book of wisdom, it has a lot to say about relationships. Since relationships are central to living a life that is glorifying to God and are integral to life on this planet, it is not surprising that in providing instructions for how to live wisely, relationships would be a central topic.
Because of their importance and their fragility, relationships require a lot of care and wisdom. One of the most damaging things to our relationships is our pride. If I am focused on “me,” it is difficult to be simultaneously focused on someone else.
Yet at some point a choice has to be made; we must decide whether our pride or our relationship with another is more important. Perhaps there is no greater battlefield for this decision than in our marriages. Our familiarity with one another makes it less likely that we will feel the social pressure to defer to the other. Our history increases the chances that there have been sins against us in the past that the Enemy uses to tempt us to “stick up for ourselves” this time. Our expectation of a future together will entice us to make sure that we “get what we’re due” now, otherwise we might set a precedent for the years to come. The prideful temptations are everywhere and a choice must be made. Is our pride or our relationship what matters most? Are we willing to sacrifice “me” for the sake of “us”?
It may seem easy in concept, but it’s a difficult choice in practice. Not because the believer doesn’t know what choice they should make, but because any type of sacrifice is hard. Yet Proverbs 19:11 gives us hope. It states, “Good sense makes one slow to anger,and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” In other words, when we choose to set aside our pride and not fly off the handle, we are exercising wisdom. When we don’t demand what’s “ours” in order to overlook an offense, we are acting honorably. Choosing the good of a relationship over fueling our pride is hard, but God’s Word says it’s worth it. And because He will be the final arbitrator, if He says it’s worth it, we know that it is.