Ah, (insert grunt here), it's good to be a man.
Strong in stature when looking in the mirror.
Dependable to those you often work around.
Ready to respond to those in particular need.
Firm when it comes to a handshake.
Faithful when church is in service.
Hurtful and often unloving to those closest to you.
Ah, (insert second, larger grunt here), it's real good to be a man.
Pride will commonly make you appear amazing to those rarely around you, yet it will destroy the relationships with those closest to you.
On the other hand, the stronger trait of humility will keep both general friendships and close relationships on a constant, upward swing.
Let's look to the Scriptures to find out powerful ways to beat pride out of your marriage and manhood:
"A man's pride will bring him low, but honor will uphold the humble in spirit" (Prov. 29:23).
"When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom" (Prov. 11:2).
Pride, Humility and King Belshazzar
Imagine yourself standing in a room and talking about how great you are to another man when suddenly a hand appears on the wall and starts writing something on it. That's strange, but it would be even stranger if the writing was in a language you had never seen before. Now you're stuck in a really odd situation and you can't read what the inscription says, but you somehow know it's meant for you.
Next thing you know, the buddy you were just standing next to reads the crazy writing and it's a brief message that your own personal downfall is coming quickly because of your pride. Not only did he read something you couldn't, but it was a stern warning that your glorious pride is coming to an extreme halt!
The example above might sound like crazy talk, but it's exactly what happened to the king of Babylon in Daniel 5.
"Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar commanded that they bring in the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king, and his officials, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem. And the king and his officials, his wives and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and of silver, of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone. Immediately fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace. And the king saw the back of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck against one another" (Dan. 5: 1-6).
Just like my example above, the king was instantly humbled and brought down from his high position. His long list of prideful actions had finally caught up to him and it was now time to pay the price. From this moment, he searched and searched to find someone that could read the words on the wall. He finally summoned Daniel, who was able to read the tough message from God.
Before Daniel even read the inscription, he reminded Belshazzar of his own father's prideful life and downfall. He went on to say that even though you watched your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, live a life of pride and die with absolutely nothing, you still chose to live like him. Hear it from Daniel:
"O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty and glory and honor. And for the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he slaughtered, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he set up, and whom he would, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne and they took his glory from him. And he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the animals, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that He appoints over it whomever He wills. Yet you, his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; but have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine in them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know. And the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not glorified. Then the hand was sent from Him, and this inscription was written" (Dan. 5:18-14, emphasis added).
Here is what the inscription said:
"Mene: God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. Tekel: you have been weighed in the balances and are found wanting. Peres: your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians" (Dan. 5: 26-28).
That night, the king was slain and someone else took over the kingdom.
Pride, Humility and Your Manhood
The story from Daniel might sound extreme, but isn't it exactly what we do in our own path towards manhood and maturity? You get carried away in your own accomplishments and your own quest for glory, that you forget about helping others. You get so focused on your own problems in life that you forget the needs and problems of others. Don't we know better? Weren't we warned?
The struggle to maintain humility over pride in my own life is an everyday battle that I face. I experience it in conversations and accomplishments at work. As much as I want to get the "high five" or the "well done," I must remember to get off my high horse and do those things to my coworkers. I often find myself comfortable in my own life, that I often forget about encouraging those around me such as family and friends.
Choose humility over pride today. Choose to not live like the king. You know better, so do better!
Pride, Humility and Your Marriage
The examples I wrote at the beginning of this article didn't happen by accident. In fact, I wrote them on purpose. I wanted you guys, my brothers, to realize how pride shows up in your relationships. Pride might keep you looking good to those around you, but it will destroy your closest relationships. This is especially true in your marriage.
"Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up" (1 Cor. 13:4).
Not only have I seen many men fall victim to pride, but I have lived it out myself. I lived out most of my early marriage the opposite of 1 Corinthians 13:4. And just like the king, I could see my marriage falling apart and I knew better; but I just kept on living the lie. I thought giving up my pride would make me less of a man. I thought showing true love to my wife would make me look weak to everyone else. I was wrong, and it took a near divorce conversation before I realized it.
You beat pride out of your marriage and manhood, by submitting your life over to God.
Don't wait till the writing is on the wall. Don't wait for your friends to confront you. Don't wait until your wife suddenly wants to leave you. Take action now!
Mature men take action on the wisdom they've learned immediately!
Your "TAKE ACTION CHALLENGE" is simple: Set aside time to pray each day and start reading a Proverb a day. #doit #manup #takeaction
What is one thing you can do this week to remove pride from your life? Share in the comments below or on social media.
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