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 brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Proverbs 29:23
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 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 in Daniel 5.
“King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.”
5 “Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.”
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 fathers 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:
18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throneand stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.
22 “But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.
Here is what the inscription said:
26 God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
27 You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
28 Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
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 co-workers. 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 is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 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 I 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 Proverbs 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.