Pride & the Impact on Marriages

I once guest posted an article over on The Koala Mom, attempting to explain how I have struggled, and then come to terms, with the concept of my husband as the “spiritual head of the home.” I still struggle with this concept at times, but am starting to recognize the times when I don’t want to heed his role in my spiritual life as being times in which the feelings stem from the sin of pride.

I am a prideful, flawed being – we are all flawed beings. Perhaps nowhere is that made crystal clear than within the vocation of matrimony. On the day we enter into our sacramental union, we are not only making a contract with each other – a promise to love each other, “For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” We are also entering into a covenant with God – inviting Him into our marriage and sacramental union. We are promising God we will turn to Him, and embrace all that He has in store for us. And, as I wrote about last week, during this journey of matrimony, we areย striving for sainthood, even though it won’t be easy.

Sometimes, when parenting and work result in sleep-deprivation, it can be easy for irrational feelings to creep into our minds. Those irrational feelings can cloud our judgment, sully our thoughts, and imprint upon our actions. They create an atmosphere which feeds on animosity, mistrust, anger, and pride.

It is in precisely those momentsย we, as married couples, must turn to the covenant we established with God. We must seek His help. We must ask His guidance. We are compelled, by virtue of our vows, to trust in His greater plan, and seek His will.

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And, it won’t be easy.

Pride likes to sneak into our hearts in small moments – with a glance askew here, a misspoken word there, a feeling of exhaustion all around.

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Christians acknowledge there is an unseen battle waging all around us, a battle between good and evil … a battle for our souls. A reputable exorcist for the Catholic Church has spoken about a demon targeting families, and the first step toward building a family is to have a married couple.

When couples break down, the family unit withers and dies.

Living within a vocation, we must remain vigilant. As couples, we must strive to remember the end goal of our state of living – to become saints in heaven.

When our marriages struggle, when we start to get worn down, and when we start to doubt our vocation, I would encourage all of us to remember the following prayer:

Lord, help us to remember the time we first met,

and the strong love that grew between us.

Help us to apply that love in practical things so nothing divides us.

We humbly ask for kind words filled with love,

and for hearts always ready to ask forgiveness, as well as to forgive.

Lord, we leave our marriage in Your hands.

Amen.

-Lamb and Lion Marketing

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17 Comments

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  1. I’d like to think that husband and wives are spiritual co-heads of the family; that two heads are better than one.

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    • While I haven’t used the whole “two heads are better” analogy, I do like that idea – and, one of the things I love about the Catholic Church teachings is that they embrace the concept of separate, equal, but different roles. Which is why often times, Catholic marriages have both parents give away the bride, because it honors both parents as integral to the formation of the children!

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      • In too many churches, they teach “man is the head of the wife” wrong. I’ve read story after story about a husband who literally and figuratively throws the Good Book at his wife when she doesn’t submit enough and is being “too disobedient”. Churches that disempower wives to fuel a husband’s power over her create an environment that – how was it put? Makes good men bad and bad men worse. I think that a system of checks and balances is better; wives should never taught to never tell their husbands “no”.

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      • I firmly believe those churches forget the rest of the passage, charging men to “love your wives as yourself.” If a person loves their own person, then they will always want to empower their spouse, too.

        I’m feisty, and wouldn’t do well in a church that would teach me to never tell my husband “no.” ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

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  2. Remember how you felt on your first date? Dad made me cry…..

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  3. I always love how our pastor makes sure that husbands also hear the rest of the verse on submission….the part where is says, “and husbands do likewise.”
    My husband and I were just speaking of this today. We decided it would be so nice if we were perfect people and would always put God first and then each other. We know we fail at that because as imperfect people we tend to want what we want for ourselves first. Things to keep working on :).

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    • I completely agree – all too often, we overlook that last part, which is a shame, because the passage in its entirety is so astonishingly beautiful!

      And, one of the things I found striking recently is someone’s comments on vocation (don’t remember if it was the Pope’s or not) – referring to/lamenting that society struggles to understand the concept of vocations, and forgets there is the third person in a marriage/vocation. It isn’t just the couple, but God. Whomever it was discussing this topic had lead me to wonder – if, in today’s society, we placed a heavier emphasis on God’s involvement in our lives (all around), if we would be a little better about putting Him first? Either way, as you said, these are things to keep working on!!

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  4. We’ve been married 27 years and I don’t know how people stay married without God as the third party to their union. I love the prayer–you should make it into a printable. Pride is definitely a big problem for me.

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  5. Thanks for the beautiful prayer! So needed in moments of weakness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this, Anni. And your wedding photo! How beautiful.

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