MY PURPOSE

The purpose of this blog is to create a place to provide resources that may help to strengthen marriages and families and to record and share my thoughts, impressions, feelings and knowledge about a broad spectrum of family topics and in exploring and learning more about family functions and the influence family life has on individuals and society. Topics include family relationships, family dynamics, gender, family science research, intimacy in marriage, same sex attraction, parenting, etc. I am excited to share what I am learning about the family and hope that readers will feel free to share as well that together we might strengthen, protect and defend the family as the fundamental unit of our society. ** Please look for the FHE Ideas at the end of certain posts to use as a resource for your families.

Monday, June 13, 2016

FAML 300 Week #8 - Beware of Pride

Beware of Pride – In your Marriage

This week I studied Pres. Benson’s talk on pride (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson - "Beware of Pride" Ensign May 1989) and a chapter from Goddard’s book about humility and repentance.  It is amazing to me that in order to solve marital struggles the answers keep coming back to the very basics of the gospel.  There was a time in my marriage when I really believed we were beyond hope… that we would never be able to figure it out and work together.  I thought that we just didn’t have the knowledge or the skills it requires to make our marriage work.  I believed that if we got help and counseling then we might have a chance.  We got help.  We went to counseling.  It didn’t fix our marriage.  It was helpful and we learned a lot of really great things and tools we can use but it didn’t fix our marriage.  The Lord, in all His mercy continued to show me what I needed to do to strengthen my marriage and it didn’t have anything to do with marriage skills.  It had everything to do with changing myself, changing my nature, humbling myself, developing Christ-like attributes like patience, forgiveness, love, and total submission to the Father’s will.  Over and over again, the lesson always came back to removing pride from my heart.  And now I am here again, learning again (because I will never stop needing this lesson) that my pride is the problem.  My own hard heart is the problem. 
The single most important thing I have learned about pride so far is this:

The central feature of pride is enmity – enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellow man.  Enmity means hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.  It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.”  (Pres Benson)   This statement has powerful meaning and depth.  If we start to really look at our lives, our interactions with others and most importantly our marriage relationships I believe that there would not be one single marital disagreement, argument, conflict, etc. that did not include pride (probably from both sides).  Any degree of enmity toward God or our fellow men is pride.  If we are ever in a state of opposition or have any hostility no matter how small we are experiencing pride.  
 We have raised ourselves “above” another and even we sometimes try to raise ourselves “above” God feeling that we know what is best for our lives more than He does.  We get angry when things are too hard.  We get frustrated because things don’t work out like we hope or feel they should.  But these feelings are our pride.  If we have enmity toward our fellowmen we also are experiencing pride.  Pres. Benson said “we are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them.”  This statement applies to marriages more than anything else.  We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above our spouse.  Feeling as though we know what is best for them, the ways in which they should behave and change, etc.   Goddard said:
“Pride includes our own attunement to our own needs as the standard of judgement.  Pride also includes the fact that we honestly believe that we understand our partners and what makes them tick.  We presume to understand their thoughts, motives and intent better than even they do themselves.” (loc 1427)
If we humble ourselves we can see ourselves, others and most importantly our spouses in light and truth.  This is the only way to salvage a marriage.  This is the only way our marriages can heal and grow.  Goddard explains humility in this way:
“Humility is the friend of truth.  Humility opens us up to the experience of others and to truth from heaven.  Humility requires not only that we believe in God, that He is all-wise and all-powerful, but also that ‘man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend’ (Mosiah 4:9).  We must set aside our provincial view of the world (and of our spouses), and be open to our partner’s perspective.  We must invite truth, the heavenly perspective.”
Image result for picture of humility

Imagine if husbands and wives could adopt and embrace this most important principle of humility.  What would marriages look like?  How much peace would abide in our homes?  How much closer to each other and to our God would we be as a people?  If ever you have desired more connection with your spouse you can receive it through humility. If ever you have desired more love for your spouse or from your spouse, the answer is humility.  If ever you have dreamed of a deeper and richer friendship with your spouse then you will only find it through humility.  We must rid ourselves of pride.  We must openly accept and proclaim our daily, complete, and total dependence on the Lord and His mercy upon us.  

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