Marriage is hard: We’re prideful
Pastor Mark Jeske
Have you ever seen the sappy Ryan O’Neal/Ali MacGraw movie romance entitled Love Story? MacGraw played a character who was dying, and at her bedside O’Neal, choking and tearful, said he was sorry. MacGraw then unloaded a line that has done a lot of damage to relationships and marriages everywhere: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Apologizing is hard work. Apologizing and changing your behaviors is even harder, and what makes it so hard is pride. Dating and marriage always to some degree involve each person’s struggling for control. When your behaviors are driven by pride, you want to win every argument, always be right, see difficulties as your partner’s fault, bring up your partner’s admitted failures of the past, and explain away or deny your own sins and weaknesses.
You need other people’s input and critique to know how you sound, how you look, how your actions affect other people. In humility realize that you aren’t quite as brilliant and infallible as you think you are: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Romans 12:3).
When your spouse has an issue with something you’ve said or done, listen twice and think three times before you say anything. It may just be that the best thing you can say is, “I’m sorry.”
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