It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride. — John Ruskin

Have you ever noticed that 1 Corinthians 13 tells you two things about what love is:

Love is patient, love is kind. (13:4a)

And it tells you five things regarding what love is not:

[Love] does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking.

The list continues; but if we pause there, it’s easy to see that love doesn’t put self first. It’s our new marriage mantra: In love, choose to lose.

Through years of providing marriage counseling to couples, I’ve noticed pride exists in most marriages—through one or both spouses. The word Paul uses for “pride” is the Greek physioo. Physioo is having an inflated view of your own intellect and reason.

If you were a physioo man, you might think, Wow, she’s so lucky to have me!

A physioo woman might say to herself, I wonder what would have become of him if he hadn’t ended up with me?

Physioo men and women both struggle with the words, “I’m sorry.”

If that’s you, then practice them this week in the mirror. Start simply. Just move your mouth; make the muscles work. Practice and repeat; practice and repeat. You’ll soon find that there are very few sentences that have a more powerful impact on a marriage than “I’m sorry.”

For a more advanced version, you can add the words, “And I was wrong.”

And if you want to take it all the way, sincerely and humbly add, “Please forgive me.”

Take baby steps, my friends—because even baby steps take you places. If you desire to have a marriage that breaks out and grows, then pride must go.

God, I pray the language of repentance that ushered me into Your Kingdom would become the native language of my marriage. You promise that when I lack the words, Your Spirit will give them to me; when I struggle to speak, Your Spirit will make me bold. I ask that my apologies would be bold and often—that these apologies would be poison to any pride in my character. Amen.

Taken from Pete’s series To Love and to Cherish.