Updated: May 31
Many individuals I counsel in their relationships, whether it be singles who are looking for a committed relationship leading to marriage or couples facing a challenging season in their marriage tend to have one factor in common: a lack of understanding the importance of humility in making a relationship work. Attitude is a crucial factor in relationship satisfaction and personal joy and Christians are taught in the Bible to follow the example of Christ in humble service. This is the opposite of self-help which says you must first place yourself as top priority, insuring that emotional needs are met.
The apostle Paul encouraged fellow believers to not only model themselves after Christ but also to conduct themselves daily in that manner to match their position in Christ as a redeemed and saved follower of the Lord.
Christians are to conduct themselves each day in the most foundational virtue - humility.
1) Gentleness: the product of humility allows you to look at relationship challenges from a perspective that is not filled with hostility and anger.
2) Self-control and Mild Spiritedness: humility produces an attitude of meekness and self-control, which allows better communication within the relationship. That leads to better and more direct communication that can effectively deal with the real relational challenges. Instead of looking for retaliation during disagreements, a self-controlled mindset can lead the conversation toward unity and resolution.
3) Patience: The outgrowth of humility and gentleness can gives one the grace not to take everyday conversation as an insult or personal slight if not said in the correct tone of voice. Many couples seem to look at each other as an enemy that needs to be defended against instead of a partner in life and love. It is the cumulation of negative over positive experiences that can lead couples to a hardening of the heart toward each other.
Humility, gentleness and patience are reflected in a forbearing love for others that is continuous and unconditional. Pride pushes for its own way - and it is that selfish ambition that leads to a loss of joy, harmony and fulfillment in relationships.
To achieve your relational needs, humility should be the one daily virtue you practice in love. The Christian is equipped with the Holy Spirit which enables one to practice humility and growth in that attitude and transformed mindset will be a key factor in receiving mutual joy, fulfillment and peace in your relationship.
Nancy Pina is a licensed Christian counselor with over 25 years experience helping clients achieve their relationship, marriage and family goals.