Sunday, March 20, 2011

When Pride Falls........

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let us look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God did NOT count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:3-7

I remember exactly when and where I was when the Lord drew me to this verse.......the last session of Passion Twenty Ten in Atlanta, Georgia. Payton and I had been dating about 4 months, and as the Lord spoke to me about this portion of Scripture, I began praying and journaling that these verses would become a reality in our relationship.

Mind you, I prayed this with the mindset that humility, servant hood, and selflessness was a natural thing for me. In my closed off, prideful mind; I was the Proverbs 31 woman made over and was no amateur at this relationship thing. God would just use these verses to tweak a few things inside of me, and I would continue being that picturesque girlfriend that had relationships and marriage all figured out. And to be honest, I probably prayed these verses with Payton more in mind than myself.....that he would be humbled, selfless, take my interest into consideration before his own. (HA). Because, remember, I had it all figured out.

Its apparent that it was for myself that the Lord lovingly and faithfully had me praying for these qualities, not so much for Payton!!! And as you can imagine, the reality of this truth has become a powerful, life transforming one. In my twenty-five years of life, I pridefully NEVER believed myself to struggle with pride and selfishness. Godly, married women would tell me all the time how much marriage exposes the ugly and reveals your self righteous and selfish qualities. Even then, this truth would enter into one ear and exit through the other. "I didn't have a whole lot of ugly in me, so this didn't apply to me." Right?

NO. I have learned that I am the most prideful, self righteous person. And it is because of God's grace, sovereignty, and His sanctification that I am still engaged to the most hard working, self sacrificing, humbly transparent, loving, and forgiving man I have ever met.

I thank God every day for using him to reveal my weaknesses and allow the pits of my soul to be uncovered. He uses those that loves us most to bring out the ugly! The married women in my life were, of course, more than accurate. There is no one I love more than I love Payton, but at the same time, there is no one that I despise more than him either.....just at times :). Seems a little backwards doesn't it? And I've always wondered why that is so........but that is exactly what our relationship with the Lord looks like.

He despises sin, yet loves nothing more than His sin infested children. We praise and express that we love Him with our whole heart, yet we consistently find ourselves in the same pits of sin.

I write this post for several reasons.

First and most importantly, Payton and I desire for our lives to be nothing less than a reflection of His work in and through this journey He has given us the opportunity to travel.

We are two extremely and undeserved blessed people BUT we have and still struggle through this life every single day. God has taken us through some rocky places; but out of that has taught us more about His love, His grace, His sovereignty, and His character. That is what we desire to testify about.

We have two of the best families, some of the coolest friends, a beautiful house, awedding in the process, and have opportunities for fun travels; but seldom do we learn solely from the good.

I find myself most encouraged by other people's struggles, pit falls, and failures and the victory and beauty gained from the them. That us what we want to do for you.....which brings me to #2.

I have found the courage, strength and motivation to hang on to mine and Payton's relationship, because of the transparent, admirable, Godly, married couples that God has put in our lives. It is because of their willingness to open up and share the many fights, disagreements, and ugliness of their relationships that has not only shown me that marriage truly is hard work, but it reminds me that Payton and I are normal! Yes, we fight and have had some really ugly ones; but in the midst of having the strength to hang on, I found this journey to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. One that I am so thankful that my pride and selfishness did not and has not let me miss.

We desire for our vulnerability and honesty to be nothing less than encouragement and a glimpse of hope to hang on to whatever He has called you to!

Thirdly, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

Because of the pride built up in my life, our relationship has been on the verge of falling to pieces. I thought I did no wrong; putting all the blame, nagging, and pointing fingers at Payton all the time!

Pride comes first!! Any disagreement or fight that Payton and I have is birthed from some form of pride or selfishness. Pride aborted Satan from Heaven, and it can have the same effect in our lives as well.

Fourthly, marriage gives us the closest glimpse of Christ's love for the church. Christ gave Himself up for the church (selflessly, humbly, pride free, looking out for our interests, etc.); and I have learned that the true beauty of marriage is giving myself up for Payton even in the midst of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Your pride will come right before the destruction. I pray we all identify our pride before we fall victims of the destruction the enemy intends for each one of us.

Hope you were encouraged and thank you for reading as I attempted to communicate one of my many life lessons!

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