Stubborn? Who Me?

Oh, say it can’t be so. Please. I have been told that I have been this many times. Foolishly thinking that it meant a good thing, like being strong. Boy was I wrong! According to the dictionary it is anything but …..a good thing… It actually means to be more like Satan and his cronies! Per the secular dictionary :

stub·born/ˈstəbərn/ Learn to pronounce adjectiveadjective: stubborn

  1. Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially despite good arguments or reasons to do so.”a stubborn refusal to learn from experience”synonyms:obstinate, stubborn as a mule, mulish, headstrong, willful, strong-willed, self-willed, pigheaded, bull-headed, obdurate, awkward, difficult, contrary, perverse, recalcitrant, refractory; More firm, adamant, resolute, dogged, persistent, pertinacious, inflexible, iron-willed, uncompromising, uncooperative, unaccommodating, intractable, unbending, unyielding, unmalleable, unadaptable; rock-ribbed; informal stiff-necked; informal bolshie, bloody-minded; informal balky; archaic contumacious, forward “you’re too stubborn to admit it”antonyms:compliant, docile, humble

This definition explains the reason for my divorce from my first husband. The man I loved, thought was my soul mate. Who promised me love and honor. Instead I found his stubbornness. An aloofness. Which eventually became to my mind a form of disinterest in me and our life together, and a form of betrayal to me and our wedding vows.. He did not think of us, as one. He thought of himself, his wants, wishes. His pride encouraging him along the way, his actions spoke saying being right was of sole importance. That is wrongheaded thinking then and now. By the end my spitefulness and stubbornness pushed me to divorce. My pastor talked with me about it but I could not get around the impenetrable walls. Thick walls I had built to protect myself from the pain he made me feel. Before I knew it there was no more feeling for him or our union at all. I was shunned. To say people were displeased would be putting it mildly.

Pride! And sadly this is what God hates. While those not in God’s household are confused and think, as I used to think also, that it’s a good thing! 1Pet.5:6-7 tells why God hates pride. We are to clothe ourselves in humility! Pride wants us to be king, to be exalted. No, we are to lift others and certainly our spouses!

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Which is the worst thing to be? God has decided and one is no better….equally a lost state to live in. An over indulgent urge to exalt ourselves over others.

Pride means:(per the same dictionary)

  1. A feeling or deep pleasure (big headed, conceited,)or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”he takes great pride in his appearance” · synonyms:pleasure · joy · delight · gratification · fulfillment · satisfaction ·
  2. consciousness of one’s own dignity.”he swallowed his pride and asked for help”synonyms:self-esteem · dignity · honor · self-respect · ego · self-worth · self-image ·
  3. confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, based on their shared identity, culture, and experience.”the bridge was lit up in rainbow colors, symbolic of LGBT pride” · Self Self Self….sort of explains it, right?
  4. literally the best state or condition of something; the prime.”in the pride of youth”

Do you see why God hates Pride, the Proud, The haughty?

Stubbornness and pride both can be glaringly obvious and wrong or subtle and deceptively sneaky.

It is all about self! To pass for more than we are, to hide our defects. Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before a fall. There is no glory to God, to His Creation, His Plan, His Gifts, His outworking. It is the feeling that man is an equal to God. As in self-esteem. Pride is at the heart of bullying and entitlement.Prov.13:10 ‘Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice”.

Being proud however of an accomplishment, a deed well done, is not the same. Especially if we have thanked God for it and recognize He made the way possible.

While being proud of another or their accomplishment is not the same as self exalting. That is more uplifting which is what we should be doing. Giving God some praise or glory for those who succeed are a beautiful thing.

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“Come to me , all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” Mathew 11:28
Photo by Vera Arsic on Pexels.com

It wasn’t until the Lord revealed that I was equally, if not more responsible in that divorce that I felt safe enough to try again in another marriage. That is where I ran into more ego, pride and stubbornness again. My second husband was as bad as the first and worse because now anger and addiction were involved. Scared yet certain that another divorce was not the answer, I prayed. This time I recognized what was going on, I gave it to the Lord to deal with, and to help me change. I would never break the cycle on my own. It was in me my pride and stubbornness and a familiarity with those tendencies was under pinning my poor choices. God heard my pleas and began His transforming of us both. That marriage lasted until death did us part. We became more than husband and wife, we became best friends. A life @ 35 years together with trials weathered. Mountaintop experiences and low swampy valley times that only a mixed family of yours mine and ours might understand. By no stretch was it made easy, it was not. We were having strong arms baring us up, creating pathways and our characters were being forged. We persevered because we loved God more than ourselves and were transformed.

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Jesus was my center first. Then Jesus was center of both our lives. We had to get out of each others way to let God work in us.

I have no idea how a marriage without Christ at its core could ever make it in today’s culture

Marriage a sacred gift inside which families are born and grow. A lovely picture for us of Christ and His Church. God Bless all who enter this blessed union. SS