I’m sorry, but when I got the email about the topic for this article, I immediately heard the lyrics to this song in my head. If you are a fan of mid-80s music scene, you would know that those words of wisdom are not mine, but from the mouth of the smooth operator extraordinaire himself, Mr. Morris Day, (formerly known as the lead man of The Time).
The requested topic for this article is “A Man’s Pride”, but there was technically no request for “A Male’s Pride”, and so I do believe man also includes wo-man. (Smile ladies). The same prideful spirit (attitude, or train of thought) that makes a woman upset because he doesn’t express his feelings to you or romance you the way you want, is the same prideful spirit that keeps you from reminding him to take out the trash, or telling him what you need from him, again, just because you feel you shouldn’t have to say it more than once. He’s not a mind-reader he’s a man! And it’s not male pride, it’s just plain Pride!
As I waited to see what I would really like to share with you ladies about “pride”, I looked over at a piece of paper on my office wall that has these powerful words in my own handwriting, “He Decided to DIE”. OK, so what. What does that have to do with a man’s pride? I tried to push the thought aside, and tuck the words away for a later project; maybe for a future poem, a book, a play, or even a motion picture. (Don’t hate me; it costs you nothing for me to dream.) So I turned to look at it again. He Decided to Die.
when I originally penned those four words, I was receiving them as an answer to a question I asked God about myself, concerning marriage. I desperately wanted to learn how to not allow dealing with others to move me.
God simply said to me, “Write this down on a piece of paper, and make it big! “He Decided to DIE”. I began hearing the song in my head… “He would, not, come, down, from, the, cross, just, to, saaaaaaave himself… He Decided to Die, Just to Save me. Wait a minute, I thought. He Decided… to Die. His sacrifice was not a response to the actions of others; it was not an afterthought, but a decision. I read Matthew 26:39 (NLT). He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”
What greater enemy does a man have to battle his pride than the opponent of personal sacrifice? Learning to die to what he wants or desires, for the benefit of another. Do you think you have more on your plate than anyone else? Even if you switched plates with someone else, you would probably beg to get it back. What about Jesus? Can you possibly imagine what was in of His cup when he looked inside?
Husbands have to learn to love sacrificially; fighting the fight of pride by giving of ourselves unselfishly. Sometimes we want the prizes of leadership, but not the pressures that come with the responsibilities. Sometimes we forget that we are the ones responsible for practically taking the word and washing our wives, (and children, and our households) in order to make them holy and clean.
Women will give as much mouth and attitude as they have to give, and they will even borrow extra if they don’t think they have enough to serve at the time. But, they cannot withstand the power of a man who sacrifices his wants or needs for her good, from his heart, under God’s anointing. (Hey, stash your attitude for another time, because you know I’m on point. Just put it away, before you hurt somebody).
If you frequent our church services, you would often hear our pastor spout this marriage disclaimer: “God designed marriage to kill YOU!” So if you are having marital issues, it’s because you’re not dead. What is more romantic to a woman than sacrifice? What is more seducing than the dance of death? What better way to say I Love You, than to give yourself, or your lifestyle for your most valuable friend?
Ladies, ask yourself a few hard questions about your own personal sacrifices. Is an extra hour of sleep really more important than sex with your spouse, when he has been practically begging for your time? (This one always puts me in the doghouse, but I ain’t scared of you!) Regardless of whether or not your child was there in your life before your spouse, is your maternal bond stronger and more valuable than your marriage covenant? If you say yes… you are out of order. Don’t hate me, I’m just the messenger!
When do you know when you are dead? You know that you are dead, when it doesn’t hurt anymore. When it no longer matters to you if you are not compensated for what it cost you; when you don’t expect repayment to do the good you already know to do. Real death is getting to a place where you truly rely on God’s rewards, rather than on your own survival instincts that tell you to protect yourself.
How many times will you have to die? Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:31 (NLT) …For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in you. Do you die daily? Are you prepared to, if you have to? Or are you fed up and want to quit?
Focus on the future; don’t meditate on the madness in the middle. For many of us, it’s hard to focus on the future because of the present pain. So how can we achieve this? (Hebrews 12:2 (NLT), We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.)
How dead are you? Can you still feel the pain? Many scriptures refer to something called a burnt offering. That simply means that whatever was sacrificed was set on fire and burned until it was completely consumed, and there was nothing left of it. The whole entire offering was given up, and there was nothing left of it that could be recognized to identify it. So, is there anything left of you that can be identified as you? Are you still alive and kicking? Have you completely died to your pride?
You deal with your pride (male or female) through your sacrifice. Considering all others before yourself. Not responding, (eventually killing) the selfish and instinctive responses from your flesh, when you don’t get the payment that you feel you deserve, for giving love. We are so used to seeing the word Love, in 1 Corinthians 13, but the word “Love”, is actually “Charity”. When do you generally see this word mostly? Around the holidays, when people freely give something of value away to someone else, without the expectation of a return or reward. Charity… Love, a decision of sacrificial giving – the remedy to Pride.
In my conclusion, I want to add yet another amazingly true quote from the wise sayings of Morris Day. “Love is a game you don’t play to win, you play to survive.”
John L. Donelson
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Revelations Media, LLC