Marriage is a call to die to self and live for another. No marriage is honoring to the Lord which seeks to simply live for self. Pride in marriage is never viewed as a virtue, but as a vice. In fact, it is a vice that will squeeze the joy and the life out of a marriage and cause it to crumble and fall apart.
Humility in marriage is an essential quality required of both husband and wife. If a husband is to love his wife like Christ loved the church, then he must be willing to humbly give himself for his bride, and truly love her. This kind of love is self sacrificial for the benefit of his wife, with no thought of himself. A husband who loves his wife with the kind of love required in Ephesians 5 does so without any thought of getting anything in return. He loves and he gives simply for the joy of pleasing and providing for his wife. A Christian husband ought not enter into marriage, nor learn to function within a marriage with the mindset that he deserves anything. The only thing a husband deserves is hell; anything better than that is grace. He doesn’t deserve the wife he has, the children he has, the job he has, or the “free time” that he may have. A husband does not deserve time out with the guys, or his own “man cave,” or the ability to purchase anything he wants without discussing things with his wife. A husband is never commended for being domineering, dictatorial, demanding, demeaning, defiant, or destructive towards his wife. Such behavior is contrary to everything God requires in marriage. It is a sinful offense to a loving and holy God; it is also a sinful offense against his wife. Repentance must be exhibited both towards God and his wife, and restoration of those relationships must be cultivated in humility. Marriage is a call to die to self, and a husband must die to self and live for the glory of the Lord by loving his wife in humility.
The same principles are true for wives. While wives are specifically told to submit to and respect their husbands, these are to be exhibited in humility. No husband who honors the Lord will demand those qualities of his wife; and no wife who honors the Lord will neglect those qualities in her own life. Humility in marriage is a two-lane highway, where both husband and wife need to be clothed with humility. A wife ought not enter into marriage, nor learn to function within a marriage with a mindset that she deserves anything either. The only thing a wife deserves is hell; anything better than that is grace. A wife does not deserve time out with the girls, or her own dream home, or a wardrobe that is “hip” or trendy. A wife must be humble before her husband, just as she is before the Lord. This does not mean she cannot voice concerns, or share perspectives, or give input to decisions. In fact, any husband in his right mind will welcome and invite all of those things (and much more) from his wife, knowing that God has given his wife to him for a reason. Humility in a wife does not mean being a doormat or a punching bag or a sex toy. Humility in a wife means that she functions in the way God has designed her to function, with grace, dignity, chastity, shame-facedness, and respect.
Humility is a necessary quality if any marriage is going to be honoring to the Lord. A marriage that is not clothed with humility will be a marriage that is ripped apart by pride. When each spouse functions with humility, God will always give grace to be the kind of spouse that they should be, and to have the kind of home that gives Him glory.