So, I’m sure you’re wondering how “The Farmer in the Dell” could possibly relate to marriage? It relates to my marriage, and I’m guessing if your marriage is anything like mine at times, this tune could relate to yours as well!
The other day, Patrick and I were having a conversation about the familiar children’s song, “The Farmer IN the DELL”. I was convinced that it was entitled “The Farmer AND the DELL”. He was convinced it’s proper title was “The Farmer IN the DALE”. We were both sure that we were right. Always. I wonder if ours is the only marriage where both of us are right all of the time, even when we are giving completely different arguments (notice the BIG hint of sarcasm in this statement). Of course, our disagreement over this particular children’s rhyme was all in good fun, even though we were both sure that the other person was wrong. I didn’t even know what a “dell” or a “dale” was – but I did know that I was right! As it turns out, neither of us was completely right! I was right about “dell” while he was right about “in” instead of “and”.
Who really cares what the real title of that silly song is anyway?? Apparently, we did!
As I was thinking on this silly conversation later in the day, my thoughts drifted to many other not-so-silly heated conversations that we’ve had about more serious subjects where one or both of us was being stubborn, selfish, and/or prideful because we were “right” and needed to make sure the other person realized how “right” we were.
Why do I have such a need to be “right”?
What do I need to prove about myself that I’m right, and he’s wrong?
What will I gain by being right?
Why is it so hard to admit that I’m wrong sometimes?
Do I realize how this attitude negatively affects our relationship, or am I so consume with my own…______?
I think it is a very rare person who is happy to admit that they are plagued with the sin of pride. Pride is such a deadly sin! It can be subtle. It can be sneaky. It can seem harmless. It can be masked as false humility. It can be masked by the sense that you are entitled to feel prideful because you “really are right”.
In the Bible, the Lord is very clear about the sin of pride.
“His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God. 2 Chronicles 26:16”
“In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:4
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Proverbs 29:23
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Ecclesiastes 7:8
“The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:11
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
These verses so clearly tell the ugly truth about pride! The last verse really stands out to me. It shows how pride and love are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. If I am really seeking to love my husband, then I will not have to be right about everything because I cannot be prideful and loving at the same time. It doesn’t work!
I pray that you will allow the Lord to show you areas of pride in your life. I pray that He will give you the strength to see them and surrender them to him. I pray that your relationships will grow in depth as you root out the sin of pride. I pray that your marriage and family will grow stronger and sweeter as they have a wife/mother/sister/daughter/etc. who continually lays down her own agenda to show love and humility instead of pride and selfishness.
Read back through these verses and find some of your own that deal with the harsh realities of pride. Make a list of the different truths.
Ask the Lord to reveal prideful areas of your life and root them out. These areas won’t be fun to see, but they’ll never change unless you admit that they’re there!
Practice humility in your everyday life. Be mindful of your need to feel “right” when you are in a heated discussion with your husband. Show love instead of pride.
Confess to your husband that you struggle with the sin of pride (even though its probably evident to him!). Ask him to hold you accountable (and don’t feel the need to point out His pride…trust the Lord to grow Him as He’s growing you!). Work as a team instead of working against each other!